K-12 http://michiganradio.org en Report: Michigan students spent the past decade losing ground http://michiganradio.org/post/report-michigan-students-spent-past-decade-losing-ground <p>A new report gives Michigan failing grades for student academic progress.</p><p></p><p>During the last decade, Michigan’s fourth-graders lost ground in math and reading, according to a new report out today from Education Trust-Midwest.</p><p></p><p>Amber Arellano is with the trust. She says Michigan now ranks among the bottom five states in student academic progress.</p><p></p><p>She says the state must raise the bar for students and teachers.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:10:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17084 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Michigan students spent the past decade losing ground State Board of Education tries to make school funding a central election issue http://michiganradio.org/post/state-board-education-tries-make-school-funding-central-election-issue <p>The Michigan State Board of Education hopes public school funding will be a top priority for voters when they head to the polls in November.</p><p></p><p>The board on Tuesday kicked off a series of discussions meant to publicly critique the way the state pays for public education. The talks will continue at its monthly meetings until November.</p><p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:30:50 +0000 Jake Neher 16405 at http://michiganradio.org State Board of Education tries to make school funding a central election issue Snyder takes on K-12 funding 'misinformation' http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-takes-k-12-funding-misinformation <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is taking on "misinformation" over his record of funding public schools before putting forward his next budget.<br /><br />Since the Republican governor took office, he says, state aid to K-12 districts is up an average of $660 per student. But House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel says the figure is "simply untrue."<br /><br />Until a few years ago, the primary marker of school funding was Michigan's per-pupil grant. Now Michigan is picking up some of the ballooning retirement costs instead of including the money in districts' traditional aid. Sat, 25 Jan 2014 12:23:12 +0000 The Associated Press 16171 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder takes on K-12 funding 'misinformation' 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 Lawmakers, educators work toward compromise on bills that would flunk some 3rd graders http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-educators-work-toward-compromise-bills-would-flunk-some-3rd-graders <p>Lawmakers are working out the details of <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/billanalysis/House/pdf/2013-HLA-5111-0F1C4A2F.pdf">a proposal that would flunk Michigan students who can’t read </a>at “proficient” levels by the end of the third grade.</p><p>Many in the education community are opposed to the legislation, including The Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers.<br /><br />The Michigan Association of Public School Academies supports it.</p> Sun, 19 Jan 2014 17:07:26 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16085 at http://michiganradio.org Lawmakers, educators work toward compromise on bills that would flunk some 3rd graders Michigan's student homelessness problem is growing http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-student-homelessness-problem-growing <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The number of K-12 students in the U.S. without a home is on the rise.</span></p><p>More than 1.1 million children in the U.S. were homeless in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the Department of Education.</p><p>Suzi Parker at <a href="http://www.takepart.com/photos/poverty-in-the-us-homeless-students-by-state/4-michigan">takepart.com</a> looked at the numbers and found that Michigan has one of the fastest-growing homeless student populations in the country.</p><p>In Michigan,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.takepart.com/photos/poverty-in-the-us-homeless-students-by-state/4-michigan">43,418 students</a>&nbsp;were homeless in the 2011-2012 school year, compared to <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20111218/NEWS06/112180464">30,671</a>&nbsp;in the 2010-2011 school year:</p><p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:27:08 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15633 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's student homelessness problem is growing Students making gains under first-of-a-kind charter; school leaders set bigger goals http://michiganradio.org/post/students-making-gains-under-first-kind-charter-school-leaders-set-bigger-goals <p>On average, students under the state’s first fully privatized public school district are learning at a faster rate than under the old system. That’s according to data released Monday night by the charter company running the Muskegon Heights district.</p><p>Muskegon Heights schools’ <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/check-out-details-michigan-s-first-privatized-public-school-system">emergency manager set up the charter system </a>in the summer of 2012, when the existing district couldn’t afford to open. Highland Park Public Schools is under a similar arrangement.</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 08:35:39 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14557 at http://michiganradio.org Students making gains under first-of-a-kind charter; school leaders set bigger goals Benton Harbor student population down 45% in a decade, schools work to reverse decline http://michiganradio.org/post/benton-harbor-student-population-down-45-decade-schools-work-reverse-decline <p>Benton Harbor Area Schools is already campaigning to get students enrolled in the fall. That’s because the district hopes to dig out of a major budget deficit by attracting more students.