LANSING, Mich., June 30, 2021 — State Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) led a coalition of legislators to create a package of education bills targeted at implementing the U.S. Education Department waiver into statute. These bills would prevent students, educators, administrators and schools from being penalized due to standardized testing scores administered during COVID-19.
“Our teachers have already been through so much during the last two school years,” said Stone, sponsor of HB 5049. “From the abrupt transition to online schooling to the uncertainty of the safety of in-person school, while we followed the best advice of doctors and public health officials, our teachers have risen above impossible circumstances. We should be commending them, not subjecting them to standards that even under ideal circumstances are questionable.”
“The A-F school grading model is the last thing our school boards and administrators need to be thinking about as they rebuild over the next year,” said Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), sponsor of HBs 5050 and 5052. “We have a responsibility to ensure that schools have the resources they need to educate and support our students as they return to full-time in person learning this fall. Waiving letter grades for schools for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years is a good place to start.
“Even under the best circumstances tying teacher evaluations to students’ standardized test scores was dubious,” said Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), sponsor of HB 5051. “To continue the practice this year after everything our students and teachers have been through would be cruel and counterproductive. Our educators need to be focused on teaching our students the skills they need to be successful, not how to take a test.”
The legislation has been referred to the House Education Committee and is awaiting a hearing. The package includes House Bills 5049-5052:
- HB 5049 would waive the 3rd Grade Reading Retention Law for the 2020-2021 school year.
- HB 5050 would waive letter grades for schools for 2020, 2021, 2022 school years.
- HB 5051 would waive the student data from teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year.
- HB 5052 would waive the student data from administrator evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year.