Governor Granholm Says New Data on High School Performance Demands Bold Solutions

Contact: Heidi Hansen 517-335-6397

November 4, 2004

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today expressed deep concern about new state data on the academic performance of Michigan’s high schools.

In a letter addressed to Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, who is leading a Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, she described the current performance of state high schools as “unacceptable” and said the problem threatens Michigan’s economic future.

Granholm also urged the Lt. Governor and Commission members to find bold solutions to improve the achievement of Michigan high school students.

“I remain convinced that we must raise the level of educational attainment in Michigan if we are to compete for jobs and economic growth” said Granholm.  “We will never achieve our goal of doubling the number of college graduates we produce in Michigan without addressing the performance of our high schools.”

The Governor’s letter cited statistics showing that more than a third of Michigan high schools have failed to meet the academic goals established by the Michigan Department of Education in compliance with federal No Child Left Behind legislation.   The letter also referenced data showing an increase in the number of schools indicating they are graduating less than 80 percent of their students.

Earlier this year, Governor Granholm asked the Lt. Governor to chair the Commission charged it with finding ways to double the number of students earning college degrees in Michigan within 10 years.

The Cherry Commission is expected to issue its recommendations in mid-December.