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Gov. Snyder's 21st Century Education Commission recommends solutions for improving educational opportunities for all Michigan students

Proposed reforms aim to build a high-performing public system from preschool through post-secondary education

Friday, March 10, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s 21st Century Education Commission – created by Gov. Rick Snyder one year ago – today released a report of recommended solutions to ensure higher-quality education opportunities for all Michigan students.

Snyder created the Commission through Executive Order 2016-6 after he announced plans for it during his 2016 State of the State address.

“If we are going to have a P-20 educational system that truly prepares our children for the 21st Century in Michigan and the world, we must be willing to admit where that system is falling short today,” Snyder said, “I thank the Commissioners for their efforts to develop a blueprint for how we can finally transform our educational system. We need to take action that helps prepare Michigan students to find the greatest possible success along the path toward our future."

The 25-member Commission – comprised of educators, business leaders, labor representatives, and nonprofit professionals – reached unanimous agreement on numerous recommendations. The chair was Dr. Thomas Haas, president of Grand Valley State University.

“The 21st Century Education Commission was charged with developing recommendations to improve the state’s education system to better prepare students for a global economy,” Haas said. “We have surpassed that charge by collaborating and designing a framework that can shape long-term solutions that will enable all Michigan students’ success.”

As part of the report, the Commission recommends that the State of Michigan set four concrete goals to achieve by 2025:

  • Seventy percent or more of 25-year-olds in Michigan will have completed a college degree, occupational certificate, apprenticeship, or formal skill training.
  • Michigan children will score in the top 10 among U.S. states on the bi-annual National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, math, and science.
  • The high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment gap between low-income and middle-income children in Michigan will have disappeared.
  • Michigan children will surpass the scores of Ontario school children on the Programme for International Student Assessment in reading, math, and science.

To achieve these goals, the Commission outlined 32 recommendations in three building blocks that include focus on learning, create a strong culture of success, and build a coherent, connected education system from prenatal to career.

Public input was especially valuable to this process and Commissioners were committed to finding opportunities to engage with the public, both online and in-person at listening tour stops and stakeholder meetings around the state.

“Commissioners appreciated having the opportunity to meet with parents, educators, and Michiganders from around the state to gather ideas about how we can all work to transform Michigan’s education system, critically important for Michigan’s success,” Haas said.

The full text of the report is available here. You can find an executive summary of the report here.