In Michigan it appears we are finally going to do something about improving our highways and other roads. Yet, we do little about improving the roadway to success for our citizens and our state. The opinion in the Detroit Free Press titled Stalled To Soaring by Ed Trust Midwest and after I do I will be more than happy to change any comments I make that are not correct or out of line.
Teachers matter, accountability matters and funds to fix the problem matter. Unfortunately this article does not provide further information or direction to the issue. Good information would include sharing how much money per pupil do the high performing states provide for education, what portion of that goes to teacher training, how do they address making schools and teachers more accountable and what are the average salaries of teachers.
If Detroit is ever going to recover from its collapse, the education of its youth is a must. More money and other resources must be committed to this objective or the city will remain in the abyss. The same is true with the state. Governor Snyder likes to refer to Michigan as the comeback state and points with pride to the progress the state has made since he was elected. In doing so he fails to mention the number one reason for the state "coming back" is the national government appointed their own emergency manager to the auto industry and saved it from total collapse.
Just as the U.A. W. played a role in the auto industry collapse so has the teachers union played a role in the collapse of education in our state. In both cases, before the collapse of their respective industries the unions did not put enough weight on the fact that in order for its members to succeed its schools must succeed. One result of the auto industries reorganization was members of the U.A.W. accepted some concessions that allowed our domestic automakers to better compete. Teacher unions may need to do the same thing in order for our public schools to succeed.
Update April 14, 2014: I read EdTrust Midwest’s latest report and must say it is well written and does an excellent job of comparing results in Michigan to the two high performing states of Massachusetts and Tennessee. What it did not do was compare the cost of the plans in the two other states to cost that Michigan spends on primary and secondary education on a per pupil basis. We live in a world of limited resources and if the cost in Michigan is going to rise as a result adopting EdTrust's recommendations we must garner the resources to do so which either means higher taxes or cuts elsewhere.
My guess is the total cost of education between Michigan and the other two states will not be very different, however where the money is spent will vary significantly. Michigan is a union state, Tennessee is not. and therefore teacher salaries here in Michigan will probably be somewhat higher..
Thank you EdTrust and let's hope Michigan takes it from here.