Citizens debate factors behind student success

By Stephanie Hernandez McGavin
The Meridian Times

The Okemos School Board heard some concerns Feb. 9 that district administrators are relying too heavily on state expectations and standardized tests. The district’s School Improvement Plan offered three goals aimed at student proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. While some school board and community members say these goals are fundamental building blocks, others, like school board Secretary Vincent Lyon-Callo, said that a modernized process of education needs to be established. Lyon-Callo worried that holding students to a definitive meaning of success by state standards would stifle some students’ potential.

Achievement gap widens between poorer, richer students

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan has 1.2 million families, with 2.3 million children, 42 percent of them live in low-income families, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. And an achievement gap between them and wealthier children is widening, according to new research. That achievement gap is measured primarily by scores on standardized tests, said Pamela Davis-Kean, director of the Center for the Analysis of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood at the University of Michigan. Davis-Kean, who studies influences of family environments on children’s development, said, “Parents’ income does have indirect influences on children’s school achievement since they don’t have extra money to pay for private day care or tutors.”
Davis-Kean’s research found that home environments are one cause of achievement gaps. “What’s more important are parents’ education levels.