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Flanagan Defends Teachers After Report Saying Michigan Falling Behind In Education

The state’s top education official says people should not blame teachers for a new report that shows Michigan schools falling behind.

The Education Trust-Midwest presented its study to the state Board of Education Tuesday.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher has more.

The report says student growth is increasing in other states - but not so much in Michigan. That’s especially true for minority and low-income students.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the findings are troubling. But he says it’s not because the state lacks talented and dedicated teachers.

“If I don’t point that out, teachers will think, ‘Wait, we’re working as hard as we can,’” he says.  “And they are actually moving the bar, they just haven’t quite reached there – and we need to reach there.”

Flanagan says the state’s adoption of more rigorous school standards and a new statewide teacher evaluation system could help boost student performance.         

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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