LANSING, Mich. — Senate Republicans on Thursday announced their plan to improve childhood learning and support teachers in the state’s K-12 schools. Their MI Brighter Future plan will include measures to help students gain access to additional resources and learning opportunities, require proven training methods for educators, give parents more control over their child’s progress, reinstate accountability in teacher evaluations, and provide for performance-based bonuses.
“As the Legislature continues to provide record funding for our schools, Michigan’s students continue to fall behind their peers in other states — ranking poorly in reading and math proficiency and near the bottom in high school graduation rates,” said Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Porter Township.
“Despite these troubling trends, Lansing Democrats have spent the past year sweeping these problems under the rug — lowering learning and accountability standards for students and their teachers. But there is a better path forward. Senate Republicans will not stand idly on the sideline as Michigan’s children are left behind. Our MI Brighter Future plan will provide students, parents, and teachers with the help they need and it will raise the bar for everyone.”
The four pillars of the MI Brighter Future plan are:
- Set the bar high. Strengthen key provisions of the third grade reading law, require student progress to be part of every teacher’s evaluation process once again, and restore the A-F grading scale for parents to easily understand how schools are performing.
- The best teachers where they’re needed most. Provide bonuses to highly effective teachers who take positions in schools where they can have the biggest impact.
- Give every kid a chance. No student should ever be left behind because of their means or ZIP code. Scholarship opportunities will help families afford additional educational assistance and help cover the costs of summer or after-school reading programs.
- Back to the basics. Reading is the foundation of a successful education. But too many schools have gone away from teaching the basics and reading scores have plummeted. Our plan will ensure teachers are trained in proven phonics-based reading methods that have worked for decades.