public schools http://michiganradio.org en Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-superintendent-predicts-institutions-will-lose-authority-create-charter-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The statement comes a day after state Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said he’s ready to use his authority to revoke that ability from charter school authorizers. That’s if they fail to meet new standards for transparency set by state education officials.</span></p><p>Flanagan says he met with authorizers in February about issues involving charters. He says he’s not convinced all of them will be able to meet the new, tougher standards.</p><p>“If I had to guess, just because of the candor at the February meeting, there’s probably some that we won’t extend their ability,” Flanagan said Tuesday. “But I don’t want to pre-judge that too much. That’s only hearing the anecdotal stuff.”</p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:22:25 +0000 Jake Neher 18306 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools Michigan's program for troubled schools has a new leader http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-program-troubled-schools-has-new-leader <p></p><p>Michigan's Education Achievement Authority, formed in 2011, was created to help failing schools. It currently operates 15 schools in Detroit.</p><p>EAA Chancellor John Covington stepped down with one year left on his contract. What does this mean for the EAA and the students in its 15 schools?</p><p>Bridge Magazine education writer Chastity Pratt Dawsey covers the&nbsp;EAA extensively. She said there had been talk for months that Covington was going to resign.</p><p>Veronica Conforme was named the interim replacement. She’s from New York City, where she was Chief Operating Officer for New York City public schools. Pratt said it's unclear if they are going to keep Conforme at the helm or if they are going to hire someone new.</p><p>Pratt added that the EAA had to do damage control in the media and let everyone know that they are trying to do better.</p><p>“There were some misgivings about [Covington's] leadership and whether or not the EAA was going in the right direction,” Pratt said.</p><p>Pratt added that the EAA had problems since it was put together hastily in 2011. In its first year, it was supposed to be funded by donations, which has not been done for any school in the United States.</p><p>“The first year, the donations did not come in as expected. They get the kids the second year of operations, they don’t get the <a href="http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg1.html">Title I money</a> that they think they are going to get,” Pratt said.</p><p>The EAA had to borrow money, using the Detroit Public Schools as a conduit. They started to lose students. MEAP scores were lower than promised. Their online individualized education plan did not see the success people thought it would. State legislators even complained about a lack of transparency in the system, and that Covington had a lucrative contract.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pratt said that the </span>EAA<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> needs to turn around their academics. Parents and teachers are saying they want results, not excuses.</span></p><p>“Do something, make it happen. Otherwise, what was the point?” Pratt said.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to full interview above.</em></p><p><em>-Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom.</em></p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:43:33 +0000 Stateside Staff 18129 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's program for troubled schools has a new leader Detroit Public Schools misses out on $4 million in Head Start funds http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-public-schools-misses-out-4-million-head-start-funds <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When you are a school district where more than 80% of your students live in poverty, every penny that helps those students is critical.</span></p><p>And that's why there has been a collective gasp of disbelief, even anger, with the news that Detroit Public Schools has lost $4 million in Head Start funding.</p><p>The reason DPS lost the money is because they missed the application deadline.</p><p>A school spokesperson blamed a technical problem in uploading the application.</p><p>Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined us on our show.</p><p><em>*Listen to our conversation with Rochelle above.</em></p><p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:35:10 +0000 Stateside Staff 17953 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Public Schools misses out on $4 million in Head Start funds Senior prank season in full swing at Michigan high schools http://michiganradio.org/post/senior-prank-season-full-swing-michigan-high-schools-5 <p>The end of the school year is upon us. It puts high school administrators on high alert.</p><p>Sometimes they don't have to worry about much.</p><p>Even though their seniors try it, no, their high school won't be sold on Craigslist. Seniors at&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Skyline High School in Ann Arbor </span><a href="http://annarbor.craigslist.org/for/4493126436.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">gave it a go</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. As did seniors at&nbsp;</span>Freeland<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;High School in Mid-Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This kind of prank is harmless and fun. Even the more mature members of the community can appreciate this type of prank – as this news segment shows:</span></p><p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:13:32 +0000 Mark Brush 17859 at http://michiganradio.org Senior prank season in full swing at Michigan high schools Has public education funding gone up or down under Gov. Snyder's watch? http://michiganradio.org/post/has-public-education-funding-gone-or-down-under-gov-snyders-watch <p>Funding for public schools in Michigan is becoming a centerpiece in the race for Michigan's next governor.</p><p>In this corner, you have current&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tubechop.com/watch/2620171">Gov. Rick Snyder</a>:</p><blockquote><p>"I'm proud to say, in the last three years we've increased educational spending at the state level for K-12 each and every year to the point where we've invested $660 more per student than there was previously before I took office. That's a huge investment in K-12 education."