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Michigan residents say they oppose uncertified teachers leading classrooms

Posted at 1:54 PM, Jan 16, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michiganders are skeptical that long-term substitutes are providing a quality education and want certified teachers leading classrooms, according to a new report released today by Bridge Magazine and The Center for Michigan (Bridge’s nonprofit publisher) based on polling and feedback from over 1,800 Michigan residents.

The report, No Substitute: The Public’s Agenda to Reduce Michigan’s Reliance on Uncertified, Long-term Substitute Teachers, [] is the culmination of the Center for Michigan’s ninth statewide public engagement campaign and outlines resident perspectives of Michigan’s increasing reliance on long-term substitute teachers and how the state should respond.

The report identifies five key messages for state leaders:

  • Michiganders have more confidence in full-time, certified teachers to provide a quality education than uncertified, long-term substitutes.
  • There should be stricter standards for who schools can hire as long-term substitutes.
  • Schools should have to tell parents/guardians when their students’ teacher is uncertified.
  • Numerous ideas proposed by experts to reduce the state’s reliance on long-term, uncertified substitutes are supported by the vast majority of Michigan residents.
  • Parents and guardians of K-12 students and the general public think similarly about these issues and reform ideas.

Launched in the fall of 2019, this public engagement campaign, and subsequent report, emerged in the wake of a fall 2019 Bridge Magazine investigation [] that uncovered in Michigan, up to 50,000 students in as many as 2,500 classrooms were taught by uncertified, long-term substitutes in 2018-19 - a tenfold increase in five years.

For the full No Substitute report, please visit [].

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