As most of us know, the state of Michigan has had major struggles with public school funding and performance over the past few years. Recently the Michigan Department of Education introduced a new approach to improving the current public school issues: The Partnership Model. This model serves to help the lowest performing schools in the state.
Rather than closing, failing districs can enter a partnership agreement, which would allow them to retain local control of their schools, but must agree on certain improvements with the Department of Education that must be achieved within an 18-36 month time frame. Local businesses, non-profits, and colleges all assist to help these schools achieve improvements. The Detroit Public Schools Community District explained, "[we] look forward to using the partnership agreement to improve student outcomes in select schools by establishing relationships with colleges and universities with a focus on developing new teachers and leaders and expanding health services for students and families." As of now, there are 37 schools in 9 districts that have entered into partnership agreements with the Department of Education. Districts are identified through their performance on standardized tests in addition to prior academic performance.
I think that this is definitely a step in the right direction, as the state is identifying specific schools/districts that need the most help. However, if the state is willing to invest its time and money into improving a school, then the school itself must also work to improve, hence the required time frame.
Questions to the caucus:
What is your opinion of the Partnership Model? Can it be effective?
How can this model alleviate the current problems with the state's educational system?