State of Opportunity http://michiganradio.org en The struggles of Muskegon Heights school district http://michiganradio.org/post/struggles-muskegon-heights-school-district <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two years ago, Muskegon Heights made history by becoming the first school district in Michigan to convert entirely to a charter district, and turn the operation of its schools over to a for-profit company.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p>This week, Michigan Radio's Dustin Dwyer and Lindsey Smith take an in depth look at the changes in the Muskegon Heights School district and what that could that mean for other troubled districts in the state in a new <a href="http://michiganradio.org/programs/stateside-cynthia-canty">State of Opportunity</a> documentary called <em>Tiger Pride</em>.</p><p>Why focus on Muskegon Heights? How does it impact other struggling school districts in Michigan?</p><p>Dwyer and Smith joined us today to give us a preview of the documentary.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm to hear <em>Tiger Pride</em>.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:19:06 +0000 Jennifer White 18494 at http://michiganradio.org The struggles of Muskegon Heights school district Getting treatment for asthma is difficult for children living in poverty http://michiganradio.org/post/getting-treatment-asthma-difficult-children-living-poverty <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">At the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, 11-year-old Brianna&nbsp;</span>Allgood<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;is being tested by a machine called a&nbsp;</span>spirometer<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">. It measures her breathing.</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;">Brianna has asthma. Sometimes she has difficulty breathing. Most of us would have a hard time imagining what that’s like.</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;">“It feels like your chest starts tightening and you’re like and you can’t really breathe much air,” Brianna said.&nbsp;</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;">Vickie Elliot is Brianna’s grandmother. She says she finds herself checking in on Brianna – a lot – just to make sure she’s breathing okay.</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;">“Having a child like that in the home is scary because anything could happen,” Elliot said.</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;">Brianna is luckier than some kids with asthma. Her family can get her to the clinic. They now know how to treat the asthma.</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;">Elliott says it’s made a difference.</p><p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:41:53 +0000 Lester Graham 17350 at http://michiganradio.org Getting treatment for asthma is difficult for children living in poverty Today's State of Opportunity call-in show tackles standardized testing http://michiganradio.org/post/todays-state-opportunity-call-show-tackles-standardized-testing <p><em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Update</strong>: If you missed the program, you can catch the audio on <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/wrap-state-opportunitys-special-high-stakes-testing">this post</a>.</span></em></p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:23:44 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16054 at http://michiganradio.org Today's State of Opportunity call-in show tackles standardized testing What kind of education do you get if you spend $12,000 per student? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-kind-education-do-you-get-if-you-spend-12000-student <p>Our <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity team</a> has been diving into the issue school funding over the past couple months.</p><p>The vast majority of Michigan K-12 schools get between <a href="http://www.msbo.org/sites/default/files/schaid14_hfa_omnibussummary.pdf">$7,000 - $8,000 per pupil</a> every year. But there are some schools that get more…a lot more. We're talking about roughly a $5,000 difference between the richest schools in the state and the poorest schools.</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 16:49:09 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 15160 at http://michiganradio.org What kind of education do you get if you spend $12,000 per student? 5 things to know about Michigan's education gap http://michiganradio.org/post/5-things-know-about-michigans-education-gap <p>Over at our <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity website</a>, we've been on <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/term/gap-watch">Gap Watch</a>: achievement gaps, literacy gaps, technology gaps, gender gaps, etc.</p><p>Our latest documentary continues the trend.</p><p>It's called <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/education-gap-transcript-and-audio?nopop=1">The Education Gap</a>.</p><p>I hung out in two very different 5th grade classrooms over the course of a month and a half.</p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:32:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 15026 at http://michiganradio.org 5 things to know about Michigan's education gap Lake County's "promise" to make college affordable for low-income families http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-countys-promise-make-college-affordable-low-income-families <p>College is expensive. For some families, it’s prohibitively expensive. Several school districts are trying to follow the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-promise-scholarship-yields-mixed-results">Kalamazoo Promise </a>model by offering students money to help cover tuition costs. Jennifer Guerra with our State of Opportunity project introduces us to one such "promise" in rural northern Michigan's Lake County.</p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13655 at http://michiganradio.org Lake County's "promise" to make college affordable for low-income families In Lake County, there is such a thing as a free lunch http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-county-there-such-thing-free-lunch <p>More than 90% of school children in Lake County <a href="http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/1672-students-eligible-for-free-or-reduced-priced-lunch?loc=24&amp;loct=5#detailed/5/3744-3826/false/867,133,38,35,18/any/3551,13159">qualify for free or reduced price lunch</a>. To make sure they continue to eat healthy meals once school is out, the county’s school district offers free breakfast and lunch over the summer to any child in the county.</p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13600 at http://michiganradio.org In Lake County, there is such a thing as a free lunch Lake County has a wealth of natural beauty but few job opportunities http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-county-has-wealth-natural-beauty-few-job-opportunities <p>Lake County, in central northern Michigan, is the poorest part of the state, with nearly half of its children living in poverty. That’s according to the latest <a href="http://www.mlpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/KC2012-Narrative-and-Data-Notes.pdf">Kids Count data</a>. So Jennifer Guerra with our State of Opportunity project went north to visit the rural county to see what life is like there for families.</p><p>The county is an area rich in natural beauty, with hundreds of lakes and streams and acres of forest land, but it's very short on job opportunities.