By Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Public Radio

A new report from the Education Trust-Midwest says without vast improvements to public education, Michigan is on track to become 49th in the country for white student achievement by 2030.

The report says if nothing changes, Michigan will rank in the bottom ten states for student learning in reading and math.

ETM is launching a new initiative to turn those numbers around and make Michigan a top-ten performing state within 15 years.

Amber Arellano, executive director, says Michigan can change its trajectory toward that goal within three to five years.

“We know now a lot about what is helping leading education states and high-growth states improve dramatically in a fairly quick amount of time,” she said.

Arellano says the first step is reading.

The ETM report says Michigan has fallen ten places in fourth grade reading since 2003, going from 28th to 38th in the country.

“One of the most important predictors for kids’ success is whether they’re reading by third grade,” Arellano said. “Let’s commit to making sure that every child in Michigan is reading by third grade.”

ETM is rallying parents, teachers and school administrators as well as business leaders and civic groups to get behind its new initiative.

“It’s a clarion call for everyone who really cares deeply about our schools and really wants to spend focused time rebuilding our public education system,” Arellano said.