Education Trust–Midwest

Michigan Education Achievement Authority statement by W.K. Kellogg Foundation

At the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) we are committed to creating conditions that prepare children for long-term success and independence. Paramount to this effort in our home state of Michigan is making sure all kids are supported by a quality education system that is accountable and held to consistent, high standards across the state.


WKKF supports a myriad of innovative education and learning practices – like the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) – and partnerships between schools, families, communities, government and business that align and strengthen conditions that ensure healthy, whole child development.

NEW REPORT: Our schools need help to better support and evaluate Michigan teachers

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Michigan teachers are our education system’s most valuable asset. And yet as a state, we’ve neglected to make major investments in building our teachers’ ability to teach, unlike a growing number of leading states.  


The lack of such state investment, and its impact on teachers and children, is clear. A new report, “Good for Teachers, Good for Students,” by the nonprofit Education Trust-Midwest finds that Michigan’s local districts and charter schools are struggling mightily to better support teachers to build their skills to raise students’ learning.  High-quality teacher evaluation systems do exactly that, but they are still a rarity in Michigan. 


An Education Trust-Midwest examination of 28 local teacher evaluation models used across Michigan during the 2011-12 school year found that all of them lacked at least one important research-based component, such as reliability. The findings underscore the vital importance of the state’s new effort – expected to be completed by the spring – to create research-based state standards needed to guide local evaluation models; ensure teachers are being evaluated fairly and soundly; and establish a statewide value-added growth model to be used by all schools to be one measure among many in all local evaluation models.

Executive Director Amber Arellano's testimony to the Michigan Legislature on Education Achievement Authority legislation

LANSING, Mich. (November 19, 2012) - The Education Trust-Midwest is Michigan’s only statewide, nonpartisan advocacy, research and policy center focused on one central question: What is best for Michigan’s students, particularly our low-income and minority students? This question guides all of our work at Ed Trust-Midwest – and it is what brings me here today to discuss House Bill 6004 on the EAA. Thank you for taking time today for this important discussion.

Ed Trust-Midwest supports research-based, data-driven strategies that boost student achievement for all children, while closing gaps for low-performing students.

We are hopeful about the potential of the EAA to provide high-performing schools to children in the city of Detroit.  Indeed, we were the first organization in Michigan to publicly call for the implementation of the state’s first recovery district, which eventually became the Education Achievement Authority.

Education Trust-Midwest: State should increase standards, not make it easier for schools to be deemed 'proficient'

Amber Arellano is executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based school advocacy group.

The group has served as a watchdog, focusing on efforts to improve urban education and closing the achievement gaps between white and minority students.

Education Trust-Midwest was a leading voice in calling for the state to raise its standards for Michigan Education Assessment Program exams, once accusing the state of "lying" to parents because students needed to get as few as 40 percent of questions correct on some tests to be deemed "proficient."

Arellano is concerned that the state is change standards again on how schools are deemed needing to be placed in a category where they would get extra assistance for improvement.

Statement by Education Trust-Midwest on Michigan Merit Curriculum study

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (October 22, 2012) - A study released today shows some positive gains for the first class of Michigan students to be in school since the adoption of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, which was designed to ensure all high school students have access to rigorous coursework. The results also show that the MMC did not create an explosion of the high-school dropout rate, as was feared by some when the merit curriculum was first passed in 2006.  And, scores improved for many students in ACT testing, the national college admission exam.

Today’s results
, compiled by the Michigan Consortium for Educational Research from data on 70,000 Michigan public high-school students, also found that the MMC seems to have had a very positive effect on the ACT performance of top quartile students. For bottom quartile students, there was no impact of the MMC on two ACT subjects (science and reading) and a slight negative impact on ACT math and writing.