LANSING, Mich. — Great Lakes Education Project executive director Beth DeShone released a statement on Saturday morning asking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature to take extraordinary measures to ensure Michigan students receive a full year of learning before being advanced to the next grade, despite being away from the traditional classroom setting from weeks because of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“The purpose of Michigan’s public education system is to educate students and prepare them for the future, and that’s a goal that’s still in reach, even in the midst of a public health crisis,” said DeShone. “Ensuring our kids get a full year of learning to prepare them for the next grade amidst statewide school closures will require innovative, creative, and perhaps even extraordinary approaches, but Michigan’s kids are worth it."
GLEP suggested that the following measures are put into place to ensure students receive a full year of learning, despite ongoing school closures during the COVID-19 crisis include but are not limited to:
- Investing in and broadly deploying online learning opportunities and digital classrooms for students;
- Embracing mastery-based learning, empowering students to work ahead or take the added time to fully understand the content and demonstrate their progress, even during building closures;
- Delaying not eliminating state testing;
- Extending the school year
- Utilizing all school resources to deliver education outside of the school building like buses to be WiFi hotspots, and delivery vehicles for meals and educational materials.
- Additionally, educational measures that were in place before the closures should remain on track, like A-F school report cards.