Sarah Alvarez http://michiganradio.org en Detroit groups get Head Start funds in wake of DPS blunder http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-groups-get-head-start-funds-wake-dps-blunder <p>A group of organizations in Detroit announced that today&nbsp;<a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/press/head-start-birth-to-five-pilot-shows-strong-push-for-earlier-care-and-education">they got official word they'll be sharing&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/press/head-start-birth-to-five-pilot-shows-strong-push-for-earlier-care-and-education">around $50 million in federal funds&nbsp;</a>over the course of five years for early childhood education programs.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:45:07 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 18049 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit groups get Head Start funds in wake of DPS blunder For school featured in "The Education Gap," some victories and more challenges http://michiganradio.org/post/school-featured-education-gap-some-victories-and-more-challenges <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At the beginning of the school year, Jennifer Guerra spent a lot of time at two different schools for her documentary,&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/education-gap-transcript-and-audio" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank"><em>The Education Gap.</em></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;One of the schools had plenty of resources, the other did not.</span></p><p>Jen went back to the school where poverty is a real struggle for nearly all of the students. There have been some changes since she last visited. For example, school officials&nbsp;now say its OK for us to identify the school on&nbsp;air (<span style="line-height: 1.5;">we refer to the school as School X in the documentary.)&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's Myers Elementary in Taylor. But whether it's referred to as School X or Myers, the&nbsp;school is still caught in the nexus of having few tools to deal with some of society's most complicated problems.&nbsp;</span></p><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;"><p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;">But there have been several smaller, more personal victories. T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he principal has convinced some kids that college is an option they can and should be serious about. And some of the kids hungry for more challenging academics have gotten more attention.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Read and listen to what difference a year makes at&nbsp;<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/they-come-and-go-its-noisy-these-5th-graders-still-picked-some-big-lessons" target="_blank">State of Opportunity</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;">&nbsp;</p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 19:08:35 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 17954 at http://michiganradio.org For school featured in "The Education Gap," some victories and more challenges State Supreme Court changes child welfare practice, says "one-parent" rule unconstitutional http://michiganradio.org/post/state-supreme-court-changes-child-welfare-practice-says-one-parent-rule-unconstitutional <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled a practice by the state's child welfare system is unconstitutional.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:22:14 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 17843 at http://michiganradio.org State Supreme Court changes child welfare practice, says "one-parent" rule unconstitutional Here's what it's like to live off tips in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/heres-what-its-live-tips-michigan <p>Denise Gleich is a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry in Michigan.</p><p>She's raised three daughters on the wages and tips she earned, but says the industry has changed and she wants out.&nbsp;</p><p>Tipped workers will make 60% less than minimum wage <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/living-tips-and-not-minimum-wage">under legislation Governor Snyder signed into law</a> on Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">The&nbsp;</span><a href="http://shriverreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/20140325-minimum-wage-and-women-report-FINAL.pdf" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">majority of tipped workers are women</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">I took the State of Opportunity story booth to a&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.cew.umich.edu/progevents/women-and-economic-security-changing-policy-and-practice-conference-sheryl-wudunn-keynote" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">recent gathering of women talking about economic security</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">Gleich was the first woman to walk into that room.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">Read and listen to her story <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/living-tips-and-not-minimum-wage">here</a>.</span></p><p> Wed, 28 May 2014 14:34:19 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 17776 at http://michiganradio.org Here's what it's like to live off tips in Michigan State of Opportunity has a new project and needs your tax stories http://michiganradio.org/post/state-opportunity-has-new-project-and-needs-your-tax-stories <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">We're getting ready for a new project here at State of Opportunity, and we're excited about it.</span></p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 18:37:41 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 16682 at http://michiganradio.org State of Opportunity has a new project and needs your tax stories Student and school prepare for a father's deportation http://michiganradio.org/post/student-and-school-prepare-fathers-deportation <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14.399999618530273px; line-height: 16.799999237060547px;">Update: The office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued the following statement to Michigan Radio," After a thorough review of Mr.&nbsp;Sanchez-Ronquillo's&nbsp;case. The agency has granted a one-year Stay of Removal." We are updating our earlier story now.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;">Charlie is seven years old, a second-grader at an Ann Arbor elementary school. Over the last week, his picture has been all over&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/189943844413871/" style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">facebook</a><span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;">. It's also on flyers and email as his church and parents at his school try to organize around his family.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;">Read the updated story at <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/student-and-school-prepare-fathers-deportation">State of Opportunity</a>.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Read or listen to the entire story at <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity</a>.