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Study: African-American Kids In Michigan Fare Worse In Some Areas Than Any Other State

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Michigan needs to create more opportunities for kids of color.  That’s according to advocates after a new report was released Tuesday.  The report shows that African-American kids in Michigan fare worse in areas like education than in any other state.

The report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, was produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Their mission is to improve the well-being of American children.  The report shows that African American fourth-graders in Michigan are reading proficient at the lowest rate in the country.  The math proficiency rate for eighth-grade African American kids is tied with Alabama for the lowest in the country. 

Alicia Guevara Warren is with the Michigan League for Public Policy.  She said local governments in Michigan should join networks like the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.  It works for racial equality. 

“We have to really target our resources and our policies in a way that’s gonna 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 said.

Almost across the board, kids of color in Michigan aren’t doing as well as their white peers. 

The study 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.  Michigan’s score for African American kids is the lowest in the country.

Guevara Warren said the best way to combat this problem is by recognizing that kids of color need extra help.

“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,” she said.

You can find the full report here.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at

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