social issues en Stateside for Thursday, Feb.13, 2014 <p>When it comes to support for emergency care services, the U.S. just barely squeaked by with a passing grade, at least according to a new state-by-state report card put out by the American College of Emergency Physicians.<br /><br />And how did Michigan measure up, you might ask? Well, it turns out we're failing in access to emergency health care. We heard some recommendations about ways to move forward.</p><p>Then, we met a woman who’s trying to help people come together to have some uncomfortable, but enlightening, conversations about race, class and more.</p><p>And, we spoke with Daniel Howes about Tom Lewand, Detroit’s job czar.</p><p>Also, “Saturday Night Live” just hired its first black female cast member in five years. Will this bring more attention to other black comedians?</p><p>And, a Michigan historian gave us a closer look at how Michigan milkweed helped us in World War II.</p><p>Also, the Michigan Human Society has a new way to find homes for their animals: social media.</p><p>First on the show, h<span style="line-height: 1.5;">ow do you best measure the progress of students in Michigan's classrooms and, by extension, the effectiveness of their teachers?</span></p><p>It's one of the thorniest challenges being debated in Michigan education.</p><p>For years, the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP)&nbsp;and the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) have been the assessment tools. Now, with the move to the Common Core Standards, it's out with the&nbsp;MEAP&nbsp;and MME and in with the what?</p><p>Districts around Michigan are gearing up for an online adaptive assessment test in the spring of 2015.</p><p>The Michigan Department of Education says the state has only one option for testing students on the Common Core State Standards for the next three years.</p><p>And that option is the Smarter Balanced Assessment – the SBA.</p><p>But state lawmakers haven't made that official.</p><p>We wondered how districts&nbsp; are preparing for the SBA or whatever test they're told to administer next year.</p><p>William Heath is the superintendent of the&nbsp;Morrice&nbsp;Area Schools and principal at&nbsp;Morrice&nbsp;Junior and Senior High School located in&nbsp;Shiawassee&nbsp;County. He joined us today.</p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:53:49 +0000 Stateside Staff 16442 at Stateside for Thursday, Feb.13, 2014 Deep Dive Detroit helps start conversations about social justice <p>What discussions and conversations should we be having around Michigan that we are veering away from?</p><p>What's the price we're paying for not opening up and talking about hot-button issues like racism, poverty, food justice, LGBT rights, and so much more?</p><p>That's what our next guest asked herself, and that led her to co-found <a href="">Deep Dive Detroit</a>. Its mission is to "create a safe place for uncomfortable conversations between disparate groups."</p><p>Co-founder Lauren Hood joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:53:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 16441 at Deep Dive Detroit helps start conversations about social justice Non-profit: 19 housing units available for every single homeless person in Kent County <p>A non-profit group in Grand Rapids is re-energizing its effort to get people who are homeless into permanent homes.</p><p>Well House has been around since the late 1970s. About a year ago, the non-profit emergency homeless shelter Well House was in danger of closing. That’s when its new executive director Tami VandenBerg pushed the group to switch gears and provide permanent homes instead.</p><p>“If you’re in an emergency shelter, it is unbelievably challenging to get a job, take any medications, or stop using or reduce using substances. It’s just virtually impossible,” VandenBerg said.</p> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 12:30:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15312 at Non-profit: 19 housing units available for every single homeless person in Kent County Stateside for Monday, September 9, 2013 <p>Ever since the city of Detroit's historic bankruptcy filing, there have been accusatory fingers pointed at past mayoral administrations -- black administrations.</p><p>On today's show, we talked with Marilyn Katz. She played a leading role in the Students for a Democratic Society demonstrations and has recently penned the piece "Detroit's Downfall: Beyond the Myth of Black Misleadership."</p><p>And, the band "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr." stopped by to talk about the inspiration for their music.</p><p>Also, Michigan plans to try experimental "social impact bonds." What are these bonds and what do they mean for the state?</p><p>First on the show, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">s the headlines unfold over the civil war in Syria and whether the United States should or should not take military action against&nbsp;</span>Bashar<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Assad's<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;regime, there are thousands of people in Michigan watching with the most intense interest.