A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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Almost No Teachers In District's Low-Performing Schools Considered 'Ineffective'

Lansing School District had only two teachers rated 'ineffective' over the past three years

For the last two years, every high school student in the Lansing School District received a letter from the district stating that all three high schools are on the state’s low-performing watch list.

The letters are mandated after a school is designated as one of the worst performing in the state by finishing in the bottom 5 percent academically.

Yet, according to the district, the effectiveness of its teachers is increasing significantly while it has had more schools put on the state’s low-performing watch list.

In 2009-10, the district had one school on the persistently lowest achieving list. That number increased to two in 2010-11 and then eight in 2011-12 and six in 2012-13. The 2013-14 list of low performing schools will be released later this month by the Michigan Department of Education.

In 2011-12, the Lansing School District rated all 887 of its teachers as “effective” — the second highest of four ratings available. In 2012-13, 337 teachers received “highly effective,” 456 received “effective,” 20 received “minimally effective” and 1 received “ineffective.”

In 2013-14, 363 teachers received “highly effective,” 301 received “effective,” 16 received “minimally effective” and 1 received “ineffective.”

In 2,382 teacher evaluations from 2011-12 to 2013-14, the district found only two teachers to be ineffective. The percentage of top-rated “highly effective” teachers has increased from 0 percent to 41.4 percent to 53.3 percent over the same period.

Lansing School District Spokesman Bob Kolt and Superintendent Yvonne Caamul Canul did not respond to requests for comment.

Leon Drolet, chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, said this is an example of what happens when laws are passed involving the education establishment and the political class: Politicians can say they are making reforms and schools can say they have highly effective teachers.

“You get perverse outcomes that reward the politically powerful,” Drolet said. “Kids are not getting a good education while teachers are told they are highly effective. This works for everybody but the kids.”

Editor's Note: The three Lansing high schools did slightly better on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy “Context and Performance” report card which adjusts test scores to socioeconomic status. Two of the schools were given a “C” (average) and the other a “D” (lowest 30 percent).

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See also:

Dozens of School Districts Consider All Teachers the Same

Less Than 1 Percent of Michigan Teachers Rated 'Ineffective'

Failing School Ranks Every Teacher and Principal 'Highly Effective'

Failing Schools Able to Mark Themselves Up to a Passing Grade

State Gives Failing Schools Perfect Grades For Paperwork

State Says Schools in 'Distress' Are Making 'Adequate Yearly Progress'

Seniority No Longer Supreme For Teacher Recalls

Adam Neuman was not afraid to put his life on the line; he's certainly not afraid of union bullying. He fought for freedom overseas, and he simply wants to exercise it back home. But the Brighton Education Association and his school district are violating his rights.


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