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13529 at http://michiganradio.org Lake County has a wealth of natural beauty but few job opportunities Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care http://michiganradio.org/post/program-aims-keep-kids-safe-homes-and-out-foster-care <p>More than 400,000 children are currently in foster care in the U.S. Once a child has entered the system, they remain there on average for <a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport19.pdf">nearly two years</a>, according to a federal report. Our State of Opportunity team looked into a unique program that’s working to prevent kids in Michigan from even entering foster care in the first place.</p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:30:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13355 at http://michiganradio.org Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care 'People would expect me to fail, to keep popping out more babies.' An essay by a former teen mom http://michiganradio.org/post/people-would-expect-me-fail-keep-popping-out-more-babies-essay-former-teen-mom <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">The&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/things-are-getting-better-michigans-kids-sort" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px; ">latest Kids Count data&nbsp;</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">show that roughly 11,000 teens gave birth in Michi Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13246 at http://michiganradio.org 'People would expect me to fail, to keep popping out more babies.' An essay by a former teen mom Drug shortages are affecting children in the NICU http://michiganradio.org/post/drug-shortages-are-affecting-children-nicu <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our </span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">State of Opportunity project</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> focuses on kids and what it will take to get them ahead. At the most basic level, that means ensuring children are healthy. But as Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra reports, nationwide drug shortages could threaten even that most basic task.</span></p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13109 at http://michiganradio.org Drug shortages are affecting children in the NICU 'It's so worth it.' The story of three girls, six buses and the hope for a better education http://michiganradio.org/post/its-so-worth-it-story-three-girls-six-buses-and-hope-better-education <p>School is almost out for summer! For some students, that means camp. For others, it means time to get a job. For the three high school sophomores you’re about to meet, it means a break - not just from school, but from riding the bus.</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:03:30 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13012 at http://michiganradio.org 'It's so worth it.' The story of three girls, six buses and the hope for a better education $700,000 for baby scholarships http://michiganradio.org/post/700000-baby-scholarships <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We think of scholarships as a way to help more students go to college. But there’s a new scholarship program in Michigan that has nothing to do with college. It offers scholarships to babies.</span></p><p>If you have a baby and you want to have a job, or you need to have a job, you have to find childcare. And childcare costs money—thousands of dollars a year.</p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:03:27 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 11871 at http://michiganradio.org $700,000 for baby scholarships Getting kicked off cash assistance, a personal story http://michiganradio.org/post/getting-kicked-cash-assistance-personal-story <p>As part of our State of Opportunity project, we’re following parents as they struggle to get off public assistance and make a better future for their children. This is an update on one of those families.</p><p>I first interviewed Keisha Johnson on a steamy summer day last June.&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">Johnson, 25, grew up poor and is still poor to this day. But she has three reasons she wants to climb out poverty, and their names are&nbsp;Kaleb, Jurnee, and Alan,&nbsp;Jr.</span></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:30:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 11771 at http://michiganradio.org Getting kicked off cash assistance, a personal story Head Start is not a failure http://michiganradio.org/post/head-start-not-failure <p>The debate over federal spending cuts has made Head Start a major topic of conversation in Washington. Leaders from both parties warn that tens of thousands of kids will lose a chance at Head Start’s preschool program, if the across-the-board spending cuts are allowed to happen.</p><p>To some critics, cutting Head Start would be a good thing. They think it is a failure, and not worth the money.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:11:52 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 11439 at http://michiganradio.org Head Start is not a failure How a Nobel Prize-winning economist became an advocate for preschool http://michiganradio.org/post/how-nobel-prize-winning-economist-became-advocate-preschool <p>There's a <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/making-case-early-childhood-education">growing consensus</a> that more needs to be done to prepare children for kindergarten.&nbsp;</p><p>But does preschool really have a significant impact on the lives of children?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org">State of Opportunity</a>'s <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/people/dustin-dwyer">Dustin Dwyer</a> recently sat down with economist <a href="http://heckman.uchicago.edu/">James Heckman</a>&nbsp;to find out.</p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:00:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10092 at http://michiganradio.org How a Nobel Prize-winning economist became an advocate for preschool How to avoid burnout and help more people http://michiganradio.org/post/how-avoid-burnout-and-help-more-people <p>Health insurance is such a political issue, talked about all the time and so dispassionately, that it can be easy to forget just how important it is to some families. But, last year the Census estimated <a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Blog/2011/Nov/New-Census-Poverty-Measure.aspx">paying for health care pushed at least 10 million Americans into poverty.</a></p> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:16:12 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 9154 at http://michiganradio.org How to avoid burnout and help more people Census to release poverty numbers showing America likely back at 1965 levels http://michiganradio.org/post/census-release-poverty-numbers-showing-america-likely-back-1965-levels <p><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org">State of Opportunity</a> is covering tomorrow's announcement of poverty estimates by the <a href="http://www.census.gov/">Census Bureau</a>. The numbers will show how many Americans lived in poverty during 2011.<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/us-poverty-could-soon-top-1965-rate"> </a></p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:52:46 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 9025 at http://michiganradio.org Census to release poverty numbers showing America likely back at 1965 levels