By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff
Last month Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission released new solutions for improving education in Michigan.
Snyder created the commission through executive order 2016-6 one year ago after his State of the State address.
The commission was created because of the decreased rate of students going on to college and because of data, which is shown at the end of the final report document, that has shown the Michigan’s children are falling behind in K-12 in reading and math performance. The purpose of the commission is to focus on long-term improvements that can enhance student achievement and to better prepare students to enter the economic world.
The 25 educators, business leaders, labor representatives, and nonprofit professionals who run the commission have been responsible for analysing successful educational systems in the nation. The members then see what the other systems are doing that Michigan isn’t doing and recommends changes that can be made to Michigan’s systems.
“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 stated in the press release. Snyder was referring to the type of system that extends education from preschool to college.
The commission suggests that Michigan should set four goals to achieve by 2025. The first goal was to have 70 percent or more of 25-year-olds with a college degree or other formal skill training.
Another goal is to have Michigan children score in the top 10 among U.S states on the bi-annual National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, math and science.
The third goal is to eliminate the time gap that some students take between high school and college. The fourth goal is for Michigan children to surpass the scores of students in Ontario on the Programme for International Student Assessment in reading, math and science.
“College students are affected because this commission has put an emphasis on why it is so important for students to move on to postsecondary education and will work to provide greater access to a college education.” said Tanya Baker, a press contact for Snyder.
Michiganders’ input is encouraged by the commission, especially by students.
“The Commission wants to ensure that Michigan students have a voice in determining what will best prepare them and future generations for college and career success,” Baker said.
Commission will also focus on preparing high school students for college. The commission is hoping to offer more classes that are focused on how students can be successful in college.
“I wasn’t aware of this commission,” said Lydia Lathrop, 19 of Grand Rapids. “But I’m glad to see that more thought is being put into our education and I hope that these changes happen.”
The commission is also working to get more financial aid to the students and provide more scholarships to Michigan high school students. The commission wants to provide more scholarships to students who have shown academic excellence.
“I think that one of the reasons why people aren’t going to college is because it’s so expensive,” said Ian Brzys, 20 of Grand Rapids “some are denied financial aid and can’t afford to enroll. Also, I feel like college is talked down about and doesn’t sound appealing. Hopefully this commission will help.”
Those who would like to learn more about the commission or provide suggestions on how the commission can make Michigan’s educational system better, visit their website.