For Immediate Release
Friday, Sept. 26, 2007
Contact: Dr. Ryan S. Olson
Director of Education Policy
MIDLAND —Michigan’s performance on the
2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress fell or remained the same in
both reading and mathematics, according to results released Tuesday by the U.S.
Department of Education. The results underscore the need for the state to reject
status quo approaches to public school reform, said Dr. Ryan S. Olson, director
of education policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
"Lansing policymakers who are
battling for higher public school spending ignore the well-established fact that
simply raising more revenue for schools has not and will not improve results,"
Olson said. "Michigan public schools have received generous annual funding
increases — total revenues reached more than $19 billion last year — and yet our
NAEP results have basically stagnated, in some cases declined and in only one
case improved by two points."
In eighth-grade reading, Michigan
students ranked 32nd among the 50 states with an average scale score of 260
points, a decline from the state’s previous ranking of 29th on the 2005 NAEP
reading test. Similarly, Michigan eighth graders ranked 36th in mathematics with
a score of 277 points, having fallen from 33rd place in the 2005 state rankings.
According to the 2007 results, 29 percent of Michigan eighth graders are
"proficient" or "advanced" in mathematics — the same as 2005 — and 28 percent
scored at those levels in reading in 2007 and 2005.
Michigan maintained its 2005 rankings for the fourth-grade NAEP reading and
mathematics tests, ranking 30th both years in reading and 32nd both years in
mathematics. In reading, 32 percent of fourth-grade students were proficient or
above in 2007 — the same percentage as in 2005 — and in mathematics, 37 percent
of students scored at those levels in 2007, one percentage point lower than in
"On the whole, our neighboring states are making gains in reading and math,
while Michigan’s results are flat or falling, revealing yet again the need for
incentives-based reforms in Michigan," Olson said. "Like every other part of
American life, education can benefit from competition, which will provide
incentives to lower costs and improve services. Student learning will improve
when we adopt policies that create more competition in Michigan education —
competition among those who administer and provide health benefits, those who
provide support services and those who seek the privilege of educating Michigan
The Mackinac Center’s budget and education recommendations can be found on its Web site at www.mackinac.org.