Press Release

The following statement may be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, on the release of 2020-21 Michigan student data.

“These new data demonstrate what national research predicted: Michigan’s students have experienced significant unfinished learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest. “National research also suggests that students who were underserved for decades in our country and state were also the hardest hit during the pandemic, exacerbating the vast inequities in learning and in our public schools.

“That’s why districts must act with great urgency to address unmet learning needs, including by focusing their historic federal and state funding on students’ educational recovery to ensure all students have the real opportunity to not only catch up but to accelerate their learning.  Such strategies should be based on research and what we know works, such as targeted intensive tutoring, expanded learning time, and investments in building strong relationships to provide a foundation for student engagement, belonging and deep learning.

“At the same time, Michigan should be developing statewide systems to make sure these investments are being spent on strategies that are proven to be effective in raising student achievement — and then hold schools accountable for student outcomes — so that every Michigan student has an opportunity to realize their full potential. Presently, we do not have the proper data and other systems that are needed to monitor how dollars are being spent and on which students; which interventions are being used; how to measure which interventions are most effective at accelerating student learning; and even whether dollars are reaching the classrooms for the students for whom they are intended.  Now is the moment for greater fiscal accountability in Michigan — and a real commitment to improving the system’s transparency and effectiveness.”