By Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

Michigan students are on a path that will eventually put them on par with their peers in states like Alabama and Arkansas. Since those states are known for being chronic academic underperformers, this not a good trajectory.

It’s not news that Michigan has started to lag many other states in the performance of its students. And it’s not just poor and minority students who are struggling — white students are also performing at a lackluster pace. By 2019, Michigan’s white students are set to be 49th in the country in the important measure of fourth-grade reading.

African-American and Latino students in Michigan are also some of the lowest performing in the country.

This should set off alarm bells for education, business and political leaders in this state.

A new campaign from the Education Trust-Midwest is hoping to spur school reform into action. Michigan Achieves, launched today, intends to bring stakeholders together to improve K-12 schools. The idea is to make Michigan a top 10 education state by 2030.

Given the state of education in Michigan, that’s a tall order — but an essential one.