New concerns about Michigan students' college readiness

New concerns about Michigan students' college readiness
Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 10:32:29-04

According to data from the Michigan Department of Education, more than 63 percent of Michigan high school juniors did not meet college readiness benchmarks for mathematics. When it comes to reading/writing, almost 40 percent did not meet the college readiness benchmarks.

Ivy Bailey, who's the president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and a former teacher of 35 years, says "We're doing something wrong. You can't just point fingers and put it on teachers. This is a bigger
problem going across the whole state of Michigan."

According to MLive, 57 Michigan high schools have less than 5 percent testing as college ready. The data, from MED, takes a look at SAT scores from high school juniors.

"The results are clear. It's not just Detroit. We have a bigger problem. Nobody should be happy with that. It's a red flag," says Bailey.

She believes one major factor is the lack of funding for our schools.

"Funding is not just salary. Funding is resources and programs," she says.

7 Action News reached out to the Michigan Department of Education about our students' college readiness. We received this statement from William DiSessa of the Office of Public & Governmental Affairs:

While Michigan SAT scores improved in 2017,  not all students showed progress.  As the SAT is aligned to Michigan’s content standards, schools should ensure they’re teaching to those standards. The MDE knows Michigan has more work to do to improve the academic achievement and college readiness of our students. We are engaged in providing supports to academically struggling schools in our Partnership agreements as we move forward on our plan to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

Bailey believes everyone involved needs to come together. That includes teachers, parents, state leaders and students to see what is working and what isn't.

7 Action News reached out to some local school districts for comment, including Detroit Public Schools. We received this statement from the district:

As a reminder this performance is over two school years old. However, it does raise concerns regarding the district's inability to shift under emergency management from the ACT to SAT and Common Core standards. Next year, K-8s will implement new literacy and math curriculum that is aligned to the standards to ensure more students are college ready before high school. We are also implementing a 10th and 11th grade SAT for all students next year to improve skill development and preparation for the SAT. Over time, we believe more students will be college ready when the right systems and processes are implemented to support our students and teachers.

Here's a link to a portal where you can check out schools across the state.