The Smartest Kids in the Nation
Dozens of states have taken steps to raise student achievement in their public schools – dramatically improving student scores on national tests. In Michigan, progress has remained agonizingly, stubbornly flat. How did this happen?
As Michigan students muddle along in academic mediocrity, their peers across much of the nation are zooming past. What are other states doing that Michigan is not? Bridge visited four to find out.
Comparing the latest NAEP scores from Michigan and Tennessee, you might not notice much difference: students in both states produce middling results. But these graphics show how Tennessee students are rapidly improving, while Michigan has barely budged.
A perennial bottom dweller in academic rankings, Tennessee has sprinted to respectability by demanding more of teachers and students and giving them the tools to succeed.
Minnesota traces its elite status to tough academic standards, the nation’s most extensive early childhood education program and higher investment in low-income schools.
Florida students, including low-income students, have risen dramatically in national academic rankings while students in Michigan are being left behind.
Emphasis on literacy and testing to monitor progress are credited with a rise in student learning in Florida, particularly for low-income and minority students. But some ask, how much is too much?
Use our interactive graphs to compare Michigan and Massachusetts across a wide range of test scores.
Tough standards, targeted funding and a difficult test that every student must pass have elevated Massachusetts to the top of the class.
We asked four fierce, very different education advocates how to improve Michigan schools. They hit on many reforms successfully used in leading states.
Students from Minnesota to Florida are learning more. Is Michigan ready to do something about it?
The board’s report cites the recent Bridge series, “The smartest kids in the nation,” which chronicled how other states saw gains when they targeted funds to the schools that needed help most.