</p><p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:35:35 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 16313 at http://michiganradio.org Student and school prepare for a father's deportation Does diversity make for better schools? http://michiganradio.org/post/does-diversity-make-better-schools <p>In short, the answer is 'we don't really know.'</p><p><a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/reardon-achievement-gap-021312.html">Stanford University's Sean Reardon</a> studies achievement gaps -&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">the difference between how one group of students performs compared to another group</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When comparing black, white, and Latino students,&nbsp;</span>Reardon<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says you see the importance not so much of race, but of class.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Over the last 40 or so years, the black-white achievement gap and the Hispanic-white achievement gap have narrowed a lot,"&nbsp;</span>Reardon<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;said. "On the other hand, the gap between high and low income students&nbsp;</span><a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/reardon-achievement-gap-021312.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">has increased quite dramatically</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">."</span></p><p>Reardon<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;said that particular gap has grown about 40% since the&nbsp;1980s.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But while economic diversity&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/problem-growing-poor" style="line-height: 1.5;">might matter more in ensuring a quality education</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, that doesn't mean people want to give up on racial and ethnic diversity.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ray&nbsp;Litt, a community activist involved in Detroit's&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/40-year-shadow-cast-detroits-failed-busing-plan" style="line-height: 1.5;">Milliken&nbsp;v. Bradley case</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, reflected, "The d</span><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">esegregation action was to provide a quality integrated venue in which students and staff are exposed to and can interact with kids of different races religions and economic status," he said. "We all need to be able to be comfortable, not tolerating, a society that is the melting pot."</span></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Racial diversity is not something you are likely to find in a majority of Detroit's schools, even after a hard fought desegregation plan.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;">Read more and listen to the whole story at <em><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity</a></em>.</span></p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 15:49:34 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 15260 at http://michiganradio.org Does diversity make for better schools? 3 things to know about the history of Detroit busing http://michiganradio.org/post/3-things-know-about-history-detroit-busing <p>For <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/"><em>State of Opportunity</em></a>, &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">I've been wading through hours of audio and stacks of research for months about Detroit's mid-1970's&nbsp;</span>busing<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;controversy. </span></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:18:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 15238 at http://michiganradio.org 3 things to know about the history of Detroit busing A 'funnel district' forms in Ferndale as students exercise school choice http://michiganradio.org/post/funnel-district-forms-ferndale-students-exercise-school-choice <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Every school day hundreds of kids from Detroit travel up Woodward and many other routes on their way to </span>Ferndale’s<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;"> schools. They don't need to move to go to these schools.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Ferndale&nbsp;has wooed Detroit students, exercising&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.333333015441895px; line-height: 22px;">their ability to educate students from other districts under Michigan’s "schools of choice" policy.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">The district has two high schools that cater almost exclusively to students from Detroit.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">One of them, University High, has 426 students only seven of whom come from&nbsp;Ferndale. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">The school system has been called a "funnel district" because of traffic in and out of the district. Kids coming in from Detroit and some suburbs like Oak Park and Hazel Park make up one end of the funnel.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><span style="font-size: 15px;">The other end of the funnel is made up of kids leaving </span>Ferndale<span style="font-size: 15px;"> for suburbs a little farther out.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">You can learn more about how this got started and the financial and educational consequences of it on our&nbsp;<em><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/funnel-district-forms-ferndale-students-exercise-school-choice">State of Opportunity</a>&nbsp;</em>page.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">This story is the first in our week-long series looking at how the neighborhood school and education in metro Detroit has changed over the past few decades.</p><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:32:42 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 15220 at http://michiganradio.org A 'funnel district' forms in Ferndale as students exercise school choice Court asks if DHS keeps kids in foster care safe http://michiganradio.org/post/court-asks-if-dhs-keeps-kids-foster-care-safe <div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The state was back in court today so a federal judge could make sure</span>&nbsp;the Department of Human Services is complying with a consent agreement having to do with Michigan&#39;s child welfare system.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The agreement rose out of a 2008 lawsuit filed by the advocacy group <a href="http://www.childrensrights.org/">Children&#39;s Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.childrensrights.org/">&nbsp;</a>over the number of children being abused or neglected while in foster care.