</span></p><p>Syrians first started coming to Michigan at the turn of the&nbsp;20th&nbsp;Century. Today, the Syrian Community in Michigan numbers about 25,000.</p><p>We wanted to get a sense of what this civil war looks and feels like for these thousands of people in Michigan with close ties to Syria.</p><p>Dr.&nbsp;Yahya&nbsp;Basha&nbsp;came from Syria to Southeast Michigan in 1972 after graduating from medical school at the University of Damascus. He is a leader in the Syrian-American Community in Michigan.</p><p>He joined us today.</p><p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:32:16 +0000 Stateside Staff 14338 at Stateside for Monday, September 9, 2013 Michigan is the latest state to try experimental social impact bonds <p>Michigan plans to enlist private investors to finance public social programs, becoming the latest state government to try an experimental "pay-for-success" approach in tackling persistent problems such as homelessness or recidivism.</p><p>Also known as pay-for-success contracts, social impact bonds let private investors put up money for a program with a specific goal.</p><p>If the goal is achieved, the government pays back the investors, with a profit. If not, the government pays nothing.</p><p>Chris Gautz, Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, joined us today to talk about these bonds.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:29:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 14336 at Michigan is the latest state to try experimental social impact bonds What are 'social impact bonds,' and will they be good for Michigan? <p>These are the basic questions being raised after Governor Rick Snyder announced "an exciting opportunity to continue the reinvention of Michigan" i<span style="line-height: 1.5;">n a&nbsp;</span><a href=",4668,7-277-57577_57657-312016--,00.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">press release</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;this morning.</span></p><p>"Social impact bonds" are coming to Michigan.</p><p>The state was chosen through a national competition to receive help from the Harvard Kennedy School's "Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab."</p><p><strong><em>What are social impact bonds?</em></strong></p><p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 15:53:59 +0000 Mark Brush 14333 at What are 'social impact bonds,' and will they be good for Michigan? Commentary: Detroit and the State - Two Worlds <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Yesterday, I was driving across Michigan and listening to the coverage of Detroit&rsquo;s financial crisis, when I realized something.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Detroit must seem like an alien world to many who don&lsquo;t live in the city. And the reactions of many Detroiters, including some members of city council, must seem both baffling and irrational.</font></font></font></font></p> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 15:05:09 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 6888 at Commentary: Detroit and the State - Two Worlds Autistic kids practice social skills at the bowling alley <p>Kids with autism struggle with reading non-verbal cues, like facial expressions. They also have a tough time knowing the right words to say. That&rsquo;s why there are social skills clubs for kids with autism.</p><p></p><p>One such club meets regularly at <a href="">Bel-Mark Lanes</a> in Ann Arbor. There are three different groups based on age, and this particular group includes kids in junior high and high school.</p> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 09:00:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 5290 at Autistic kids practice social skills at the bowling alley The Culture of Class (an audio documentary) <p>If you think about it, class is a tricky word. What does it even mean? How do you define it?</p><p>Michigan Radio reporters and producers take a look at how social class impacts our lives - from the way we plan our cities and neighborhoods, to the way we&rsquo;re treated in a courtroom.</p><p>We also hear from folks around the state as they share their thoughts on class.</p><p><strong>Part 1</strong></p><p></p><p>This idea of class &ndash; class warfare, class resentment. It&rsquo;s everywhere. And yet, how are we defining class?</p><p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 19:06:43 +0000 Jennifer Guerra, Zoe Clark & Mercedes Mejia 5121 at The Culture of Class (an audio documentary) Political Roundup with Debbie Dingell and Ken Sikkema <p>So far, this session of the Michigan legislature has been busy. Governor Snyder is expected to sign legislation that creates a state ban on dilation and extraction abortions despite there already being a federal ban. We’ve seen a proposal to block foreign laws from being used in Michigan. And there’s a proposal that would allow Michigan companies to produce incandescent light bulbs. That’s despite a federal ban and despite the fact that no Michigan companies currently produce incandescent light bulbs.