Michigan Could Close Failing Schools By Next June
Michigan's School Reform Office is moving forward with plans to close failing schools throughout the state. According to the Detroit Free Press, the School Reform Office has already given some failing schools warning that they could be closed by next June.
Numbers from 2014 show that more than 100 schools rank in the bottom 5%. But the director of the State School Reform Office, Natasha Baker, warns against assuming that that many schools would be shuttered, saying "It is nowhere near 100 schools...There has never been 100 school closings, and we certainly aren’t going to start that practice in Michigan.” However, the question remains, how many will be closed? And for that matter, what determines a "failing" school?
One of the criteria by which schools will be judged is by the tough, new standardized test M-STEP, which replaced the MEAP last year. It seems like educators are particularly concerned about this factor because A) The test was only introduced last year and, "any time there’s a new test, it takes a while for schools to reorient their instruction to focus on the content of the new test,” said Robert Floden, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. And B) educators were given assurances by the Michigan Department of Education that M-STEP results would not be used for high-stakes decisions until 2017. Closing a school sounds like a high-stakes decision to me.
There are many details that will go into the making of these decisions (like what happens if there are no satisfactory schools nearby if a failing school is to be closed), and you can read more about these controversial decisions HERE.