&nbsp;</span></div><div>&nbsp;</di Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:20:34 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 14767 at http://michiganradio.org Schools working to implement Common Core despite political controversy http://michiganradio.org/post/schools-working-implement-common-core-despite-political-controversy <p>As early as today state lawmakers may revisit the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.corestandards.org/">Common Core State Standards</a>. In the spring,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan’s Board of Education adopted the standards, b</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ut until now the legislature,</span><a href="http://stopcommoncoreinmichigan.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;concerned primarily, although not exclusively&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">about local control, made it impossible for the state to spend any money implementing the Common Core. </span></p><p>Schools all ov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">er Michigan have already begun implementing the standards, and state funds for implementation are unlikely to help struggling districts buy the materials they need to align their curriculums and prepare students to be tested on the Common Core. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/schools-working-implement-common-core-despite-political-controversy">State of Opportunity has the full story</a> of two rural schools implementing the Common Core and having different experiences with the new standards.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 14:45:03 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 14580 at http://michiganradio.org Schools working to implement Common Core despite political controversy Health insurance lags among state's teens http://michiganradio.org/post/health-insurance-lags-among-states-teens <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Teenagers in Michigan eligible for no-cost government sponsored health insurance like <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2943_4860-35199--,00.html">Medicaid and MIchild</a> aren't getting signed up.&nbsp;</p><p>That means they're walking around uninsured. Many aren't getting regular preventative care and many are relying on the Emergency Room if something comes up. This pattern can have a huge detrimental impact on a families finances, and a teens health.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:14:46 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 14171 at http://michiganradio.org Health insurance lags among state's teens From the school spirit files: Staff and students at alternative school say stigma is undeserved http://michiganradio.org/post/school-spirit-files-staff-and-students-alternative-school-say-stigma-undeserved <p> Alternative high schools often carry a bit of a stigma.</p><p><a href="http://www.wavecrestacademy.org/">Wavecrest&nbsp;Career Academy</a>&nbsp;in Holland is no different.</p><p>Shelby Danielson is a senior at the school. "People think it's a bad school and it's really not," she says.</p><p>"There are so many great kids and they have so much potential, they just need that extra push from teachers and they might not get that at other schools."</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:50:25 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 14141 at http://michiganradio.org From the school spirit files: Staff and students at alternative school say stigma is undeserved What do Detroit's pensioners think about city's bankruptcy? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-do-detroits-pensioners-think-about-citys-bankruptcy <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Tahoma; line-height: 1.5;">Detroit’s bankruptcy could impact many people’s daily lives, perhaps the city’s retirees most of all. At a banquet hall in Livonia this week the <a href="http://www.drcea.org/home0.aspx">Detroit Retired City Employees Association</a> held its annual luncheon. Over one thousand people attended. Many of them worry they may lose part or all of their pensions in the bankruptcy.&nbsp;</span></p><p><font face="Tahoma" size="3"><span style="line-height: 24px;">Hear the worries, frustrations, and thoughts of retirees with close to 200 years of city service between them in their own voices below. &nbsp;</span></font></p><p></p><p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 20:00:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 13708 at http://michiganradio.org What do Detroit's pensioners think about city's bankruptcy? Searching for a cure to cancer a part of the American Dream for Yemeni-American http://michiganradio.org/post/searching-cure-cancer-part-american-dream-yemeni-american <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">In honor of July 4th, we asked immigrants across Michigan what America means to them. Abdo Najy shared his story.</span></p><p></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.2in;margin-left:0in; line-height:15.75pt"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Georgia, serif;">Abdo</span><span class="apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>Najy&nbsp;has just recently completed his PhD and hopes to run his own lab soon. He's friendly, smiles a lot, and is animated when he talks about his research on breast and prostate cancer.<span class="apple-converted-space">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.2in;margin-left:0in; line-height:15.75pt"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Georgia, serif;">Najy</span><span class="apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>is modest and measured, but he knows he has a role in the search for a cure to cancer.&nbsp;He views his work as a scientist as his way to repay this country for educational opportunities he would not have had in his native Yemen.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.2in;margin-left:0in; line-height:15.75pt"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Georgia, serif;">Born in Yemen in the 1980’s in the midst of a polio outbreak, Najy contracted the disease when he was just six months old.</span></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.2in;margin-left:0in; line-height:15.75pt"><span style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Georgia, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p> Thu, 04 Jul 2013 12:15:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 13351 at http://michiganradio.org Searching for a cure to cancer a part of the American Dream for Yemeni-American Need some inspiration? Listen to these high schoolers http://michiganradio.org/post/need-some-inspiration-listen-these-high-schoolers <p>State of Opportunity has a new storytelling booth that can easily go places and record lots of personal stories in one fell swoop.&nbsp;</p><p>For its first trip I took the booth to <a href="http://sexton.lansingschools.net/pages/JWSexton_HS">J.W. Sexton High School</a> in downtown Lansing. I wanted to catch the graduating class a few weeks before their big day.</p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:42:24 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 12896 at http://michiganradio.org Need some inspiration? Listen to these high schoolers Buena Vista schools approve plan, await state action http://michiganradio.org/post/buena-vista-schools-approve-plan-await-state-action <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Buena Vista School District unceremoniously&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/buena-vista-school-districts-future-hangs-limbo" style="line-height: 1.5;">shut down ten days ago</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, sending staff and students home for the year after the district ran out of money.