Sarah Lenhoff, assistant professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and director of the Detroit Education Research Partnership, quoted in Bridge Detroit, “Third-graders return to classroom, but are they prepared to succeed?"
Bridge Detroit, 3/2
Third-graders return to classroom, but are they prepared to succeed?
By Olivia Lewis
313 Reads is a Collective Impact Coalition that supports programs in direct service to Detroit children. The organization is also part of the Detroit Education Research Partnership at Wayne State University, which has released several reports on Detroit literacy and education. These reports have pointed to a lack of access to resources that have created more barriers to literacy proficiency for Black and Brown students within Detroit than students in other parts of the state. Sarah Lenhoff, an assistant professor at Wayne State University and director of the Detroit Education Research Partnership, questioned whether this year can be used to gain an “accurate picture” of student achievement. “Are we using meaningless terms to compare (students) to other years?” asked Lenhoff, who also said students lack “reliable” technology and broadband access. Lenhoff said chronic absenteeism has played a major role in Detroit’s literacy rates, which may also be a burden this year to students who were not consistently attending school during the pandemic. “Parents want to get their students to school, they just face these little barriers in doing so,” Lenhoff said. “Policies and practices that are focused on an accountability of punishing parents or students for missing school really just missed the boat in terms of what is really going on.”