Mercedes Mejia http://michiganradio.org en Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons explains latest on statewide teacher evaluation bills http://michiganradio.org/post/rep-lisa-posthumus-lyons-explains-latest-statewide-teacher-evaluation-bills <p></p><p>A state wide teacher evaluation system is finally seeing some movement in the legislature. The plan would rate teachers and administrators based on student growth on standardized tests and in-class observations. If teachers and administrators are found to be ineffective for three year in a row, they would be fired.</p><p>Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons is the C<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hair of the House Education Committee. She joined</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;us today.</span></p><p> Fri, 09 May 2014 21:39:46 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 17547 at http://michiganradio.org Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons explains latest on statewide teacher evaluation bills Michigan's Medicaid expansion goes into effect today http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-medicaid-expansion-goes-effect-today <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2943_66797---,00.html">Healthy Michigan</a>” is available to more than 470,000 low-income Michiganders between the ages of 19 and 64.</p><p>Joining us today is Krista Nordberg, director of enrollment at the Washtenaw Health Plan.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Nordberg says the Healthy Michigan Plan is “extremely comprehensive health care coverage” for low-income individuals. The kind of coverage available includes medical benefits, prescription coverage, dental, vision and mental health services.</span></p><p>But under the new plan, people will be responsible for some of the cost of their health care.</p><p>“The co-pays range from about $1 to $3 for the dental and the vision and the prescriptions. And for people with higher incomes – incomes between 100-133% of poverty – they will be asked to contribute to a health savings account, and that is still something being worked out with the state as to how that would be administered through their health plan, and how they will pay into that,” said Nordberg.</p><p>For more information about Healthy Michigan click <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/healthymiplan">here</a>, or call 1-855-789-5610.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:26:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 17065 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's Medicaid expansion goes into effect today What's next for the EAA in Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-next-eaa-michigan <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A vote is expected on a final version of a bill that would expand the Education Achievement Authority into a statewide district.&nbsp;</p><p>The EAA was created by the Snyder administration to initially oversee the lowest performing schools in the Detroit Public School system where it currently oversees 15 schools. Supporters say the EAA will give troubled schools the opportunity to turn things around, but critics say the EAA hasn’t proved that its model for education is a successful one.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Brian Smith, the statewide education reporter for </span>MLIVE.com joined us today.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 21:02:26 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16976 at http://michiganradio.org What's next for the EAA in Michigan? Business with social mission helps keep homeless warm http://michiganradio.org/post/business-social-mission-helps-keep-homeless-warm <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Starting a business can be hard. How about starting a business with a mission to help end homelessness? Well, that’s even harder.</span></p><p>Stateside’s Mercedes Mejia tells us about the Empowerment Plan. It’s a business with a social mission.&nbsp; The company makes coats that double as sleeping bags, and gives them away to homeless people.</p><p>After nearly two years, its mission is the same. But its business model is&nbsp;evolving.</p><p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:30:58 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 16919 at http://michiganradio.org Business with social mission helps keep homeless warm Audio: A conversation with former Benton Harbor emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/audio-conversation-former-benton-harbor-emergency-manager <p>The city of Benton Harbor is no longer in a financial emergency. Gov. Snyder today announced the appointment of a Receivership Transition Advisory Board.</p><p>Behind the turnaround is Benton Harbor’s former emergency manager, Tony Saunders II. He spoke with the host of&nbsp;<em>All Thing Considered</em>, Jennifer White.</p><p></p><p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 21:22:03 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16801 at http://michiganradio.org Audio: A conversation with former Benton Harbor emergency manager Could foundations offering to help Detroit regret their decision? http://michiganradio.org/post/could-foundations-offering-help-detroit-regret-their-decision <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>As Detroit continues to move through the bankruptcy process, an outstanding issue is a plan to protect artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A group of foundations and private donors have pledged over $300 million that would help cover city pensions and offset the need to sell the artwork.&nbsp;</p><p>A recent <a href="https://philanthropy.com/article/Foundations-Offering-to-Bail/144233/">op-ed</a> in the Chronicle of Philanthropy questions the wisdom of this plan.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">William </span>Schambra<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;is the director of the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal in Washington D.C. and he joined us today.</span></p><p></p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:50:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16708 at http://michiganradio.org Could foundations offering to help Detroit regret their decision? Michigan mime teaches Olympians to bring emotion to the ice http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-mime-teaches-olympians-bring-emotion-ice <p>What do Olympic ice dancers who train in Michigan have to do with Michael Lee?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He's a professional mime and physical acting coach. Lee</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;has worked with 10 of the 24 figure skating ice dance teams at the </span>Sochi<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> 2014 Winter Olympics. That includes Michigan natives Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-figure-skaters-set-world-record-sochi">won a gold medal</a>&nbsp;this year.