The Michigan Board of Education wants an additional 10 years to get students prepared to meet the proficiency scores on state standardized tests. The federal goals call for all children to be proficient on state exams by 2014. State leaders want to waive the No Child Left Behind requirements for 10 years. They believe this period will prepare every Michigan student to be proficient in reading and math.
Jeff Bean is a Flint high school teacher. He says working to get all students proficient is noble but not realistic.
"It would be like me setting standards for medical professionals: I think everybody who goes into a cancer treatment should get cured. Let’s go for 100%. That’s a noble effort. But to dictate whether doctors get to keep their licenses or not based on whether they save every patient they see, is an incredibly unreasonable piece."
Bean believes extending the 10-year deadline is a way for certain leaders to buy time to change the federal goals. He says pre- and post-testing would be a more effective goal for students.
U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, says more than 80% of the nation’s public schools could be labeled as ‘failing’ under the No Child Left Behind law requirements.
-Traci Currie - Michigan Radio Newsroom