LANSING, Mich. — Kobe Rochester still remembers the anxiety he felt when it was time to take a standardized test at J.W. Sexton High School, and the recent graduate wasn’t the only student struggling with these tests.
Michigan Department of Education data shows over 60% of fifth and eighth graders last year were falling behind and more than 70% of 11th graders in the district tested low.
“We know that we have not been serving our students the best way we possibly could, but we are trying to fix that,” said Lansing School District Superintendent Ben Shuldiner.
Shuldiner said he’s not oblivious to the problem, and while the pandemic brought new challenges, he said low test schools had been an issue way before COVID-19.
“We have to be honest about this, and the only way we’re going to fix this is we’re going to be honest about it, we’re going to address it and we’re going to throw resources at it,” he said.
This past fall, the district created a new instruction department that they hope helps train teachers.
Meanwhile, Rochester hopes the district comes up with a plan soon to not only prepare students for tests, but for life after graduation.
“Right now, I’m going to Lansing Community College, and because I wasn’t taught properly in the Lansing School District, I have to re-learn a lot of stuff that should’ve been taught to me years ago,” Rochester said.