Ed Trust-Midwest releases five-point plan for turning around Michigan’s struggling education system

New analysis finds that Michigan K-12 remains low-improving and low-performing for all students

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (May 22, 2018) — In advance of the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference, The Education Trust-Midwest has released a five-point plan with specific recommendations that would put the state on a path toward becoming a top ten education state.

ETM also released a new analysis of the most recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress that finds that Michigan remains low-improving and low-performing for all students including white, black, Latino and low-income students. In particular, Michigan’s white students showed the largest declines in the nation since 2003, compared to white students in other states.

“Our five recommendations are based on key priorities that leading education states have embraced, and we believe they’ll work in Michigan,” according to Amber Arellano, executive director of the Ed Trust-Midwest, a nonpartisan, research, advocacy and technical assistance organization.

The recommendations include strengthening the teacher and principal workforce in Michigan with support and evaluation; spending equitably to reduce gaps between affluent and high-poverty schools; investing in high-leverage, evidence-based practices rather than sticking to outdated methods; insisting on accountability at all levels; and empowering parents with honest, accurate and timely information about school performance. (For details on the recommendations click here.)

The new analysis of the NAEP data finds that Michigan’s failure to improve public education in the state has put Michigan students behind their peers for many subjects, including fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math, both key indicators of future employment, job earnings and academic success.

According to the new ETM analysis, the majority of U.S. states not only have performed higher than Michigan on the NAEP but the majority also made more improvement in student achievement. In fourth grade reading, Michigan was one of only 13 states with declining achievement for all students since 2003.

Among other findings:

  • Michigan’s white students showed the largest declines in the nation since 2003 compared to white students in other states in both fourth-grade reading and math. Over the same time period, Latino student scores saw no improvement in fourth grade math.
  • In eighth-grade math, Michigan ranked in the bottom five states for low-income student performance. Also, in eighth-grade math, Michigan ranked second to last for African American students – scoring only above Arkansas.
  • And while Michigan showed some improvement for low-income and African American students in fourth grade reading since 2003, these gains are not nearly as strong as those made in leading education states.
  • Relative to other states, Michigan has remained underperforming for all students, and especially for students of color and low-income students.

Leaders from business, civil rights, education and both sides of the political aisle plan to come together at Mackinac to discuss key priorities for Michigan during this year’s elections.

“Michigan’s dramatic educational decline makes it clear we are all in this together. We are asking Michiganders of every background to join our campaign to make Michigan a top ten education state,” Arellano said. “The future of our state and country is built upon having empowered, informed, educated citizens — and that is true no matter the background of our students. High-quality education is the driver of today’s economic mobility and growth.”

To get involved in the top ten education state campaign or learn more about what leading education states have done to propel their student achievement growth to lead the nation, visit: michiganachieves.com.