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New education law meets resistance by schools

Flickr User Dennis Sylvester Hurd

The Michigan Department of Education says a controversial new school accountability law will not improve student achievement.

Republican lawmakers passed the so-called “A-F” grading law in the waning days of the lame duck legislature.  The law would assign letter grades to Michigan schools starting this fall.   Educators say that would set back efforts to put less reliance on standardized testing.  Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles says the A-F system would also create two separate accountability standards.

“Which now causes confusion and discontent...and the schools and districts saying once again, ‘why once again are you changing our accountability system?  Which one is the reliable one; which one do we turn to?” 

Alles says the law would also require the Michigan Department of Education to re-start an ongoing program to help the state’s most troubled school districts.  The department is asking Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to review the law to avoid conflicting with existing state and federal statutes.