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New state team will ask: what would it take to make Michigan's schools the best?

The 2016 M-STEP results come out Tuesday morning
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Administrators said keeping bus transportation, art and music, and avoiding making athletics pay-to-play programs were some of their top priorities to save from cuts.

Michigan's school system could get an overhaul. 

Governor Snyder's creating a new team to try to figure out how to make this state's schools more like the top-performing states.

The 25 people who’ll staff the “Governor’s 21st Century Education Commission” haven’t been appointed yet, but they’ve already got a big task: figure out what the best school systems do right, and what’s keeping Michigan from being more like them – and then, by November 30, tell the governor what to change.

Snyder’s executive order creating the new commission flat out admits that Michigan’s public school system is out of date and not doing well: It’s been 20 years since the “current system of funding education [was] modified” and it’s “producing significantly disparate achievement results for minority and economically disadvantaged students….”

Ultimately, the commission will have only an “advisory” capacity, but its report could be pretty broad – everything, from funding, to governance, to assessment and school structure, is on the table.  

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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