Michigan Department of Education partners with Benton Harbor Area Schools to improve academic achievement

NOW: Michigan Department of Education partners with Benton Harbor Area Schools to improve academic achievement

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Education is partnering with Benton Harbor Area Schools to increase students' academic achievement.

The partnerships target school districts with schools scoring in the bottom 5% of Michigan's index accountability system and/or have a four-year graduation rate of 67% or below.

The department of education and intermediate school districts will help the districts establish target goals for students to achieve.

These goals include 18-month interim target benchmarks and 36-month end target outcomes.

Alternative education and virtual schools will receive support outside of a partnership agreement.

Education leaders cite the COVID-19 pandemic as one of many factors impacting student success.

“What we’re experiencing is the consequence of underfunding Michigan public school students, educators, and education for many years, the resultant teacher shortage, and a once-in-a-century pandemic,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Unfinished learning during the pandemic has resulted in generally lower, average student scores on the state’s M-STEP assessments, locally administered benchmark assessments, and national NAEP assessments.”

The Michigan Department of Education is required to run the Michigan School Index, its federal school accountability system, each year according to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

The U.S. Department of Education waived these to state assessments for the 2019-2020 school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MDE began producing School Index results again for the 2021-2022 school year.

Click here to view last school year's School Index results.

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