Lansing, Mich., July 23, 2020 — State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), state Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) and Democrats in the House and Senate introduced a package of bills in their respective chambers today to better support teachers and students in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by pausing various state assessments related to education for the 2020-2021 school year. Carter’s bill in the package would waive the A-F grading for the upcoming year.
“Our kids have been set back months by this pandemic and even when we find a way to safely return to in-person instruction, it won’t be business as usual,” said Carter. “We have a responsibility to ensure that our kids and educators have the support and tools they need to get back on track. Our students and teachers need to be focusing on learning, not worrying about the resources they need being taken away from them.”
Collectively, the comprehensive legislative package would:
- Pausing the state mandate that districts evaluate teachers for the 2020-2021 school year (Sheryl Kennedy, D-Davison).
- Amend the requirement of teacher evaluations in tenure act to exclude the 2020-2021 school year (Kennedy).
- Pause the requirement that the Kindergarten Readiness Exam be administered for the 2020-2021 school year (Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown).
- Pause the requirement that districts administer the MSTEP and PSAT 8-10 to receive state aid payments for the 2020-2021 school year (Lori Stone, D-Warren).
- Pause the state mandate that districts administer the Michigan Merit Exam including the ACT Work Keys in the Michigan School Aid Act (Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth).
- Pause the Read by Grade including retention and the requirement of administering the screener for the 2020-2021 school year (Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing).
- Pause the requirement that Michigan Department of Education assign schools a “letter grade” for the 2020-2021 school year (Carter).