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State of Opportunity
State of Opportunity is a multi-year reporting and community engagement project focused on how poverty affects children in Michigan. It will shed light on the challenges of growing up or raising kids while struggling to pay the bills and highlight the successes and the resilience of these families and the people who serve them.
Friday, December 6, 2013 12:48pm
Higher education is abuzz right now with excitement over MOOCs---massive open online courses---that have the potential to open up classes typically held behind Ivory Tower walls to anyone with a computer and internet access.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:49am
It seems like everyone has a 'best books' list around this time of year. So we decided to get in on the action. We picked some old books, some new books, some books for kids, some for adults, all of them somehow tied into our State of Opportunity theme.
Without further ado, I present to you [drumroll, please]...
A Not-at-all Comprehensive Reading Guide to Poverty/Race/State of Opportunity Issues
- The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Lives, by Sasha Abramsky. This book is on my Christmas wish list. It first caught my eye in this New York Times article, and it made the paper's list of 100 Notable Books this year. Here's how the folks at the Times describe it: "This ambitious study, based on Abramsky’s travels around the country meeting the poor, both describes and prescribes." -- Jennifer
Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:19am
Dustin Dwyer has unfolded himself from the tiny desks at Congress Elementary School in Grand Rapids. He's listening to hours of tape for our next documentary on high-stake testing in schools, which debuts in January.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 7:00am
I don't know about you, but when I was in school, hearing the school bell ring at the end of the day meant one thing: freedom! Time to go home, get a snack, and hang out with friends.
But what if your home life is less than ideal? What if your neighborhood is one of the roughest in the country? That's the situation many kids in Detroit face. So a handful of schools are keeping their doors open well into the evening to try to keep kids in school and off the streets.
Home sweet school building
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 1:41pm
I've been thinking a lot lately about standardized state tests. This fall, I spent about six weeks observing a classroom of third graders in Grand Rapids as they got ready to take their MEAP tests for the first time.
I was interested in this because the MEAP has a big impact beyond the walls of a school. Standardized test scores have been shown to affect housing prices. And housing prices affect all kinds of things, from consumer spending, to municipal tax revenues to, well, school funding.
So, test scores matter.