Testimonials and Perspectives

On Our Impact

“The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation was an early funder of The Education Trust-Midwest, and we continue to support its work to inform Michigan’s education policy landscape. We consistently use their equity-focused research and data in our grantmaking and are encouraged with their commitment to understanding equity issues through data. We are also thankful for their leadership as a thought partner as we examined how to best respond to the indelible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to improve academic outcomes for children in Michigan and our hometown of Flint.”

– Thomas Parker
Executive in Residence/Program Officer, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

“The Education Trust-Midwest holds a unique position in Michigan’s K-12 ecosystem — they take a nonpartisan, data-driven approach, with a laser focus on improving outcomes for Michigan students. ALL children deserve strong schools to set them up for successful, fulfilling lives, and we appreciate The Education Trust-Midwest’s unwavering leadership in research and advocacy to build support for policy changes to close existing opportunity gaps.”

– Kayla Roney Smith
Portfolio Manager, Ballmer Group — Southeast Michigan

“They are comrades, thought leaders, super facilitators and friends who work for and beside a diverse array of stakeholders to discuss difficult issues and build solutions that as a Coalition, we are all excited to be a part of! Working with ETM over the past several years is both a highlight and blessing that fuels me in the work I do to educate, equip and empower parents and all of us towards a better world.”

– Jametta Lilly,
Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Parent Network

“The Education Trust-Midwest has only been around for a little over 10 years. Yet in that relatively short period of time, it has brought a shining new light to the education situation in Michigan. If it weren’t for Ed Trust-Midwest, for example, we wouldn’t be aware that Michigan’s relative performance in K-12 education has deteriorated sharply in the last 20 years. Ed Trust-Midwest’s meticulous analysis of the situation here, compared with the situation in other states, has permitted both discussion and action to make things better. In addition, Ed Trust-Midwest’s analytical pieces on charter school performance, third-grade reading, eighth-grade math and many other individual education subjects, have been invaluable in making our leaders and citizens specifically aware of our situation. Without this perceptive analysis, effective improvement would just not be possible.”

– Ken Whipple
Michigan Achieves Leadership Council, Retired Chairman & CEO CMS Energy Corp.

“The Education Trust-Midwest’s connection to many communities made me want to engage further and dive deeper into the “how” of community change and educational achievement. As we have come together under the umbrella of the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity, we have further pushed and gained ground for educational gains. This work is something that I look forward to with every meeting every month. We are making a difference, and it is changing the lives of the communities we serve. This is why I do what I do, what we do, for our students. So that regardless of status, education level of parents, situatedness, culture, or language, our students can see themselves in someone that was and is them.”

– Adnoris “Bo” Torres
Project Supervisor, Strong Beginnings-Healthy Start

“Partnering with Education Trust — Midwest has enhanced the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s ability to engage and work with organizations statewide to increase equity for all of Michigan’s children. Through ETM’s leadership in the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity Coalition, we can lend Muskegon’s voice to important issues impacting students and families. We appreciate Education Trust-Midwest’s … presence at the table for hard conversations, as well as the opportunity to work collaboratively to reach solutions that will benefit all Michigan residents.”

– Todd Jacobs
President and CEO, Community Foundation for Muskegon County

“They ‘walk their talk.’ And they are evidence-based and data-driven. There are so few organizations in Michigan that lead with those in defensible ways. ETM does. I may not always agree (I usually do); but at least they defend positions with evidence. ETM is a group I can be a part of where I know evidence and data lead the conversation — and matter.”

– Holly Windram PhD
Executive Director, Michigan Education Corps (MEC)

“I have relied on the work of The Education Trust-Midwest for many years. They are simply the most knowledgeable and respected voice on the status and results of Michigan’s education system and policy today. Because they are data and fact-driven, their vision and recommendations for the future carry great weight with policymakers. I trust their work implicitly.”

