Nonprofit organization Business Leaders for Michigan released a new report on Tuesday, recommending changes in the state’s education system. The report is a collaboration between Business Leaders for Michigan and the data analysis arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Business Leaders for Michigan is a nonprofit organization made up of business executives and officials working for Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Their self-described goal is to emphasize the development and expansion of jobs and economic growth across the state of Michigan. Amway president Doug DeVos is a member of the organization. His sister-in-law Betsy Devos currently serves as the United States Secretary of Education.
The report urges the state to stop changing goals for the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP), designed to measure student progress and achievement. The report argues that these alterations make it difficult to compare student scores from year to year. The report also states that Michigan teachers and principals need more training and should be given access to more modern technology. Business Leaders for Michigan also advocates for more censuring and correction of schools that do not meet state standards.
The new report comes on the heels of an especially bad year for Michigan schools. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the state at a dismal 36th in the nation on their list of best states for public education. Earlier this month, a new report was released that showed that Michigan had the sharpest drop last year in third-grade reading levels. Educators became alarmed as most states either maintain or increase third-grade reading proficiency. Last year, the number of students enrolled in the Michigan public school system dropped by 0.4%, the lowest number since the 1950s.