</p></blockquote><p>And in the other corner you have the guy who wants his job, Democratic hopeful&nbsp;<a href="http://markschauer.com/schauer-governor-snyder-has-no-plan-for-education/">Mark&nbsp;Schauer</a>:</p><blockquote><p>"[Snyder] cut over $1 billion from education to pay for his $1.8 billion corporate tax break."</p></blockquote><p>There have been a lot of "so-who's-right-here?" analysis pieces written. You can find them&nbsp;<a href="http://bridgemi.com/2014/02/lies-damn-lies-and-education-funding/">here</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140202/OPINION05/302020053/michigan-schools-funding-rick-snyder-cuts-education-students-kids-budget">here</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/02/fact_check_did_michigan_gov_ri.html">here</a>.</p><p>As always, with budget numbers&nbsp;–&nbsp;especially with school funding budget numbers&nbsp;–&nbsp;it can be quite confusing. And politicians cherry pick their favorite numbers to make a point.</p><p>This much is true: Schools all over the state are feeling the pinch.</p><p><a href="http://michigan.gov/documents/mde/February_27_2014_Quarterly_Report_449049_7.pdf">Forty-six school systems across Michigan are running in the red</a>. And if they're not running in the red, many are making big cuts to stay in the black.</p><p>School funding is a hot-button political issue – especially now that some parents are noticing more kids packed into the classroom, half-day kindergarten is gone, some art teacher positions have been cut, and some schools have closed.</p><p>So can we blame those at the top?</p><p> Mon, 05 May 2014 18:33:41 +0000 Mark Brush 17273 at http://michiganradio.org Has public education funding gone up or down under Gov. Snyder's watch? A look at how we fund schools in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/look-how-we-fund-schools-michigan <p></p><p>The way Michigan schools are funded is complex and emotionally charged.</p><p>Proposal A was passed in 1994. It was a new system for funding schools. It stopped the use of local property taxes as a source of school funding. Instead, it created a new state education tax, and it boosted the state sales tax from four to six cents on the dollar. The extra two cents goes to the school aid fund.</p><p>Twenty years after the changes, one thing many Michiganders agree on is that it's time to overhaul Proposal A, but there are many views on how to do that.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week, Bridge Magazine is featuring a series of reports by Chastity Pratt Dawsey looking at how we fund schools in Michigan.</span></p><p>Dawsey joined us today.</p><p></p><p><em>*Listen to our conversation with her above.</em></p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:47:15 +0000 Stateside Staff 17426 at http://michiganradio.org A look at how we fund schools in Michigan School districts get leeway in making up snow days http://michiganradio.org/post/school-districts-get-leeway-making-snow-days <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is giving school districts more flexibility in making up for snow days this academic year.</p><p>Districts that had scheduled more than the required 174 days of school can now hold just that number if they still meet the required 1,098 hours per school year. Schools that exceeded the six canceled days allowed under state law may not need makeup days.</p><p>Schools that need to add more days to the end of the school year can receive state funding as long as they have 60% of students in attendance on those days. That's down from the regular 75% attendance requirement.</p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation allowing for the changes after record snowfall and harsh temperatures this past winter.</p><p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:05:27 +0000 Mark Brush 17295 at http://michiganradio.org School districts get leeway in making up snow days Muskegon Heights school system continues its struggle to meet payroll, asks state for more money http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-school-system-continues-its-struggle-meet-payroll-asks-state-more-money <p>Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System is asking the state to front $191,000 to cover paychecks that are set to go out this Tuesday.</p><p>It’s the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/officials-confident-muskegon-heights-schools-will-meet-payroll-no-solution-yet">second time this month</a> the district has asked for an advance.</p><p>The advance would come out of the district’s state aid payment April 20. Earlier this month the state advanced $231,000.</p><p>State treasury officials say the district typically gets roughly $455,000 a month after debt obligations.</p><p>School board officials have previously declined requests for comment from Michigan Radio. Reports out today say board members also declined to comment to reporters at the special board meeting today, which lasted approximately five minutes.</p><p>Charter company Mosaica Education is running the district. The company’s CEO has not returned repeated requests for comment this week.</p><p>Mosaica’s Regional VP of Operations Alena Zachery-Ross says advancements for struggling school districts aren’t completely uncommon. She says the district is working on a plan to meet payroll for the rest of the year but couldn’t comment on the details of those negotiations.</p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:29:35 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17194 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights school system continues its struggle to meet payroll, asks state for more money Would year-round schools work in Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/would-year-round-schools-work-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Some at-risk schools in Michigan could soon get more state funding if they agree to go year-round.</span></p><p>In his budget address in February, Gov. Snyder called for a state pilot program to encourage year-round schooling. School districts could get money to add air conditioning and other upgrades to old buildings so they could operate during the summer.</p><p>Supporters of the measure say students lose a lot of what they learn during the school year after long summer breaks.</p><p>State Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, is sponsoring year-round education legislation. He says teachers have to reeducate students in September and October.