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National advocacy group ranks Michigan 6th in nation for education policy

a man stands in front of a classroom at a white board
Jennifer Guerra
Michigan Radio
TeachingWorks, a national organization based at U of M, aims to develop a nationwide system for all teaching programs, so that teachers are prepared the minute they walk into the classroom.

A national education advocacy group ranks Michigan sixth in the country for education policy.

The group Students First says the state gets high marks for bills passed in recent years by the Republican-led state Legislature.     

They include measures making it tougher for teachers to be tenured, and teacher evaluations that depend more on student achievement.     

But Andy Solon with Students First said the state can do better in some areas.

“We would like to have a simplified, transparent report annually, where parents can get high-quality data about how their schools are performing. And we think it would allow them to be more empowered and give them a better ability to make quality decisions about where they’re sending their students,” Solon said.

The group was founded by the controversial former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Critics of the report say it’s only meant to bolster Rhee’s political agenda, and downplays many important problems facing Michigan schools.

“This so-called report card is nothing more than another way for Michelle Rhee and her organization to restate their goals of handing over more and more control of our schools to for-profit companies and dismantling the rights of school employees,” said Doug Pratt, spokesperson for the Michigan Education Association.

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