&nbsp;Lee also works with Tessa Virtue and Scott </span>Moir<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> of Canada, who won silver.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hese are professional skaters," said Lee. "They move beautifully, but at the beginning they don’t move as if they are performing, and that’s what I’m about."</span></p><p>Lee&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">helps the skaters become performers by teaching them how to animate their bodies. He himself learned miming from the</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;late Marcel Marceau, an acclaimed French mime.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">To learn more about Lee click <a href="http://www.michaelleemime.com/">here</a>.</span></p><p>Watch as Lee explains the physical acting techniques he shows the ice dancers.</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59kk8O26f-U&amp;feature=youtu.be</p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:20:00 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 16568 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan mime teaches Olympians to bring emotion to the ice To raise or not to raise the minimum wage? http://michiganradio.org/post/raise-or-not-raise-minimum-wage <p></p><p>It's a question Michigan voters may have to answer this November.</p><p>The Board of State Canvassers yesterday approved petition language put forward by Raise Michigan, a coalition that wants to increase Michigan’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, and also index the minimum wage to inflation.</p><p>To get the question on the November ballot, it needs to collect 258,000 signatures by May 28.</p><p>Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants spoke with All Things Considered Host, Jennifer White.</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:10:19 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16533 at http://michiganradio.org To raise or not to raise the minimum wage? Why Rep. Lipton believes her bill is better alternative to EAA http://michiganradio.org/post/why-rep-lipton-believes-her-bill-better-alternative-eaa <p></p><p>The Michigan House could vote this week to expand the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA.</p><p>The EAA was created by Gov. Rick Snyder as a separate school district for the lowest-performing 5% of schools in Michigan. The idea was that under the oversight of a state appointed emergency manager, those schools could be transformed into higher performing, stable schools. Supporters of the EAA say the district is showing student improvement. Critics of the district say the EAA is failing students and schools.</p><p>Democratic Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton is the sponsor of&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">House Bill 5268. She&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">s</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">poke with All Things Considered host Jennifer White.</span></p><p></p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 22:20:33 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16498 at http://michiganradio.org Why Rep. Lipton believes her bill is better alternative to EAA Drivers beware, warns MDOT director http://michiganradio.org/post/drivers-beware-warns-mdot-director <p></p><p>Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, says the harsh winter will make the pothole situation in Michigan this spring the worst we’ve seen in our lifetime. He testified this week before the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation.</p><p>Joining us to talk roads are Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:35:28 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16443 at http://michiganradio.org Drivers beware, warns MDOT director Why Rep. Zemke believes teacher evaluations need change http://michiganradio.org/post/why-rep-zemke-believes-teacher-evaluations-need-change <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A set of bipartisan bills moving through the state legislature would reshape Michigan’s teacher evaluation system. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Democratic Rep. Adam&nbsp;</span>Zemke&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">from Ann Arbor&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">sponsored <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(kr5vsi552oeduinogkrgvd45))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&amp;objectname=2014-HB-5224">Bill 5224</a>. He spoke with All Things Considered host Jennifer White.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:46:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16402 at http://michiganradio.org Why Rep. Zemke believes teacher evaluations need change A look at income tax reduction and the minimum wage debate http://michiganradio.org/post/look-income-tax-reduction-and-minimum-wage-debate <p></p><p>Each Thursday we look at Michigan politics with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>As predicted, the state budget surplus has become a hot topic in the state Legislature, more specifically how to spend that money.</p><p>A state Senate panel approved a bill that would cut the income tax rate from 4.25 % to 3.9 % over the next three years. But, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">re Republicans on the same page about this tax cut?</span></p><p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 21:28:06 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16250 at http://michiganradio.org A look at income tax reduction and the minimum wage debate The Appleseed Collective visits the studios of Michigan Radio http://michiganradio.org/post/appleseed-collective-visits-studios-michigan-radio <p>The&nbsp;37th&nbsp;Ann Arbor Folk Festival kicks off this Friday. This year’s celebrated national acts include artists like Iron and Wine, and&nbsp;Neko&nbsp;Case. But the festival also features local bands.&nbsp;</p><p>One band is The Appleseed Collective, based in Ann Arbor.</p><p>As part of Michigan Radio's Songs from Studio East, Stateside’s Mercedes Mejia sat down with the group to talk about their new album "Young Love" and hear a live studio performance.</p><p>http://youtu.be/th1L7UnFOJk</p><p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 21:43:57 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 16239 at http://michiganradio.org The Appleseed Collective visits the studios of Michigan Radio One group strongly opposes raising the minimum wage http://michiganradio.org/post/one-group-strongly-opposes-raising-minimum-wage <div></div><div>President Obama is expected to talk about raising the federal minimum wage in his State of the Union address tonight.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Across Michigan, there’s also increasing focus on raising the minimum wage for the first time since 2008.