Project Description

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Education Trust Midwest

The Education Trust-Midwest works for the high academic achievement of all Michigan’s students, pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for all children, particularly those from low-income families or who are African American, Latino or American Indian. As a nonpartisan, data-driven education policy, research and advocacy organization, the organization is focused first and foremost on doing what is right for Michigan children, working alongside partners to raise the quality of teaching and learning in public schools.


Supporting Parents and Community-Based Organizations:

In 2019, The Education Trust Midwest and Detroit Parent Network (DPN), in partnership with Detroit parents, confirmed  that information about Michigan’s 3rd Grade Reading Law is not effectively reaching families with children most likely to be retained. Supported by a grant from the Fisher Foundation, parents assisted in the development of the culturally relevant toolkits focused on the new law, navigating it, and supporting student learning.  Families engaged in focus groups advised Ed Trust in the development of communication materials, outreach, and information available via the online portal:

In 2020, additional support will enable Ed Trust and DPN to:

  • Develop a second parent-focused toolkit designed to educate families about the rights of students retained, the responsibility of school systems to address literacy, how to recognize if their child is receiving special services, and to guide families to free and low-cost resources for students who are advanced a grade, despite reading far behind grade level.
  • Conduct parent train-the-trainer courses for parents who will then lead discussions with 400+ other Detroit families; peer learning is a powerful mode of communication – and in the process, families become more aware of the critical importance of early literacy and how to support and advocate for their children.