</p><p>“You could have 30 and even up to 60 of the 180 days of kids relearning what they should already know,” said Schor.</p><p>But do these measures actually work?</p><p>Harris Cooper is professor and the chair of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He joined us today to share his thoughts.</p><p><em>Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:53:29 +0000 Stateside Staff 16952 at http://michiganradio.org Would year-round schools work in Michigan? Michigan's lowest-performing schools will get $16,757,681 from U.S. Dept. of Ed. http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-lowest-performing-schools-will-get-16757681-us-dept-ed <p>The money comes from the Department's School Improvement Grants program.&nbsp;</p><p>Ten states received grants, and Michigan was second to Texas in the amount given. Texas will get $46.7 million through the SIG program.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More from the Department of Education's <a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-awards-10-states-continue-efforts-turn-around-">press release</a>:</span></p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 18:05:48 +0000 Mark Brush 16842 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's lowest-performing schools will get $16,757,681 from U.S. Dept. of Ed. Proposed changes to special education in Michigan worry parents http://michiganradio.org/post/proposed-changes-special-education-michigan-worry-parents <p>Proposed changes to special education rules in Michigan are causing alarm and concern for some parents.</p><p>You can read about the proposed changes <a href="https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-37818_44099-321773--,00.html">here</a>.</p><p>Marcie Lipsitt is the founder of the <a href="http://www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/">Michigan Alliance for Special Education</a>, a grassroots organization that advocates for special education students.&nbsp;</p><p>The proposed rule revisions would be "catastrophic," according to Lipsitt.</p><p><em>*You can listen to her thoughts above.</em></p><p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:08:16 +0000 Stateside Staff 16786 at http://michiganradio.org Proposed changes to special education in Michigan worry parents Fewer Michigan school districts running a deficit, but struggles continue http://michiganradio.org/post/fewer-michigan-school-districts-running-deficit-struggles-continue <p>There are fewer Michigan school districts running into the red this year, and even more are projected to work their way out of budget deficits by the end of the school year.</p><p>Politicians in Lansing say they're encouraged by the trend, b<span style="line-height: 1.5;">ut peel away the top layer and it's not all good news.&nbsp;</span>MLive<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Capitol reporter Jonathon&nbsp;</span>Oosting<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;joined us to explain why.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>*Listen to the interview above.</em></span></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:23:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 16688 at http://michiganradio.org Fewer Michigan school districts running a deficit, but struggles continue How will Michigan help failing schools without the EAA? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-will-michigan-help-failing-schools-without-eaa <p>The state of Michigan is ending its exclusive contract with the Education Achievement Authority to oversee the worst-performing schools in the state.</p><p>State School Superintendent Mike Flangan sent a letter to the EAA saying the state will pull out of its exclusivity agreement with the Authority one year from now.</p><p>Martin Ackley is with the Michigan Department of Education. He says the state still intends to use the EAA to help turn around struggling schools.</p><blockquote><p>“Now, this is in no way a statement or an indication of a lack of confidence in the EAA or its academic strategies. This is just an action that needed to be taken in order to provide flexibility and to provide options other than the EAA in which to place these most struggling schools.”</p></blockquote><p>So, what are the other options that the State might use to help failing schools? And what's ahead for the controversial EAA?</p><p>Jake Neher, who covers Lansing for the Michigan Public Radio Network, joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:15:42 +0000 Stateside Staff 16526 at http://michiganradio.org How will Michigan help failing schools without the EAA? Michigan ending its exclusive contract with the EAA http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ending-its-exclusive-contract-eaa <p>The Michigan Department of Education will end its exclusive contract with the Education Achievement Authority to oversee some of the state's lowest-performing schools.</p><p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has sent a letter to the EAA notifying it that the contract will be terminated a year from now.</p><p>The MDE says it still intends to use the EAA to turn around struggling schools. It says ending the contract will simply open up more options to other entities that can oversee the schools.</p><p>The&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;currently runs 15 schools in Detroit.&nbsp;</p><p>Martin&nbsp;Ackley&nbsp;is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Education.</p><p>"There are situations where a struggling school may be better served by a neighboring school district or the local intermediate school district as opposed to the&nbsp;EAA."</p><p>Ackley&nbsp;says the state still intends to use the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;to help oversee struggling schools. He says ending the contract will simply give state education officials more options.</p><p>"Now, this is in no way a statement or an indication of alack of confidence in the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;or its academic strategies. This is just an action that needed to be taken in order to provide flexibility and to provide options other than the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;in which to place these most struggling schools."</p><p>Critics of the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;say it's struggling with declining enrollment, finances, and school safety. