Michigan Schools Meet Merit Requirements

Michigan Public Schools saw a significant “raising of the bar” for graduation standards in 2006. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed the Michigan Merit Curriculum into law after a team of educational and community leaders created recommendations for stricter and more comprehensive graduation standards. The new graduation requirements began with last year’s eighth grade classes in the Michigan Schools, and received broad support from the educational community.

Spring of 2007 marked the last time that juniors in the Michigan Schools were required to take the Michigan Educational Assessment Plan (MEAP) used in Michigan’s system of school rankings. Instead, Michigan Schools will now administer the Michigan Merit Exam (MME). One benefit of the new exam is that it will provide the students with the ACT test scores required for college admission, and therefore save families the cost and time of that additional test.

Michigan Schools See a Need for Change

According a Time Magazine article in December of 2006, the fall of the automobile industry was a major factor in prompting the Michigan Schools to make changes. The loss of jobs for non-graduates in that industry highlighted the need to increase the percentage of graduates from Michigan Schools. According to numbers from the EPE Research Center, Detroit Schools ranked 11th lowest in the nation for graduation rates with 21.7% in 2006.

The 2007-2008 school year will be the first year that Michigan Schools will see these changes in full force. According to a parent pamphlet created by the Michigan Schools, every student will create an Educational Development Plan (EDP) starting in the seventh grade. The plan will assist parents and students in the Michigan Schools with exploring career options and creating a guide to get the students to these goals.

Michigan Schools Raise Expectations

The Michigan Merit Curriculum High School Graduation Requirements are among the most demanding in the nation. Students in Michigan Schools, starting with those who entered 8th grade in 2006, will need to meet the following course load requirements to qualify for graduation: 4 English credits, 4 math credits, 3 science credits, 3 social studies credits, 1 physical education credit, 1 visual, performing and applied arts credit, an online learning experience, and 2 credits in a language other than English.

Prior to these unified state standards, graduation requirements differed among each district in the Michigan Schools. The 16 core graduation requirements are designed to give students better preparation for working in a global economy, and the skills needed to succeed in both college and the workplace.

Students in the Michigan Schools take up to 24 possible credits in their high school years. The additional electives are designed to help students pursue their specific field of interest like music, science, or business.

The pressure is on the Michigan Schools to rise to both national No Child Left Behind mandates, and the self-imposed new Merit guidelines. While most Michigan Schools residents are in agreement that the standards are overdue, the big question is how the state will help students achieve these goals. The 2007-2008 school year is critical as parents, teachers, and administrators strive to help the students in Michigan Schools achieve these goals.

Michigan Schools Meet Merit Requirements 8 of 10 on the basis of 2726 Review.