Lawsuit Aims to Block New Accreditation Standards

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Both the state Board of Education and the Middle Cities Education Association (MCEA) agree that there's a problem in this state. Too many subpar schools are getting accredited.

"We have a school with 0 percent proficiency that's accredited," said state Superintendent Mike Flanagan. "Parents are going to see that [accreditation] and think everything's fine."

"The current system is really only identifying a minimum of schools, maybe 3 or 4 statewide," said Ray Telman, executive director of the MCEA. "Clearly there are more than 3 or 4 schools out there that shouldn't be accredited."

Where they disagree is in the solution. Tuesday, the state Board voted to approve amendments to its accreditation system. But Telman says those changes don't take a comprehensive look at what makes a great school.

"It provides just one slice, an important slice, pupil performance but not an entire view of what's happening in school," said Telman.

The MSEA filed a lawsuit Monday to block the new system from coming into place. The suit alleges that the state Board is making schools start measuring for the system, even though the state Legislature hasn't approved the changes yet.

"Moving on this system and forcing schools to collect data really diverts energy from what these schools ought to be doing," said Telman.

But the state Board says that the lawsuit is without merit.

"We have some people, who represent adults more than kids, who are trying to slow this process down," said Flanagan.

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  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM
    Here is an idea for the school officials, teach what the students need to know and not what the government thinks you need to know for some dumb test. There was a great article about catholic schools having a better learning arena because they had the support of the parents.
  • by Sub Teacher Location: jackson on Feb 9, 2011 at 08:03 AM
    Im a substitute teacher in the Jackson Area. I have taught in the Jackson Public school system and the kids I taught didnt even know the basics. I had freshman that could tell me which ocean was to closest to Hawaii. I have been to other schools outside JPS and it is a different world. The student are more advanced in the same content and state standards being covered. Hmmm to me they are suing to stop to truth from coming out to the public.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2011 at 12:38 AM
    Are they suing because they do not have the resources to fix or are they suing because they do not want to admit that it might show how bad the system is?
  • by B. Michael Location: Lansing on Feb 8, 2011 at 11:05 PM
    Good !! It's about time Michigan raised the bar over ankle height for schools. And don't forget the parents of students.You have no excuse for the Cs and Ds your kid gets. No excuse. Hear me ? Or are you just too dumb, D-U-M, to help these failing kids? Yes, I consider Cs and Ds "Failing" ! How's that for high standards. Parents--Get in there and fight with the teachers, not against them.Start believing what the teachers are saying and stop thinking it's not your "little angels" fault. Yes, I'm a teacher. I know of what I speak.
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