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would bolster the authority and allow it to expand it statewide.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 15:02:29 +0000 Jake Neher 16516 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ending its exclusive contract with the EAA Survey shows more Michigan public schools privatizing support services http://michiganradio.org/post/survey-shows-more-michigan-public-schools-privatizing-support-services <p>Two in every three Michigan public school districts contract out at least one major service, like custodial, transportation or food service. That’s according to a yearly survey of districts.</p><p>The Midland-based research institute Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which supports privatizing services, has published the survey every year since 2003. Here’s a summary of the center’s survey:</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 23:07:11 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16123 at http://michiganradio.org Survey shows more Michigan public schools privatizing support services Michigan falling behind on school safety reporting http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-falling-behind-school-safety-reporting <p>Parents want to know how safe their child's school is. How many incidents of bullying have happened, for example? How many kids caught with drugs or alcohol?</p><p>Well, it's been more than a decade since the state of Michigan required the reporting of school safety information, but it appears that requirement is failing.</p><p>Bridge Magazine writer Ron French recently dug into the extent of the problem.</p><p><em>*Listen to the audio above.</em></p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 22:19:54 +0000 Stateside Staff 15923 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan falling behind on school safety reporting How are 'Common Core' standards playing out in Michigan classrooms today? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-are-common-core-standards-playing-out-michigan-classrooms-today <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back in 2010, the State Board of Education approved the Common Core State Standards for Michigan — a set of math and English goals for K-12 students.</span></p><p>School districts across the state have spent the past three years integrating the standards into their curricula. At the same time, we've heard a lot of political debate about Common Core, mostly about the involvement of the federal government in our classrooms.</p><p>But in October of this year, state lawmakers OK'd funding for Common Core, and now it is becoming a reality in Michigan classrooms.</p><p>We wanted to find out: What does this mean — day-in, day-out — for Michigan's students?</p><p>What does a school year under Common Core really look like?</p><p>Joining us is Naomi Norman, the executive director of Achievement Initiatives at Washtenaw Intermediate School District and Livingston Educational Service Agency.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:46:21 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15706 at http://michiganradio.org How are 'Common Core' standards playing out in Michigan classrooms today? 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? MSU Study: A Catholic school education may not be superior to a public school education http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-study-catholic-school-education-may-not-be-superior-public-school-education <p><a href="https://www.msu.edu/~telder/Cath_Prim_Current.pdf">A new Michigan State University study</a> suggests <a href="http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/advocacy-issues/education/">a Catholic school education</a> might not be better than a public schools education.</p><p><a href="http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/study-gives-catholic-schools-poor-marks/">Todd Elder</a> is an MSU economist. He says it's true that test scores for Catholic school students are better than for public school students. But Elder says that gap is wider in Kindergarten than it is in the eighth grade.</p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 12:59:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15074 at http://michiganradio.org MSU Study: A Catholic school education may not be superior to a public school education Stateside for Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-wednesday-october-30th-2013 <div><p>Michigan is home to five national parks and there are lots of open spaces where you can camp, hunt and enjoy nature. But, yesterday, an Oklahoma Senator recently said two Michigan landmarks are a prime example of wasteful federal spending. We found out what’s behind the senator’s reasoning and whether there is some truth to his concerns.</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then, we took a look at a new proposal by a group of Democrats in the Michigan House that would require the state to determine the actual cost of educating a public school student in Michigan. That got us thinking, shouldn't we already know?&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We also spoke with Michigan writer Donald Lystra about his new collection of short stories. And, Ann Arbor now has its own Death Café, organized by funeral home guide Merilynne Rush. She stopped by to tell us more about it.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But, first on the show, e<span style="line-height: 1.5;">ver since the government unveiled its <a href="http://healthcare.gov">healthcare.gov</a> website, the headlines surrounding the Affordable Care Act have been about the problems with the way the site was designed and the extreme difficulty Americans have had in getting on the exchange. </span>But what about the Americans that don't need healthcare.gov? The ones who already have plans? To those consumers, President Obama has been saying this since 2009:</div><blockquote><p>“If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover, nobody’s changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it.”</p></blockquote><p>So why, then, then are some 2 million Americans - about 140,000 in Michigan - getting cancelation letters from their insurers over the past couple of weeks?</p><p>Marianne Udow-Phillips directs the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. She joined us today.</p><p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 20:22:33 +0000 Stateside Staff 15060 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Wednesday, October 30th, 2013