Michigan’s indicators show promise — but lack detail.
Michigan’s indicators have promise and show innovation, but lack clarity around the reasons for selection, research basis, and alignment to targets and goals — whether interim, long term, or systemic. The state has outlined the following indicators: academic achievement (in all four subjects), academic growth (in all four subjects), English-learner progress, graduation rate (four-, five-, and six-year cohort rates), and a final composite indicator made up of chronic absenteeism, time spent in fine arts, music, physical education, and access to library specialist, 11th– and 12th-grade advanced coursework, and high school postsecondary enrollment rates. Michigan’s idea to include science and social studies is positive and will help balance out concerns about curriculum narrowing.
But, Michigan provides little information in its description of its indicators, and no substantive detail about how these indicators are valid, reliable, backed by research, increase student learning, relate to postsecondary outcomes, or meaningfully differentiate schools.
Michigan’s postsecondary enrollment indicator is promising — but again, lacks detail.
The state’s proposed weighting of the four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates is a potentially useful concept. However, its current structure assigns a 50 percent weight to extended-year graduation rates, and the state could strengthen its plan by emphasizing the four-year graduation rate with a more significant weight.