In 2015, The Education Trust-Midwest launched the Michigan Achieves campaign to make Michigan a top ten education state by 2030. Each year, we report on how Michigan is making progress toward that top ten goal based on both student outcome performance metrics and opportunity to learn metrics that signal the  conditions that Michigan is creating that help support — or stagnate — teaching and learning in Michigan public schools.

May 2018

A Five-Point Plan to Make Michigan a Top Ten Education State


As explored through a series of reports by the Education Trust-Midwest, student achievement in Michigan has remained relatively flat while many states have surged
ahead. Michigan students are just as bright and capable as their peers across the country and each deserves a quality education that not only prepares them to graduate from high school, but also to succeed after graduation.

Our educational challenges did not pop up overnight, and will take time to overcome. By recognizing the challenges and focusing on the use of fair and reliable data, sound research, and adequate and equitable support for educators, we can begin to address our public education crisis and improve outcomes for students.

March 2018

Top Ten for Education: Not By Chance


Michigan is at a critical moment in time — a historic moment where our citizens and leaders must choose whether we will take advantage of new opportunities to become a top ten education state — or face a continued and dramatic educational decline. Today, national data reveal that Michigan’s public education system is among the poorest performing in the country, a problem we can ill afford to ignore.

After almost two years of research, including conversations with educators working at the classroom, school, district, intermediate school district and state level, our team found a profound need for far more robust implementation and improvement systems, guided by sustained and visionary leadership. Indeed, the lack of coherent systems and accountability for consistent improvement are holding back third-grade literacy efforts and squandering millions of dollars. As it stands, the only real accountability for Michigan’s third-grade reading investment exists for the state’s students: under the state’s 2016 policy, students are at-risk for retention in third grade if they are unable to meet grade-level reading expectations.

In this report we dig deeply into the experience of leading education states with a focus on the “how”: how did these states dramatically raise their third-grade reading levels in relatively short periods of time? Over the last two years, our team of researchers visited and talked with more than 50 leaders in these states, mined national and state data, and examined the approaches they used to lift learning for all of their children.

May 2016

Michigan’s Talent Crisis: The Economic Case for Rebuilding Michigan’s Broken Public Education System

Michigan is at great crossroads – a historic moment when our citizens and leaders must choose whether we will take advantage of major new opportunities to become a top state economically and educationally once again – or face a continued and dramatic decline that will relegate the state and its citizens to global backwater status. The path we take during the next five years will be critical in determining which destination we reach.

May 2015

Michigan Achieves: Becoming a Top Ten Education State

Our 2015 State of Michigan Education Report, Michigan Achieves: Becoming a Top Ten Education State, lays out a comprehensive plan to lift Michigan up from the bottom and into one of our nation’s top ten education states by 2030.

We do this by targeting investment in key areas that research shows have the best results. Leading education states have shown that a focus on teaching quality, higher standards and school accountability can truly put us on the path to success.