LANSING (WWJ) – A new report released Tuesday from the Education Trust-Midwest paints a bleak picture for the health of Michigan’s education programs.
The Royal Oak-based organization says Michigan has failed to keep pace with the rest of the country and in some cases, we’re performing worse than 10 years ago.
The report shows that in some categories, Michigan performed in the lowest 20 percent of all states. It also shows that white students in Michigan are on pace over the next 15 years to be one of the lowest-ranked in the U.S. in fourth-grade reading.
“This is really a call to Michiganders and to our state leaders to turn Michigan around and make us a top 10 education state in the next 15 years,” said Amber Arellano, Director of Education Trust-Midwest.
Arellano said their plan for turning education around in Michigan focuses on many areas where improvement is needed, including teacher quality, raising standards, accountability and funding equity.
“We know that teaching quality and school leadership are really important predictors of student learning for kids,” she said. “And expanding access to advanced placement courses, which we know are also really important predictors of whether kids will enroll in college and succeed.”
Additional findings from the 2015 annual report:
• Michigan ranks near the bottom in college affordability for all students and 45th out of 47 for low-income students. For families in the bottom 20 percent of income in Michigan, the cost of four-year college for one child, after receiving financial aid, is about 77 percent of their annual income.
• Michigan is also in the bottom ten states in terms of funding equity, meaning the state has some of the biggest gaps in resources between high-poverty districts and those in more well off communities. Similar gaps also exist for teachers in high-poverty schools, who have some of the most important jobs in America.
• Michigan has the third-highest rate of out-of-school suspensions for African Americans in the U.S. From 2011-2012, more than one out of five black students were suspended.
• Since 2003, Michigan’s white students have fallen from 13th to 45th in fourth-grade reading achievement compared to the rest of the country. If the state stays on its current path, white student achievement will be 49th in fourth-grade reading by 2019, ahead of only West Virginia.