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Raise Michigan campaign is working to get an initiative on the ballot that would raise the minimum wage to somewhere between $9 and $10.10 per hour. But the Michigan Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes raising the minimum wage.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Joining us to explain why is Wendy Block, director of health policy in human&nbsp;resources at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We also spoke with Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard.</div><div> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:28:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16220 at http://michiganradio.org One group strongly opposes raising the minimum wage Should Dave Agema resign? http://michiganradio.org/post/should-dave-agema-resign <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week during a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Martin Luther King Jr. D</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ay speech, Gov. Rick Snyder renewed his call for civility. His comments seemed to again be pointed toward&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dave&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Agema, a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Republican National Committeeman</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Agema</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;is being criticized for comments made against gays and Muslims, and the calls for his resignation are getting louder.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">To talk about this, we're joined by&nbsp;Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Zoe Clark, Michigan Radio’s co-host of "It’s Just Politics."&nbsp;</span></p><p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:14:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16158 at http://michiganradio.org Should Dave Agema resign? Does year-round school mean kids lose out on summer vacation? http://michiganradio.org/post/does-year-round-school-mean-kids-lose-out-summer-vacation <p></p><p>In his recent State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder called for a pilot program for year-round schooling. Since that speech, education advocates and teachers’ unions have been weighing in on the question.</p><p>Schools that move to a year-round schedule would still have the same number of vacation days as traditionally structured schools, but those days would be dispersed over the course of the year rather than having a long summer break.</p><p>Joining us now is the director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, Dan Quinn. He is also a teacher of economics at Grosse Pointe North High School. &nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 02:45:44 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16121 at http://michiganradio.org Does year-round school mean kids lose out on summer vacation? A review of Gov. Snyder's State of the State address http://michiganradio.org/post/review-gov-snyders-state-state-address <p></p><p>Governor Rick Snyder gave his fourth State of the State address, Thursday night. In a speech covering a wide range of topics, he spent a lot of time focusing on his accomplishments and gave a broad overview of what he hopes to accomplish in 2014.</p><p>Joining us to take a closer look are Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Zoe Clark, co-host of It's Just Politics on Michigan Radio.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 21:47:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 16074 at http://michiganradio.org A review of Gov. Snyder's State of the State address What to do with Michigan's projected budget surplus? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-do-michigans-projected-budget-surplus <p></p><p>Each week we take a look at what’s happening in Michigan politics with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.&nbsp;</p><p>The state legislature is back to work, and as Sikkema predicted last year, talks are swirling around what to do with the state’s projected budget surplus. Estimates are putting it at about $500 million. What should be done with the money?</p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 21:47:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 15961 at http://michiganradio.org What to do with Michigan's projected budget surplus? Homeless shelter in Ann Arbor expands warming options http://michiganradio.org/post/homeless-shelter-ann-arbor-expands-warming-options <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The weather and temperatures in Michigan, and across the country, have been particularly brutal in recent days. Wind chill readings have dropped to&nbsp;30 degrees below zero</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in some places. Some </span>Michiganders<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are facing this weather without shelter. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We’re joined now by Ellen </span>Schulmeister,<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; the executive director of the Shelter Association of </span>Washtenaw<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> County.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:53:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 15917 at http://michiganradio.org Homeless shelter in Ann Arbor expands warming options 'Because' is the 2013 Word of the Year http://michiganradio.org/post/because-2013-word-year <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Writers online, and now speakers in informal speech, are using "</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because"</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in innovative ways.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">This week on&nbsp;</span><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">That’s What They Say, </em><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">h</em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">ost Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan&nbsp;talk about the American Dialect Society's 24th&nbsp;Annual Words of the Year vote.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Curzan says, “It used to be that </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> had to be followed by a clause. So, I would say, ‘I don’t want to go outside </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> it’s really cold.’ And now I can say, ‘I don’t want go outside </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; cold.’”</span></p><p>More words of the year include:&nbsp;<em>selfie</em>, <em>Obamacare</em>, and <em>slash</em>.</p><p>Click <a href="http://www.americandialect.org/because-is-the-2013-word-of-the-year">here </a>for more on the Word of the Year for 2013.</p><p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 17:10:11 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 15892 at http://michiganradio.org 'Because' is the 2013 Word of the Year