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Michigan Schools Fail To Meet Federal Goals

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – More than 700, or one in every five, Michigan public schools failed to meet the academic goals of the federal “No Child Left Behind” law during the 2010-11 school year, according to the latest schools report card.

About 300 schools in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties did not meet the goals and the Detroit Public Schools had nearly 100 schools on the list.

- Individual school report cards are available at this link

The sharp rise in the number of schools failing to meet academic goals is because of higher expectations on standardized tests. About 14 percent of Michigan’s schools had failed to meet adequate yearly progress standards in 2009-10, compared to 21 percent in the most recent round of testing.

“We must continue to set high expectations for our schools so our students are prepared for the competitive global economy,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said in a statement. “But we need an accurate and honest reflection of where our schools are in preparing our students.”

Just 60 percent of Michigan’s high schools made adequate progress this year, down from nearly 82 percent a year ago. Similar declines have happened in other years when higher testing targets have taken effect.

Flanagan said he expects the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress will continue to fall next year as Michigan increases its testing standards. The bar required to meet progress standards is rising faster than the general improvement on Michigan’s standardized test scores.

“A couple of decades ago, achieving a very basic level of proficiency was sufficient to earn a living wage,” Flanagan said. “Today, students need to graduate from high school career and college-ready.”

“While scores may initially decline, educators support this change because preparing students for long-term success is the right thing to do,” Flanagan said. “I have faith that our outstanding educators across this state will rise to this challenge – and continue to do so with honest effort and integrity.”

All states are required to establish annual English language arts and math proficiency targets under the No Child Left Behind law. Those targets generally are getting higher and are expected to reach 100 percent by the 2013-14 school year.

Schools that repeatedly fail to make adequate progress face sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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