This is actually a very funny article in The 74, the unofficial voice of the privatization, union-busting movement.

The Republicans in the state legislature want to abolish the State Board of Education (which they don’t control) because of the state’s plummeting test scores.

The legislators do not consider that the state’s total embrace of choice without accountability (the DeVos plan) might be responsible for the state’s decline.

That would require some thought and reflection, which is in short supply in Lansing.

In a move to radically upend Michigan’s governance over schools, Republican lawmakers are seeking to eliminate the elected state board of education. While many believe it’s unlikely the legislation will pass, both its authors and detractors agree that some action is necessary to arrest an alarming decline in local academic performance.

The proposal is spearheaded by state Rep. Tim Kelly, chairman of the House Education Reform Committee and a longtime critic of the state board. He led a similar effort last year in response to its guidance on the needs of transgender students, accusing members of “practicing social engineering with every progressive agenda that comes down the pike.”

That push attracted dozens of cosponsors but ultimately fell short. Abolishing the board would require a constitutional amendment passed by two-thirds of both the state House and Senate, followed by public approval of a ballot measure in the next election. Kelly, recently nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as assistant education secretary under fellow Michigander Betsy DeVos, has assailed the board as a superfluous institution muddling the question of exactly who has jurisdiction over Michigan schools.”

The elimination of districts and the promotion of choice and charters has coincided with a dramatic drop in the state’s performance on the federally-funded National Assessment of Educational Progress.

In 2015, Michigan ranked 41st and 42nd in the country, respectively, for fourth-grade reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card — down from 28th and 27th in 2003. It experienced more modest drops in both eighth-grade reading and math as well, fanning worries of a comprehensive downturn in school quality throughout the state.

Michigan is witnessing systemic decline across the K-12 spectrum,” read a 2016 report from The Education Trust-Midwest. “White, black, brown, higher-income, low-income — it doesn’t matter who they are or where they live, Michigan students’ achievement levels in early reading and middle school math are not keeping up with the rest of the U.S., much less our international competitors.”

Some local observers have laid blame for the poor results at the feet of school choice advocates, most notably U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. After the widespread expansion of charter schools and open enrollment across school districts, the quality of Michigan schools is no better than it was two decades ago, and arguably a good deal worse. Analysis from Phil Power’s Center for Michigan has found that close to one-third of Michigan charters occupy the state’s bottom quarter of academic performance. About one-quarter of traditional district schools were grouped in that category.

I wonder what Betsy would say? My guess is that she would respond that Michigan needs vouchers, which voters overwhelmingly rejected in a state referendum in 2000. Betsy and her husband Dick DeVos sponsored the referendum. Then Michigan could have three low-performing sectors, not just two.