LANSING, Mich. - State education officials and some legislators are divided over whether and how much the federal No Child Left Behind act should affect Michigan public school accreditation, according to media reports.

The State Board of Education has approved a new accreditation plan under which it would evaluate schools on the basis on standardized test scores and other criteria, but would not allow a school to reach full accreditation unless it also met federal academic goals set by NCLB, according to the Detroit Free Press.

But members of the House Education Committee told MDE officials that they won't approve the plan if it allows a school's accredited status to be lowered due to NCLB, the Free Press reported.

Board members said at a meeting Tuesday that they want to meet with House and Senate education committee members to discuss the problem, the Michigan Information & Research Service reported. Another concern is the extent to which "subgroup" performance affects schools' NCLB ratings, according to MIRS. (Subgroups include such populations as minority or disadvantaged students, whose test scores must be reported separately.)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan said the new plan is needed to allow the department to intervene at problem schools, the Free Press reported. While no schools are unaccredited under the current system, the new system would likely cause 100 to lose accreditation when implemented, according to the report.

MDE officials said they want to implement the new system in the coming school year.

SOURCES:
Detroit Free Press, "School accreditation plan faces opposition," Aug. 11, 2009

Michigan Information & Research Service, "Another quadrant?" Aug. 11, 2009 (Subscription required)

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "The shell game of 'making AYP'," March 18, 2009

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