Subbing out teachers

How Michigan is increasingly relying on uncertified substitutes to teach its struggling students 

Full Coverage

Michigan leans on long-term substitutes as its schools struggle

Michigan leans on long-term substitutes as its schools struggle

Aug 7, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

In the last five years, the number of long-term substitutes taking over public classrooms has risen tenfold in Michigan. Critics say reliance on subs is an embarrassment for a state with lagging school performance.

How a wedding planner became an uncertified Michigan teacher for $15 an hour

How a wedding planner became an uncertified Michigan teacher for $15 an hour

Aug 7, 2019 | Ron French

One was a wedding planner. The other, an assistant basketball coach. Their stories say a lot about how Michigan increasingly is using long-term substitutes, full-time teachers with no training in education to lead classrooms.

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

Aug 7, 2019 | Ron French

At the fast-growing Charlton Heston Academy in St. Helen, nearly half of classrooms were staffed by uncertified, long-term substitutes last year. Superintendent says it’s not ideal, but charter can’t attract certified teachers.

Expert: Michigan’s reliance on long-term subs ‘should concern all of us’

Expert: Michigan’s reliance on long-term subs ‘should concern all of us’

Aug 8, 2019 | Ron French

University of Michigan School of Education dean Elizabeth Birr Moje says Michigan risks widening achievement gaps between poor and more affluent students through the increased use of untrained teachers.

Alarmed by long-term subs, Detroit raised teacher pay and offered bonuses

Alarmed by long-term subs, Detroit raised teacher pay and offered bonuses

Aug 8, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The pay incentives, after years of cutbacks, allowed the state’s largest school district to hire hundreds of additional certified teachers, often plucking them from charter schools.

Michigan school leaders decry explosion of untrained teachers in classrooms

Michigan school leaders decry explosion of untrained teachers in classrooms

Aug 9, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

School leaders including new state Superintendent Michael Rice say time and money are needed to reduce growth of long-term substitutes, following Bridge Magazine investigation.

Michigan schools say they can’t find enough substitute teachers

Michigan schools say they can’t find enough substitute teachers

Aug 27, 2019 | Ron French

More and more public schools are struggling to find someone to lead classes when teachers are out – a sign of a growing teacher shortage and a humming economy where people can find more lucrative jobs.

Taught by substitute teachers, Michigan students relied on YouTube for lessons

Taught by substitute teachers, Michigan students relied on YouTube for lessons

Aug 27, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The Universal Academy in Detroit received notoriety in June when a video went viral of the co-salutatorians criticizing the value of their education. Concerns over schools’ reliance on subs remain.

Fewer Michigan college students want to be teachers. That’s a problem.

Fewer Michigan college students want to be teachers. That’s a problem.

Oct 17, 2019 | Ron French

Declining enrollment in teacher prep programs means bigger teacher shortages, which leads to more uncertified teachers leading Michigan classrooms.

 Get tickets for Lansing event on growth of long-term substitute teachers

Get tickets for Lansing event on growth of long-term substitute teachers

Oct 21, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Bridge Magazine uncovered that up to 50,000 K-12 students in Michigan are being taught by long-term (often uncertified) substitute teachers. You can weigh in and hear experts talk about this troubling trend, and how to fix it.