Michigan Philanthropy on Boosting Educational Excellence

Leaders from Michigan’s foundation and civic communities came together last week for the Council of Michigan Foundation’s 46th Annual Conference. The conference included presentations and discussions on “Boosting Educational Excellence

Keynote panelists included Carlos Sanchez (Ferris State University), Nancy Moody (DTE Energy), Amber Arellano (Education Trust-Midwest), Julie Ridenour (Steelcase Foundation), Ashley Johnson (Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation), and Troy Wilbon (Grand Rapids Public Schools).

The panel covered a range of important topics related to improving educational excellence and equity, including expanded internships and summer employment opportunities, the Launch Michigan collaborative effort to do better for our students, supporting Michigan educators, and supporting stronger school leadership.

MLPP: Race, Place and Policy Matter in Education

A recently released report from the Michigan League for Public Policy highlights the many inequities in education in Michigan. Like much of the research on opportunities and success in Michigan schools, Race, Place and Policy Matter in Education found that students of color and students from low-income families face far greater barriers to educational opportunities and success.

While Michigan’s student population grows increasingly diverse, Michigan’s educator workforce is overwhelmingly White. This is concerning because a wide body of research points to the importance of educator diversity for student learning. As highlighted last week in Lifting the Veil: Michigan’s Uncounted, students of color and students from low-income families are twice as likely as White and more affluent peers to change schools during the school year. This change can be disruptive to student learning.

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Credit: Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire.

The consequences of these, and many other educational inequities are glaring.

African American, Latino and low-income students lag far behind their peers across the board. By the end of the third grade, 8 in 10 African American students and two-thirds of Latino students are not proficient in English Language Arts. These large inequities persist throughout K-12 education and are reflected in middle school math and college entrance exams, as well.

@ArellanoTweets: Many thanks to CMF @michfoundations for championing the importance of excellence and equity in #mich public education today. So many important perspectives and efforts shared. #CMFSpark18 #michiganachieves #edtrustmidwest #launchmichigan