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Michigan scores worst in education outcomes for African-American kids, report finds

Detroit students scored better on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test.
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
Students in Detroit.

A new report by the the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan’s children of color fare worse in education and other areas than their counterparts across the U.S.

The report, 2017 Race for Results: Building A Path to Opportunity for All Children, put together an overall score for children of different races and ethnic groups in every state. That score is based on education, health, and economic milestones.

From the report:

The index scores for African-American children should be considered a national crisis. Although scores vary across states, regions and domains, in nearly all states, African-American children face some of the biggest barriers to success.

The report shows that African-American kids in Michigan fare worse in education than in any other state.

Alicia Guevara Warren, with the Michigan League for Public Policy, says local governments in Michigan should join networks like the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.

"We have to really target our resources and our policies in a way that's going to start eliminating racial disparities, because Michigan will be a much stronger state when we take care of all of our kids, and not leave anyone behind," she says.

Warren says the state needs to recognize that people in some ethnic groups need more help than others.

“We really need to be thinking about how we can target our policies in a way that doesn’t take a colorblind approach, and does recognize the rational disparities that exist, and target our policies in a way to undo some of that,” says Warren.

Along with Washington D.C., Michigan has the highest rate of African-American children living in high poverty areas. Few African-American children live in upper and middle income neighborhoods.          

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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