During the waning days of 2018, a lame-duck session of the Michigan legislature voted to implement a new letter-grade apparatus for evaluating Michigan school performance. The implementation of a new accountability system may cause more headaches for the state’s educators. In his January 17, 2019 article in Bridge magazine, Ron French reminds readers that this new system is the sixth in seven years.
Some educators and critics, including Ford School Professor Brian Jacob, expressed pessimism at the thought of having to adjust to another new evaluative system, in "Six systems in seven years and Michigan students still lag." Now comes A to F. In the article Jacob argues the constant turnover inhibits the intended impact. “I think we need more stability in the political and policy environment,” Jacob contends, “to allow the people on the ground to focus on the actual work at hand.”
While educators’ opinions on the new system differ, all Michigan educators agree the state needs to choose a system and adhere to the plan long-term. Otherwise, Jacob warns, the state of education in Michigan will continue to leave “School administrators…confused and frustrated.”
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The Walter H. Anneberg Professor of Education Policy, Brian Jacob is also the co-director of the Youth Policy Lab. Jacob also received the David N. Kershaw Prize for his contributions to the public policy field. He is Co-Director of the Education Policy Initiative (EPI) and Youth Policy Lab (YPL), former director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), as well as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).