Report: Michigan 40th in nation for childhood education
Michigan trails most of the rest of the nation in math and reading proficiency for young children, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 71 percent of Michigan fourth-graders aren’t proficient in reading and 71 percent of eighth-graders aren’t proficient in math. More than half of the state’s young children aren’t in preschool.
Using those yardsticks, the Baltimore-based foundation ranked Michigan 40th in the nation for childhood education.
The state’s ranking is in line with other recent findings. In the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress standardized test, Michigan fourth-graders ranked 41st in reading and 42nd in math, while eighth-graders were 38th in math.
The foundation did, however, report some good news, finding that Michigan moved up in overall child well-being, from 33rd last year to 31st this year.
However, Michigan still trails other Great Lakes states in child well-being: Minnesota ranks 1st, Wisconsin 13th, Illinois 21st, Ohio 26th and Indiana 30th.
The study also found the state moved up in child health from 23rd in 2015 to 14th this year, and from 33rd to 28th in economic well-being.
Michigan’s ranking in family and community remained unchanged at 29th.
“This data tells two different stories about Michigan kids — their health is improving thanks to a continued emphasis on policy changes, but education and poverty numbers continue to get worse without legislative action,” Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy, said in a statement.
“As we measure ourselves against the rest of the nation, there is clearly much work to be done to offer better opportunities for our kids, and a big part of that is employing two-generation strategies to help improve the education and economic standing of their parents.”
Despite falling unemployment in Michigan, Michigan, 23 percent of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2014, up from 2008 and higher than the national average, according to the report.
Almost 1 in 3 Michigan children — or 711,000 — live in families where no member of the household works full-time, the report says.
“From lead poisoning in Flint and the struggles in Detroit schools to the rampant poverty in our rural areas, Michigan policymakers need to make significant changes to better serve our kids,” Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, said in a statement.
Associated Press contributed.
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