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Michigan_Schools_Shore_Up_a_Failing_School_System

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					Title:
Michigan Schools Shore Up a Failing School System

Word Count:
495

Summary:
While other states and school districts are searching for progressive and
innovative methods to improve student achievement and graduation rates,
the Michigan Schools continue to shore up the current failing system,
according to The Detroit News. Rather than improving the current system,
teachers’ unions act as oversight bullies, the Michigan schools appear to
follow their dictates, and legislators just keep pouring money into the
Michigan schools, while complaining that funds are limited.


Keywords:
michigan schools


Article Body:
While other states and school districts are searching for progressive and
innovative methods to improve student achievement and graduation rates,
the Michigan Schools continue to shore up the current failing system,
according to The Detroit News. Rather than improving the current system,
teachers’ unions act as oversight bullies, the Michigan schools appear to
follow their dictates, and legislators just keep pouring money into the
Michigan schools, while complaining that funds are limited.

First, money is not the issue. While inflation has risen at a rate of 21
percent, funding for the Michigan schools has risen by of 71 percent. The
state legislature funds the Michigan schools annually at the tune of $13
billion, and Michigan schools teachers are among the highest paid
educators in the United States.

The problem with the Michigan schools current system is that they are not
working hard enough to improve it for the children. They have some
excellent educators that work hard for their schools, putting every
effort into helping students excel under the current policies and
resources. The community should be very grateful for their dedication.
Yet, the Michigan schools are still operating under old standards — pump
more money into teacher benefits (for which teachers’ unions also
benefit), rather than the students.

The state recently approved an increase in the per student funding rate
that should be going toward improving student achievement. Yet almost the
entire $216 per student rate is underwriting healthcare and retirement
costs for Michigan schools employees, according to the newspaper.

With a statewide dropout rate of nearly 25 percent (some districts in
Metro Detroit are as high as 60 percent), Michigan schools administrators
need to do some serious housecleaning on the current system. When the
newspaper surveyed students and their parents, it found that only 30
percent of parents insist their children remain in school. Only 12
percent of students found coursework challenging; 83 percent believe that
their coursework is not relevant.

Teachers who speak up or attempt to effect change in the current Michigan
schools system are shutdown by the strong, organized and vocal teachers’
unions and administrators of the Michigan schools. They both seem to like
things as they are.

Some progressive teachers have publicly recommended that school grade
levels be reorganized; the current pay system for teachers be replaced
with pay-for-performance measures; and parents be allowed to send their
children to the schools of their choice (charter, public, private or home
school) — as is done in many states. The teachers’ unions quickly
silenced these progressives.

The teachers’ unions give no particular evidence as to why these
recommendations should not be considered, nor do they offer any
solutions, except for their recent proposal — guaranteed yearly pay
raises for teachers. They are aggressively pushing for the state
legislature to write an amendment into the state constitution that
guarantees funding for annual teacher pay raises. Where is the
accountability?

With all the problems of student achievement, it is time the Michigan
schools stop catering to the teachers’ unions and focus on improving
student achievement.

				
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