A March 20 memo from the Michigan Department of Education declared that emergency online education would not count toward a school’s required number of instructional hours. The declaration added confusion and frustration to the state-ordered school building closures prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Among those most upset by the discouraging message in the department’s memo were educators in places like the West Bloomfield school district, which had already acted quickly to prepare. While the gap in state leadership has left students and teachers in the lurch, many schools and teachers are pressing on to meet student needs even as they adapt to the new landscape.

About the writer: Ben DeGrow is the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. He joined the center in 2015 after a long stint at Colorado’s Independence Institute, where he provided expert analysis on school choice, school finance, collective bargaining and education employment policies.

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