Press Release

One year after statewide school shutdowns, public webinars will explore the state of Michigan education now — and what to do next

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (March 16, 2021) – One year after the statewide school shutdowns due to COVID-19, much remains unknown about the extent of learning loss among Michigan’s students. To ensure educational recovery, The Education Trust-Midwest announced today it will host a series of expert-led virtual panel discussions exploring solutions to help Michigan students catch up and accelerate their learning.

The series, Michigan’s Educational Recovery: What Now, What Next?, will include learnings from leading education states; panel discussions on leveraging best strategies for underserved students in high-poverty schools; and research to address the literacy crisis.

“We are deeply concerned about the disrupted learning students have experienced over the course of two school years due to the pandemic, especially for our most underserved students,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, a non-profit, non-partisan education research and advocacy organization.

Arellano cited early studies that suggest vulnerable students are likely to experience the greatest learning loss amid the pandemic.

“Now is the time to be bold in our next steps,” she said. “Through this series, we hope to shed light on strategies from leading education states, showcase promising plans in Michigan and proven research known to raise student achievement, and demonstrate a solution-oriented path to ensure Michigan’s educational recovery.”

The webinars, which will be free and open to the public, will launch in April. The series includes:

  • Michigan’s Educational Recovery: What Now, What Next? – A panel discussion exploring lessons from leading education states.
  • High Impact Strategies in High Poverty Schools – A panel discussion with educators on leveraging best strategies for underserved students as we recover from COVID-19 and beyond.
  • Michigan’s Reading Crisis: Our Response to COVID-19 – This panel discussion will look at data from Michigan’s youngest learners and explore strategies known to improve reading.

The public conversations build upon Ed Trust-Midwest’s efforts to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement among Michigan’s children, particularly students of color, English learners, students with disabilities and children from low-income backgrounds. Learn more at

The Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to improving outcomes for all Michigan students, especially for African American, Latino, American Indian, and low-income students. The Education Trust-Midwest believes in the power of intelligent education policy and practices — informed by data, research, and the successes of other states — to make Michigan a top ten education state for all students.