Poor showing could affect ‘Race’

LANSING, Mich. - Just as Michigan is trying to win more federal education money, another pair of studies puts the state at or near the bottom in educational achievement among poor and minority studies, The Detroit News reported.

The Washington, D.C.-based Education Trust reported that Michigan is among the bottom five states in comparisons of achievement among students of color and those who are economically disadvantaged, The News reported. Also this week, the University of Michigan released a study showing that African-American males in Michigan graduate at a rate of 33 percent — lowest in the country — compared to 74 percent for white males in Michigan, according to The News.

Anna Rowan, co-author of the Education Trust study, told The News that Michigan trails other states in closing the achievement gap when comparing scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests since 2003.

Michigan Department of Education spokeswoman Jan Ellis told The News that black and Hispanic students showed double or triple the proficiency gains in math compared to white students last year.

Rowan said Michigan's education gap could cost the state points on the federal application for Race to the Top competitive grant funding, but won't kill the state's chances.

The Detroit News, "Mich. faces funding hurdle," Jan. 8, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Teacher Quality Primer: Michigan Education's Return on Investment," June 30, 2008