UPDATE: Fox 47 has edited this story to reflect a correction— the MEA does not oppose nor support the new support for struggling schools.
The problem has been clearly diagnosed -- now, let's take a look at how the state plans to support schools and students right here in Lansing.
The Michigan Department of Education and Intermediate School Districts, or ISD, will work with struggling schools to create 18-month and 36-month benchmarks for students. It’s a move one teachers’ union says there’s still more to do.
“We still have a crippling educator shortage across our state, and we're on the right track with the governor's recent budget. But, there's a lot more that needs to be done," said Thomas Morgan, a communications consultant with the Michigan Education Association.
This new support won’t include additional teachers.
Instead, money will be used for math and literacy consultants, experts for dealing with chronic absenteeism and help with strategic planning to meet their goals.
“So it is a true partnership," said William Pearson, a representative for the Michigan Department of Education. "We don't come in and say, 'Here are your goals.' We're going to work together to establish what those goals are based on a review of happenings within the district and what they are currently think they need to to work on, or what the data shows that we need to work on to improve student achievement.”
Experts say this push for solutions is a positive start.
“We shouldn't dwell too much on test scores at this point, but instead making sure that we're doing everything we can to provide resources to our schools, to end the educator shortage and to help our kids succeed," Morgan said.
If schools continue to struggle to meet the goals outlined, that support won’t just go away, according to the department. They will receive even more rigorous support.
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