More schools are expected to be offered “partnership agreements” with the Michigan Department of Education this fall, based on last spring’s standardized test scores, the department announced recently.
Those schools will join 37 schools in nine districts already working with MDE to improve their rankings.
At the same time, MDE is working to overhaul the 2010 school accountability law that requires the department to issue an annual top-to-bottom ranking of schools and to identify the lowest-scoring 5 percent of buildings for punitive measures, including possible closure.
Public pressure over plans to close dozens of schools earlier this year forced Gov. Rick Snyder to abandon those plans and return the Office of School Reform to MDE, instead of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget which Snyder controlled.
“With a new federal law intended to give more authority back to states, it is time to re-write Michigan’s school accountability law to reflect the more locally-driven Partnership Model that is being implemented in our most struggling districts,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said.
State Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) said in January the so-called “failing schools” law was “deeply flawed” and needed to be replaced, but a repeal measure introduced by Pavlov has not advanced.