Education — June 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Vote on EAA expansion imminent, allows up to 50 schools and uses questionable performance testing


New legislation is being considered today to expand the state school reform/redesign school district (SRRSD) to up to 50 schools statewide in Michigan. Currently the Education Achievement Authority is the only entity contracted with the state Department of Education to provide SRRSD services. No schools would be permitted to be ordered added to the SRRSD until January 1st of 2015 and the order placing them there cannot take effect until July 1st, 2015.

You can read the substitute legislation HERE (pdf). Republicans are eager to get this passed today, the last day of session before they go on their summer break until September 9th.

One of the most egregious things about this new bill is that it spells out the use of the Scantron “Performance Series” assessments as well as the Northwest Evaluation Association Assessment tests. The Scantron “Performance Series” tests are currently used by the EAA and show students progressing as much as two years in one school year. This is in direct contrast to MEAP scores that Professor Thomas Pedroni revealed show actual DECLINES in student achievement inside the EAA.

Public school districts that have been in the bottom 5% performing districts for three years running would be placed into the SRRSD. If the public school district remains on that list for three years after being taken over or goes four years off the list due to improved performance, it would be returned to local control. There is also an option for the intermediate school district to step in and take control of the public school district in place of the SRRSD.

If you care about solving the intractable problems of our poorest performing schools in Michigan, please contact your state senator and urge them to vote NO! on this bill, House Bill 4369. This is decidedly NOT the answer to these problems.