Low math and science test scores for Michigan students

A few days after demanding $4.2 billion worth of raises for the nation’s wealthiest teachers, Michigan state school superintendent Mike Flanagan praised their students’ poor math and science test scores as evidence of “progress.”

The Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests third through eighth graders in reading, writing, math, and science. Last year’s results, released Monday, showed that roughly 67 percent of students statewide were proficient in reading.

Unfortunately, that was the high-water mark. Students scored worse in all other subjects. Only 13.1 percent of fifth graders passed the science test.

But the results constituted modest improvements in most subjects, leading Flanagan to salute teachers and students for their hard work.

“These gains demonstrate Michigan’s teachers and students are rising to the challenge of the rigorous standards established last year,” Flanagan said in a statement. “I am encouraged by the progress we are making in Michigan and look forward to the continued efforts to help all students achieve at a higher level in all subjects.”

Two weeks ago, Flanagan suggested that Michigan students could only achieve better math and science test scores if their teachers’ salaries were increased to the $100,000+ range.

His comments were criticized by Michael Van Beek, an education analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who noted that Michigan already pays its teachers higher salaries than any other state except Illinois.

“If you wanted to bring the average salary all the way up to $100,000, it would cost over $4 billion,” said Van Beek, in a previous interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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