GLEP: Michigan Department of Education Must Immediately Reverse Course, Stop Punishing Students, Teachers for Learning During COVID Crisis

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MDE’s Decision to Discount Online Learning During School Building Shutdowns Slams the Brakes on Learning

LANSING – Great Lakes Education Project Executive Director Beth DeShone today demanded the Michigan Department of Education immediately reverse course on it’s decision today to punish public school teachers and students who have continued teaching, learning, and growing during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

The Department today distributed a formal policy memo informing teachers and families that those who shifted their learning and classroom experiences online after an executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer last week shuttered school buildings would not receive any credit towards state learning requirements for their time spent learning online.

Many schools, districts, and families shifted this week– at great effort and expense– to online or virtual learning to ensure the school year and their public educations were not disrupted.

“Public school teachers, parents, and students have worked incredibly hard, night and day, to ensure learning and classwork continues even in the face of a public health crisis,” said DeShone.  “MDE just told them to stop trying.  Teachers’ and parents’ efforts should be commended, celebrated, and – most importantly – counted, not coldly discounted by bureaucrats in Lansing.”