Michigan Case Study: SLDS—a Tool for Reinventing the Economy*
In recent years, Michigan has undergone an economic shift. For decades, the state’s economy thrived because of the American automotive industry, with high school and college graduates easily landing and keeping good jobs in auto factories and associated industries. As the American auto industry deteriorated, this has impacted Michigan’s economy immensely. Over the last decade, Detroit has lost 25 percent of its population.1 Looking to the future, Michigan sees the need to reinvent its economy. In the educational sector, this leads to a renewed focus on the education Michigan’s students are receiving to ensure they’re fully equipped to usher in a new era of prosperity for the state.
“It’s really a statewide effort right now on making sure we’re understanding how and at what pace we’re preparing students for a better future. Michigan was a highly automotive-driven, manufacturing state. We’re still very proud of that in our state, but it’s not as predominant as it was in years past,” said Tom Howell, director of Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). As the manager of the state’s statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) project, Howell has been part of the project since the beginning. Many of Michigan’s efforts center on enhancing science, technology, engineering and math curricula, with that sector of the economy booming and holding a potential bright spot in Michigan’s future. ...