Contents of this issue:
- State launches school performance website
Park announces Promise program
home-schoolers open private school
still linked to school performance
school grads sue over jobs, salary data
State Launches School Performance
LANSING, Mich. — The State of Michigan launched a school information
website on Monday that allows users to
look up test scores, enrollment and school “report cards,” and that eventually
will report on how well high schools prepare students for college, according to
the Detroit Free Press.
The site, www.mischooldata.org, was described as a
“Consumer Report for schools” by Jim Ballard, executive director of the
Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.
“This is probably the most
public-oriented piece we’ve ever done with education data,” Paul Bielawski,
school data manager for the Center for Educational Performance and Information,
told the Free Press. CEPI maintains a number of statistical databases about
Previously, parents would have had to
review three databases on two websites to compare test scores, graduation rates
and report cards, the Free Press reported. By September, parents will be able
to use the new site to determine how many graduates from each high school
enrolled in college and how many needed remedial coursework, according to the
Judy Pritchett, chief academic officer
for the Macomb Intermediate School District, said the new site will help
provide an overview of a school or district, but that it won’t tell the parents
much about such things as the scope of programs at a school, parent involvement
or quality of staff, the Free Press reported.
Detroit Free Press, “Web
site lets you compare Michigan high schools’ success,” Aug. 13, 2011
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “New Online Database Provides Unique
‘Context and Performance’ Information for Every Standard Michigan Public High
School,” June 27, 2011
Hazel Park Announces Promise Program
HAZEL PARK, Mich. — Hazel Park Schools has joined the list
of public school districts seeking to attract new students by offering to pay
for their first two years of college, according to the (Royal Oak) Daily
The Hazel Park Promise begins with graduates of the class
of 2012, according to the Tribune. Students will receive scholarships to any
Michigan university, community college or trade school according to a sliding
scale based on how long they have been enrolled in the district, the Tribune
Anjanette Stinson enrolled her three children in Hazel Park
recently, telling the Tribune, “I’m going to need all the help I can get with
School officials would like other parents to follow suit,
not just because of the additional state funding that each student brings to
the district, but also in hopes that families will move to the city and
increase the tax base, they told the Tribune.
A committee raised $180,000 in private contributions to
cover the 2012 costs and is now raising funds for 2013, the Tribune reported.
In subsequent years, the program is expected to be allowed to capture a share
of property tax funding as well, according to the Tribune.
(Royal Oak) Daily Tribune, “Promise
of free college tuition spurs Hazel Park enrollment,” Aug. 12, 2011
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “The Kalamazoo Promise vs. School Choice,”
June 17, 2010
Former Home-Schoolers Open Private School
SAGINAW, Mich. — Sandra Gonzales received so many requests
to teach children in her Saginaw home that she and her husband decided to open
a small, private school, according to The Saginaw News.
The New Millenium Center, a faith-based nondenominational
school, has 43 enrollees as it enters its second year of operation, The News
Gonzales, 53, and her husband home-schooled their own
daughter, now 27, but when Gonzales offered to home-school other children last
year on a donation basis, the demand was too high to accommodate, she told The
“I couldn’t put 14 kids in my living room — there was no
way,” Gonzales told The News.
New Millenium is located in a former Catholic school in Saginaw;
it currently has 10 teachers and much of the learning is done with computers,
according to The News.
The small class size allows for more one-on-one attention,
parents and students told The News. Tuition is $150 per month per student,
according to The News.
The Saginaw News, “Enrollment
growing at New Millennium Center as it moves into former St. Andrew school in
Saginaw,” Aug. 12, 2011
Michigan Education Report, “Cristo Rey:
A new option in Catholic education,” June 16, 2008
Income Linked to School Performance
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — U.S. Census figures continue to show
that public school districts with the highest poverty rates often have the
lowest reading and math scores, according to a report by Booth News Service.
State and federal governments have tried to address that by
providing extra funding to school districts for “at-risk” students, a state
official told Booth, while two economic researchers said that boosting family
income appears to boost test scores.
The problem is not that low-income children can’t achieve, Jan
Ellis, Michigan Department of Education spokeswoman told Booth News. In
addition to “at-risk” funding, she said that the state’s recent emphasis on
early childhood development is meant to boost school preparedness.
Two economic researchers told Booth News that a modest
increase in family income — about $1,000 a year — can result in higher math and
reading scores among students from low-income families. The research, based on
changes in the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, is pending publication in the
American Economic Review, Booth News reported.
In contrast, earlier media reports have noted cases of
Michigan school districts “beating the odds” by achieving high test scores
among low-income students.
Booth News Service, “School
achievement closely tracks with family income in Michigan, Census 2010 figures
show,” Aug. 14, 2011
Michigan Education Digest, “Schools
shouldn’t use race, poverty as excuse,” April 30, 2009
Michigan Education Report, “Charter
report favorable, state board wants more,” Feb. 24, 2009
Law School Grads Sue Over Jobs, Salary Data
LANSING, Mich — Four graduates of Thomas M. Cooley Law
School are suing the college for $250 million, claiming it uses misleading
statistics on post-graduate employment and salaries as a way to attract
students, the Lansing State Journal reported.
The alumni have been unable to find work in the legal
field, the Journal reported, and their lawsuit alleges "dubious
calculations and deliberate omissions” about jobs data by Cooley.
Cooley officials called the claims “simply baseless” in a
written statement, according to the Journal.
The data isn’t an issue just at Cooley, but at all law
schools, one attorney told the Journal. While American Bar Association rules
call for law schools to report post-graduate employment, it does not require
them to distinguish whether their alumni are employed in the legal profession
or a different field, the Journal reported. Also, only self-reported salary
data is required, which tends to skew toward higher wage-earners, the report
The ABA currently is reconsidering its reporting
requirements, the Journal reported.
The "real" employment number among law school
graduates “would shock people,” attorney David Anziska told the Journal. He is
with the New York firm Kurzon Strauss, which is representing the plaintiffs.
Lansing State Journal, “4
grads sue Cooley for $250M; saying job-finding, salary number inflated,”
Aug. 11, 2011
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan
has oversupply of new teachers,” Aug. 9, 2011
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (https://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.