For Immediate Release
Contact: Selma Tucker, Director of Marketing and Communications
Public Sector Consultants
LANSING, Mich. — In a new report, Public Sector Consultants (PSC) takes a close look at Michigan’s troubled education system and proposes solutions for improving student outcomes and strengthening the state’s workforce.
The report, titled Building a Brighter Future: Recommendations for How to Improve Michigan’s Education System, looks at why Michigan has struggled since the economic downturn and makes recommendations on how to boost education outcomes. It also identifies short-term steps and long-term strategic goals in order to improve the overall quality of Michigan’s education system.
This topic is particularly important to the state’s economic future; in order for Michigan to build a talented workforce, it needs to cultivate a successful education system.
How did we get here?
Michigan’s economic struggles have already negatively affected student performance.
“Our state is still suffering the economy’s ill effects,” says PSC vice president Jeff Guilfoyle. “The crippled economy has greatly increased Michigan’s poverty rate and damaged schools financially. Both of these factors have impacted academic performance.”
Between 2000 and 2012, Michigan’s poverty rate increased by 7.3 percentage points, the largest increase of any state and twice the increase in the national rate. In addition, slow economic growth combined with declining enrollment and significant increases in legacy costs have put tremendous fiscal pressure on schools.
What can we do?
PSC recommends the state focus on four areas to improve educational performance:
Invest early: The research is clear. Investments in young children pay off — academically, emotionally, and financially.
Focus on teaching: Ensuring every child has access to a highly effective teacher is essential to improving the state’s academic performance.
Spend efficiently: Given the fiscal pressure on schools, Michigan needs to study its school finance formulas to ensure resources are distributed as efficiently as possible.
Connect postsecondary: Building stronger ties between high schools and postsecondary options will help better prepare students for college and career.
These strategies alone, however, will not lead to a bright future for Michigan children.
“Implementation is key,” says PSC senior consultant Michelle Richard. “Too often, we have policies that are implemented well in some districts, but not others. We owe it to our children to identify effective practices and then provide the support to ensure that all districts can execute these policies.”
For more information about the report and Public Sector Consultants, please visit publicsectorconsultants.com.
A copy of the full report is available below.
Public Sector Consultants is Michigan’s most respected, connected, and dedicated research and program management firm, with specialties in governance and regulation, health care, education, energy, and environmental policy. PSC is committed to providing objective research and sound solutions to the public and private sector.