</p><p>Benton Harbor schools narrowly avoided a state appointed emergency manager a couple of years ago.</p><p>Superintendent Leonard Seawood says since then, they’ve balanced the budget for two years in a row.</p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 15:13:50 +0000 Lindsey Smith 13389 at http://michiganradio.org Benton Harbor student population down 45% in a decade, schools work to reverse decline Muskegon Heights schools emergency manager: 1 year to local control, 28 to pay off debt http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-schools-emergency-manager-1-year-local-control-28-pay-debt <p>With a little luck and another loan from the state, Muskegon Heights Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon is predicting the district will pay of its debt the year 2041.</p><p>Don Weatherspoon told a small crowd gathered in the high school auditorium Monday night he hopes to hand local control back to the district’s elected school board in one year.</p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 02:47:53 +0000 Lindsey Smith 13224 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights schools emergency manager: 1 year to local control, 28 to pay off debt State fines Muskegon Heights schools for hiring teachers without proper certification http://michiganradio.org/post/state-fines-muskegon-heights-schools-hiring-teachers-without-proper-certification-0 <p>The Muskegon Heights school system has been fined nearly $100,000 by the Michigan Department of Education. The department launched the investigation after Michigan Radio reported the new Muskegon Heights charter school district had about 10% of teachers working without a valid teaching certificate or permit. It’s against state law to do that.</p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:21:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 12938 at http://michiganradio.org Classes count towards high school diploma and college degree under new pilot program http://michiganradio.org/post/classes-count-towards-high-school-diploma-and-college-degree-under-new-pilot-program <p>Juniors and seniors at Rockford High School will be able to earn up to 30 credit hours at Ferris State University for free in a pilot program announced today.</p><p>Say you’re taking calculus at Rockford High School, when you get to college, you could test out of calculus but you wouldn't get any credits.</p><p>The pilot program differs from dual enrollment programs.</p><p>If a student passes a single calculus class, it will count toward both their high school diploma and their college degree.</p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 22:09:01 +0000 Lindsey Smith 12880 at http://michiganradio.org Classes count towards high school diploma and college degree under new pilot program Grand Rapids students tell policy makers what they want from school http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-students-tell-policy-makers-what-they-want-school <p>There are plenty of adults talking about what should be done concerning education in Michigan. But an event in Grand Rapids gave students an opportunity to explain what they need from their schools.</p><p>Lynn Heemstra helped organize the event, called<a href="http://grchildren.us/media/mayors-youth-council/activities/kidspeak/"> “KidSpeak.”</a></p><p>“It’s my belief that a lot of people that have legislative responsibility don’t really know the extent of what young people are dealing with in the their lives and what they’re receiving in the way of day to day educational opportunities,” Heemstra said. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:25:56 +0000 Lindsey Smith 12308 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids students tell policy makers what they want from school Former Grand Rapids schools superintendent gets $280,000 to settle lawsuit with district http://michiganradio.org/post/former-grand-rapids-schools-superintendent-gets-280000-settle-lawsuit-district <p>Bernard Taylor Jr. ran what’s now the state’s fifth-largest K-12 district for five years.</p><p>Eventually, Taylor and some members of the school board did not get along very well. By in the spring of 2011, it became clear Taylor was looking for a new job. He agreed to resign that summer and ended up signing a severance package.</p><p>But last month Taylor sued, claiming the district never paid him.&nbsp; He calculated GRPS owed him $330,000 including lawyer’s fees.</p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 15:23:15 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11885 at http://michiganradio.org Former Grand Rapids schools superintendent gets $280,000 to settle lawsuit with district Former charter school director gets probation for lying about student enrollment http://michiganradio.org/post/former-charter-school-director-gets-probation-lying-about-student-enrollment <p>A charter school in Muskegon County will have to repay the state close to $30,000 that, technically, the school shouldn’t have gotten in the first place.</p><p>The more students a school has the more money it receives from the state.</p><p>Barbara Stellard, who directed Waypoint Academy from 2002 to 2010, was charged in October with multiple criminal charges for reporting more students than actually attended the charter school.</p><p>Michigan Attorney General’s office spokeswoman Joy Yearout says another employee at Waypoint told tipped the state off to the scam.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:34:57 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11679 at http://michiganradio.org Investigation uncovers non-certified teachers at Muskegon Heights new charter school http://michiganradio.org/post/investigation-uncovers-non-certified-teachers-muskegon-heights-new-charter-school <p><strong>Update:</strong> As of February 14th, <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/after-report-muskegon-heights-teachers-get-michigan-certificates-substitute-permits">these teachers have now obtained</a> valid Michigan teaching certificates or permits.