A new report states that Michigan’s downward academic slide it not the fault of funding.

This new report was released Tuesday from the Business Leaders for Michigan group. The Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) is our state’s business roundtable, which is composed of the chairpersons, CEOs or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities.

In their newly released report and reported in the Detroit Free Press, they found that:

  • Michigan needs to invest in teacher training
  • stick with its current standards and state exam
  • adopt a stronger rating system for schools
  • have a stronger system for fixing failing schools
  • and ensure classroom funding is adequate and equitable.

Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the business leaders' group was quoted in the article saying:

It's alarming to see how far we've fallen in just a relatively short amount of time

The reported stated that the group’s recommendations were based on best practices gleaned from states such as Massachusetts and Tennessee.

The report also stated that:

  • Just 23% of Michigan's students graduate prepared for college or careers
  • Michigan ranked 46th in fourth-grade reading
  • and 37th in eighth-grade math on a rigorous national exam

The report from the BLM found that Michigan spends about $11,000 per student. They went on to say that there are other states that spend less and have better academic results, as well as, states that spend more with worse results.

Tonya Allen, the president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, a Detroit nonprofit, was quoted in the Detroit Free Press article saying:

If we can continue to collaborate around effective solutions for students, we will almost certainly move the needle on K-12 achievement

The moral of the story and this report is we as a state; including politicians, academics, pundits, school officials, teachers and advocacy groups must stop focusing in on money being the problem for our academic woes and start thinking outside of the box.

Once we start doing that we may be able to not only stop this academic downward spiral in Michigan and possibly start an upswing of academic achievement and give our children what they truly deserve and that is a great education.

This great education will help them, us and future generations to become more successful in life.

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