Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren Releases Recommendations

The road to excellence for Michigan’s troubled schools begins in Detroit, according to the much anticipated report from the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren released March 30.

The coalition was assembled late last year as “an independent, diverse cross-section of Detroit leaders who came together to move swiftly to make recommendations for changes that will improve the city’s education system.”

Major headlines from the report included the call for returning authority for Detroit Public Schools to an elected board instead of an emergency manager.

But one of the more important recommendations, from our perspective, calls for limits on low-performing authorizers, preventing them from opening schools in Detroit.

The report represents the work of dozens of leaders from schools, business groups, advocacy groups and community organizations, including The Education Trust-Midwest.

“We have nearly 20 years of experience with educational experiments in Michigan, and the evidence is clear: choice alone is not a guarantee of quality,” Amber Arellano, ETM’s executive director, says. “There is much to build on in the coalition’s report, and our children can’t wait for another 20 years.”

Leading States Lead in Early Literacy

“States across the nation have come to understand the significance of early literacy as the foundation for economic and academic success,” said Sarah Lenhoff, director of policy and research at The Education Trust-Midwest during testimony to the Michigan House Committee on Education.

“Unfortunately, Michigan is among the lowest performing and improving states for early literacy today. Compared to other states, Michigan’s student performance has declined dramatically in recent years. In fact, Michigan is one of only six states in which 4th graders are learning at lower reading levels today than they were a decade ago.”

Over the past several years, Ed Trust-Midwest has studied programs that work in other states to identify the strategies that will help Michigan to become a top ten education state for all students.
Testimony, slides and video are available at

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Ten Year Growth in Reading

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