</p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 12:35:45 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11193 at http://michiganradio.org Investigation uncovers non-certified teachers at Muskegon Heights new charter school Muskegon Heights has high hopes for 3rd high school principal in 6 months http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-has-high-hopes-3rd-high-school-principal-6-months <p>The new Muskegon Heights charter school district is welcoming yet another principal at its high school. Carla Turner-Laws is the third principal so far this school year. Technically, her title is Interim Head of School/Instructional Specialist.</p><p>A couple dozen people sharing cookies and pink fruit punch welcomed Turner-Laws at a reception Wednesday night. Most were fellow co-workers, friends and family members.</p><p>The MHPS district’s state-appointed emergency manager <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-schools-handed-over-charter-school-company">turned the entire district over to a charter school </a>company last June. Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:23:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11126 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights has high hopes for 3rd high school principal in 6 months Grand Rapids schools sends out first round of pink slips in “transformation plan” http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-schools-sends-out-first-round-pink-slips-transformation-plan <p>About 200 administrators at Grand Rapids Public Schools are getting notice that they could potentially be laid off this summer. The school board voted Monday night to send out the notices, as part of a “<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/stateside-grand-rapids-restructures-its-districts-save-money-improve-education">transformation plan</a>” it adopted in December.</p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 17:50:37 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11098 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids schools sends out first round of pink slips in “transformation plan” Grading Michigan's first fully privatized public school district http://michiganradio.org/post/3-lessons-michigans-first-fully-privatized-public-school-district <p>Last summer, Muskegon Heights became the first school district in the state to completely privatize its public school system.</p><p>In December 2011, after running a budget deficit for six years in a row, the school board requested the appointment of an emergency manager under the now-defunct Public Act 4.</p><p>Soon after his appointment in April 2012, emergency manager Don Weatherspoon laid off all of the district’s employees, created a new charter district, and appointed a new school board to run it.</p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:00:33 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10654 at http://michiganradio.org Grading Michigan's first fully privatized public school district Private donors pay for new public school building at Grand Rapids nature preserve http://michiganradio.org/post/private-donors-pay-new-public-school-building-grand-rapids-nature-preserve <p>Walk up to the new school inside the Blandford Nature Center and a flock of brown hens will quietly greet you. The hens are part of a business lesson about entrepreneurs at the Blandford School.</p><p>On Monday students and staff gathered to open the new school building paid for through mostly private funds.</p><p>Jennifer Brandstatter wipes tears from her cheek during the&nbsp;celebration. She moved her oldest of two daughters from a Catholic school to attend&nbsp; 6th grade at Blandford and she “loves it”.</p><p>“I just, I cry when I think about it. It’ just she’s having the best time of her life. The teachers are amazing. I mean it’s just such a unique experience,” Brandstatter explained. Mon, 07 Jan 2013 21:15:13 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10650 at http://michiganradio.org Private donors pay for new public school building at Grand Rapids nature preserve Many Muskegon Heights students dig the charter company’s curriculum: “It’s fun.” http://michiganradio.org/post/many-muskegon-heights-students-dig-charter-company-s-curriculum-it-s-fun <p><em>This story is the third in a four-part series about how things are going so far in Michigan's first fully privatized public school district. Find part <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-students-hope-less-chaos-they-return-class-today">one here</a>, part<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/i-couldnt-accept-why-muskegon-heights-teachers-quit-and-how-it-impacts-students?nopop=1"> two here</a>&nbsp;and part <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/patience-please-muskegon-heights-school-leaders-building-airplane-we-fly-it">four here</a>. </em></p><p>The decision to convert the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-schools-handed-over-charter-school-company">Muskegon Heights Public School district into a charter school district </a>was a financial one. But the officials who run the new system hope to improve academics too.</p><p>From the outside, Edgewood Elementary School looks and sounds the same as any other year.</p><p>But this year, Mosaica Education, the charter company that’s running the school, hopes a new curriculum, longer school day and year round classes will improve student success. Fri, 04 Jan 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10615 at http://michiganradio.org Many Muskegon Heights students dig the charter company’s curriculum: “It’s fun.”