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Michigan’s Deputy Superintendent Says Can Focus On Improving Test Scores & Skilled Trades Education


The state says it can improve low student test scores and get more kids into skilled trades.

The so-called “nation’s report card” came out Tuesday.  It ranks Michigan near the bottom third in areas like 4th grade reading and math and 8th grade reading.  Michigan has made little progress over the years in improving student scores. 

The state Board of Educationalso met Tuesday, and one of the focuses was on the governor’s plan to put more money toward skilled trades training for students.  He recently proposed $100 million in new state money for things like scholarships and equipment. 

“When we know that not every child learns the same way, then we have to be able to provide the instruction, the mode of instruction and mode of assessment that matches the child,” said Sheila Alles, Chief Deputy State Superintendent.

Alles says the Department of Education and her office will continue to focus on improving test scores and traditional education in kindergarten through twelfth grade students.  But it can also turn an eye toward skilled trades training for students that want it.

“All of those initiatives working together will help move our high school students be better prepared for college and-or career after high school,” she said.

Alles said there are now more resources available for teachers on best practices for teaching literacy.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at

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