(The Center Square) – In Michigan, local school district evaluations stated that there were only 165 teachers out of the 115,910 evaluated in 2021-22 that were found to be “inefficient.”
Statistically, that translated to 0%. In fact, 99% of all Michigan public school teachers last year were rated either as “highly efficient” or “efficient,” the highest two of four evaluation categories.
That is troubling for one education watchdog advocate who notes Michigan’s students have struggled academically.
“These evaluation ratings show that education bureaucrats are lying to parents,” said Beth DeShone, executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, an education-advocacy non-profit founded by former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Their (student) test scores are among the worst in the nation. Our kids have fallen behind farther and faster than almost all of their peers in the United States…. You cannot have dismal reading and math scores for students while painting an ‘everything is fine’ picture about education.”
Education Trust-Midwest, a non-profit trying to make Michigan a top 10 education state by 2030, released a dismal report on student achievement in the state.
The 2023 report focused on the National Assessment of Educational Progress data, known as The Nation’s Report Card.
“On the 2022 test, our students’ average scale score dropped by more than twice as much as the national average. Michigan’s reading scores are now seven points lower than they were nearly 20 years ago,” the report stated. “And before the pandemic, Michigan was one of only 18 states performing worse in early literacy than it was in the early 2000s. we now know that students in Michigan, a state that was not systemically well-positioned before COVID-19, fared worse than many states during the pandemic.”
According to MI School Data, the State of Michigan’s official source for pre-K, K-12, postsecondary and workforce data, student college readiness dropped from 32% to 28% from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022.
The Michigan Department of Education compiles the evaluation data and is responsible for implementing evaluation legislation.
“Because individual districts administer their local educator evaluations, we respectfully decline to speculate on local decisions and ratings patterns,” said William DiSessa, spokesman for the MDE.
The Michigan Department of Education says districts use the teacher evaluations, which are compiled by The Center for Educational Performance and Information, “to inform decisions regarding effectiveness, promotion, retention, development, whether to grant tenure or full certification and the removal of ineffective tenured and untenured teachers and administrators.”