Equity and Education

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Child and Adolescent Data Lab represents a unique opportunity to address complex social problems, while at the same time evaluating policy and practice efforts with data provided by State agencies throughout Michigan. Supported in part through a partnership with W. K. Kellogg Foundation, this project is exploring the missing link: education.

Despite the critical nature of education and academic achievement in the lives of all children and adolescents, virtually nothing is known about this domain for youth involved with child welfare or juvenile justice systems. This project focuses on understanding the educational experiences of youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Specifically, attendance and achievement.

In partnership with University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab, data from the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services were linked in order to explore possible relationships between youth contact with the child welfare system and educational outcomes. The study finds that 18 percent of students in Michigan have been involved in a child welfare investigation by the time they reach third grade. Dr. Brian Jacob and Dr. Joseph Ryan’s full report is published in the Evidence Speaks series in Brookings. Additional insight can be found in Education Week and on Michigan Radio where Dr. Ryan discusses the important implications of this study.