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At Tuesday night’s emergency school board meeting there was almost universal confusion about what happens next.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The school board unanimously approved a deficit elimination plan they hope will allow state aid payments to start up again so students can get back in the classroom.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If that doesn't work, the board grudgingly approved a plan for a summer "skills building camp," in lieu of traditional classroom time.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Nobody at the meeting seemed very happy about that option.</span> Wed, 15 May 2013 04:51:29 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 12570 at http://michiganradio.org Buena Vista schools approve plan, await state action Supreme Court case about a little known law could be a big deal for Michigan's kids http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-case-about-little-known-law-could-be-big-deal-michigans-kids <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yesterday, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/">United States Supreme Court</a>&nbsp;heard oral arguments on a case involving the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nicwa.org/BabyVeronica/">Indian Child Welfare Act</a>.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The law is designed to make sure Native American children in the child welfare system stay connected with their tribes.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The court's decision will affect Michigan, as the state recently passed a stronger version of Indian Child Welfare Act.</span></p><p>I produced a story&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">on these laws and the people&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">they affect </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">for </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity</a></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>You can listen to the full version <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-case-about-little-known-law-could-be-big-deal-michigans-kids">here</a>.</p><p>And for those with limited time, here are three important points to know about this story:</p><ul><li>Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act 35 years ago to put a stop to private and state workers taking Indian children away from their homes and tribes often with little reason other than a desire to assimilate them to white and Christian culture. Many families in Michigan are still dealing with the effects of this, including Judge Alli Greenleaf Maldonado who tells her personal story of her mother and her grandmother being removed from their homes.&nbsp;</li><li>A Michigan law that is clearer and stronger than the federal law was passed in January with almost unanimous, bi-partisan support. The abusive practices of the past have stopped, but Indian children are still over-represented in the state's child welfare system.</li><li>Some child welfare advocates are looking to Michigan's law, the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act, as a model for the state because it takes a different approach to child welfare. It tries to keep children out of the state system in the first place. The law requires child welfare workers to work actively with parents to make changes that will benefit their children. The law also allows Indian children to have their cases in a smaller and more personal tribal system. &nbsp;But the success of the law depends on everyone knowing the law and following it. Many people have concerns, like the Burrows family, who personally experienced a devastating loss when the law was applied incorrectly.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Read more about the personal stories behind this law and why people have hope it can change Michigan's child welfare system at<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/"> State of Opportunity</a>.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 20:16:33 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 12174 at http://michiganradio.org Supreme Court case about a little known law could be a big deal for Michigan's kids A few things to know about ladders, bootstraps and the American Dream http://michiganradio.org/post/few-things-know-about-ladders-bootstraps-and-american-dream <p>State of Opportunity hosted a call-in show today and the conversation ranged from privilege to the politics around an increase in the minimum wage. But the conversation always circled back to one central question we asked listeners and our guests, "Do<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; line-height: 21.99652862548828px;">&nbsp;all kids have an equal shot at an American dream?"</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; line-height: 21.99652862548828px;">Spoiler alert, none of the guests think all kids have an equal shot at what we call the American Dream. Even so, they offer data and insights they think could make a difference in helping all of Michigan's kids get ahead. Guests broke down why they think the state's future depends on more kids having equal opportunity. There was also lots of talk of bootstraps, climbing up ladders, and why the imagery of an American Dream is so powerful.</span></p><p><font color="#333333" face="Georgia, Times, serif" size="3"><span style="line-height: 21.984375px;"><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/what-we-just-learned-about-ladders-bootstraps-and-american-dream">The State of Opportunity site</a> has all the audio and a more thorough summary of the show.&nbsp;</span></font></p><p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 23:23:37 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 11982 at http://michiganradio.org A few things to know about ladders, bootstraps and the American Dream Are kids in the state's care safe? Court monitor says not safe enough http://michiganradio.org/post/are-kids-states-care-safe-court-monitor-says-not-safe-enough <p></p><p><br><br><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-60126_7117---,00.html">Almost 14,000 kids in Michigan</a> have been taken out of their own homes by the state because of an abuse or neglect allegation.<br><br>Those kids then rely upon the state's Department of Human Services (DHS) to keep them safe and put them in an environment where they have a chance to thrive. Most of those kids end up in foster care.<br><br>Six years ago the state was sued by the advocacy group <a href="http://www.childrensrights.org/">Children's Rights</a> over treatment of kids in its care.<br><br>The state was back in court today to see where things stand. Everyone agrees things have gotten better since the lawsuit started six years ago, but the court appointed monitor said too many kids are still unsafe. Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:16:50 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 11783 at http://michiganradio.org