–  Ken Sikkema
Former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Consultant with Public Sector Consultants

“I think that ETM is very highly regarded by different stakeholders. They do the work they say they’re going to do, and they do it really well in terms of the data and the major reports and the policy analysis and the advocacy that they do. I think the business community relies on ETM for data and reports and to develop analysis.”

– Mary Kovari
Veteran Urban Teacher and Principal

“I have a dream that all schools would be created equal: Schools that are not flourishing will receive special attention, so that all schools and all children are given the same opportunity to be who they want to be —and to see the American dream and feel like they are part of the global system. This dream will create equitable learning for all our children, making us a better nation.”

–  Monique Marks
President & CEO, Franklin-Wright Settlements, Inc.

“The Education Trust-Midwest’s advocacy has been appealing to me and is one of the reasons I was drawn to work alongside the organization’s advocacy efforts. If we do not have a place at the decision-making table, our voice cannot be heard, and Ed Trust-Midwest has been the loudest voice for my community these past couple of years.”

– Jose Luis Orozco, Jr.
Executive Director at Voces, a space where the LatinX community of greater Battle Creek and Southwest Michigan join together and receive empowering support.

“ETM has been a champion for students of color and in poverty within the K-12 and higher education sectors. The organization has demonstrated a commitment to identifying and dismantling systemic barriers that prevent students from accessing highly effective educators and an equitable and constructive education system. Through its research, convenings of thought leaders and influencers, and its policy recommendations it has provided the necessary leadership to move the needle for all students in the State of Michigan.”

– Nicole Wells Stallworth
Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Center, Board Chair at MacDowell Preparatory Academy

“Ed Trust-Midwest was instrumental in helping us work on what the Opportunity Index could look like for Michigan. With their partnership, we were able to include this historic funding model in our state school budget and usher in a new era of equity-based funding for Michigan students.”

– Darrin Camilleri
Michigan State Senator

“Education Trust-Midwest has emerged as a beacon of educational equity in Michigan, utilizing data-driven advocacy and unwavering dedication to bridging opportunity and achievement gaps. Their efforts have championed equitable funding, expanded access to high-quality early childhood education, and fortified teacher training, propelling educational equity across the state.”

–  Wendy Lewis Jackson
Managing Director-Detroit, The Kresge Foundation

“The unprecedented funding for students with the greatest needs, particularly those living in concentrated poverty, will be tremendously important to address the wide and unfair opportunity gaps that exist for students who are most underserved, especially Michigan’s Black and Latino students. We congratulate the many policymakers who are committed to ensuring that all Michigan students have the opportunity to soar.”

– Alice Thompson
Chair of the Education Committee for the NAACP Detroit branch and one of three Chairs of the MPEO Coalition

“At a time of global efforts to ensure all children catch up from their pandemic educational losses — especially students who are underserved — these Michigan public schools are modeling the way for all schools on how to strive to ensure all children are supported to learn at high levels.”

– Amber Arellano
Executive Director of The Education Trust — Midwest

“The ETM is a valued and critical part of the fabric of education in our state. The team’s thought leadership, knowledge base and motivation to improve education for the children of our state is undeniable. They use data to connect to action and have been highly successful for more than 10 years shining a light on the needs of Michigan’s students, particularly those who are often ignored because of their backgrounds, social economic position or lack of voice in this noisy education arena. Congratulations on 10+ years of making equitable education a priority in our state.”

–  Deidre Bounds
President, Ignite Social Media

“I’ve always viewed ETM as a reliable source of trusted information. If Ed Trust-Midwest says something, I believe it … I trust what they have to say. They say it in a way that seems thought out and factual.”

– Lizabeth Ardisana
Co-Founder, Principal Owner, and Chief Executive Officer of ASG Renaissance

“Ed Trust-Midwest has invested in a high-quality staff. They also have built strong and dependable relationships with numerous organizations across the state, especially in underserved communities, east and west.”

–  Mike Jandernoa
Founder and Chairman of 42 North Partners and Chairman of the West Michigan Policy Forum Policy Committee