Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Launch Michigan Releases New Data Showing How Michigan School Districts Compare to Districts in Top-Performing States

Launch Michigan Releases New Data Showing How Michigan School Districts Compare to Districts in Top-Performing States

April 15, 2024

March 27, 2024

LANSING, Mich. – Launch Michigan, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reimagining
Michigan’s public education system, today released a dashboard with first-of-its-kind analysis showing how Michigan school districts compare to similar districts in top performing states in reading and math proficiency, graduation rate, and other metrics.

Prior to this, Michigan school districts could only be compared against each other. Launch Michigan’s analysis shows that Michigan districts are underperforming their national comparison districts in key areas:

  • 7 out of 8 Michigan districts do worse than national comparison districts in math.
  • 70% of Michigan districts underperform in reading compared to similar districts in
    top-performing states.
  • 71% of Michigan districts underperform their national comparison districts in
    graduation rate.

Using publicly available data, Launch Michigan worked with AEM Corporation to create the data set and district comparison dashboard tool, which allows people to see how individual school districts in Michigan compare to similar districts in states with high education performance: Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Launch Michigan compared districts to those in other states based on key characteristics like district size, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity demographics, language learners and students with disabilities, among others.

Launch Michigan dashboard graphic“It’s important to remember that Michigan didn’t get here overnight,” said Launch Michigan President and Chief Executive Officer Venessa Keesler. “After decades of band-aid fixes and a lack of investment in education, Michigan has fallen far behind most states — not due to a lack of effort from educators but because of a broken system.”

Since the passage of Proposal A in 1994, Michigan ranks last among states in total education revenue growth (Arsen, 2019) and 48th among states in per pupil funding growth (Addonizio and Arsen, 2024). Michigan is also one of only six states with a disjointed K-12 governance model, according to the Education Commission of the States.

“Launch Michigan is pushing for system-level changes, including a stronger focus on career and college readiness and increased resources invested strategically and with a focus on equity to ensure all students have what they need to learn and be successful,” Keesler said. “While critical investments have been made in education in recent years, Michigan needs to build on those early steps and commit to fully reinventing our education system.”

Last April, Launch Michigan transitioned from a coalition of top state business, education, labor, and philanthropic leaders to a formal 501(c)(3) organization. Launch Michigan’s framework includes strategies to improve Michigan’s education system and achieve world-class outcomes through balanced resources, governance and accountability.


Launch Michigan is a bi-partisan, nonprofit organization that includes education, business, labor
and philanthropic leaders working together to reimagine Michigan’s system of public education to
prepare every child for success after high school. Learn more at

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