LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's academic standards in math earned an A-, while its English standards received a D in a report issued this week by the Fordham Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based education think tank, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The report compares current academic standards in each state with the newly developed "Common Core" national standards that states are being encouraged to adopt. Michigan already has signed on to the Common Core and is in the process of aligning its own math and English standards to meet the national set, the Journal reported.

Michigan requirements on what kindergarten through twelfth-grade students should know and be able to do in mathematics earned a grade of A- from Fordham, while English standards received a D for lack of clarity, specificity and academic rigor, the Journal reported. The Common Core standards themselves received a B+ in English and an A in math from Fordham.

"Both are strong curriculums," Jan Ellis of the Michigan Department of Education told the Journal regarding Michigan's math and English programs. "The study took issue with the specificity of our standards."

The Common Core standards were organized and developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Michigan teachers will begin training in the Common Core standards this fall, a move that, along with adopting national standards, would improve its English grade in the Fordham study to a B+, Ellis told the Journal. Classroom instruction according to the national standards begins in 2012, and assessment tests on the new set begin in 2014.

Lansing State Journal, "Michigan gets A- in K-12 math standards," July 21, 2010

Michigan Education Digest, "Michigan Adopts National Standards," June 22, 2010