</p> Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:52:02 +0000 Jennifer White 4371 at Political Roundup with Debbie Dingell and Ken Sikkema What can we expect in the upcoming legislative session? <p></p><p>The Michigan legislature starts its new session soon.&nbsp; So, what can we expect from Governor Snyder and state legislators in the coming months?</p><p>We talk about state politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas Political Analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 18 Aug 2011 22:08:09 +0000 Jennifer White 3816 at What can we expect in the upcoming legislative session? A Conversation with State Representative Jeff Irwin <p></p><p>The Michigan legislature returns from break next week. While they will be faced with a new set of issues when they return, at least one legislator is critical of the work that&rsquo;s been done so far.</p><p>Every week we interview lawmakers about what&#39;s happening in our state and the nation. Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White today talks with Freshman Democratic State Representative Jeff Irwin about the state budget, working with the legislature and what we can expect in the coming months.</p><p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:45:59 +0000 Jennifer White 3767 at A Conversation with State Representative Jeff Irwin Social issues and Michigan politics (audio) <p>It&#39;s been a very busy legislative year in Michigan. There&rsquo;s a new tax code, teacher tenure reform, and a new state budget. But across the country, social issues have been major legislative topics, but not so much in this state.</p><p>In our weekly political discussion Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White talks with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p></p><p>The primary focus, so far, has been on jobs and the budget according to Demas who says social issues have snuck into legislative talks.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;With the budget, the gay partner benefit issue held up the process for several days with House Republicans trying to get some provisions in that would penalize universities that offer domestic partner benefits. And committees have been doing work on abortion issues, particularly the so-called partial birth abortion issue.&quot;</p></blockquote><p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 21:40:21 +0000 Jennifer White 3196 at Social issues and Michigan politics (audio) Social Agenda <p></p><p>Former Michigan Governor John Engler is widely regarded as having been more conservative than Rick Snyder. And certainly, Snyder won the support last year of many prominent independents and even moderate Democrats who never would have voted for Engler.</p><p>Yet perceptions and reality aren&#39;t always the same thing. You might have expected what some people call the &ldquo;radical right&rdquo; to have had a field day imposing their social agenda on the state during the dozen years that John Engler was governor.</p><p>However, that mostly didn&rsquo;t happen. Engler kept those folks pretty effectively bottled up. When they grumbled, he or his people would ask, &ldquo;would you like a liberal Democrat in this office instead?&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, push too hard, and you risk backlash. Now, nobody ever accused Engler of being stupid. He knew that while Michiganders can be induced to vote Republican, this is anything but a deep red state. There were three presidential elections during the Engler years; Democrats easily carried Michigan each time.</p><p>In between, John Engler was re-elected by astonishing landslides. Rick Snyder doesn&rsquo;t seem to have a social agenda either, except perhaps not to wear ties when he doesn&#39;t have to.</p><p>Though he has said he is anti-abortion, he is an enthusiastic supporter of embryonic stem cell research. Otherwise, he seems totally focused on the economy. But his fellow Republicans in the legislature have other ideas. They have taken a number of actions that could possibly hurt their party and their governor in the long run.</p><p>Yesterday, for example, the House approved both the higher education and the elementary and high school education budgets.</p><p>The vote was close, in part because the cuts were too much for even six Republican members to support. But at the last minute, they slapped on another amendment punishing universities that allow benefits for unmarried partners. They can lose up to five percent of their funding. Fri, 06 May 2011 14:54:19 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 2377 at Social Agenda Bike program sneakily teaches basic social skills <p>Riding a bicycle is a classic part of childhood. But plenty of kids don&rsquo;t have bikes. One program in Kalamazoo teaches kids simple bike maintenance and at the end of the program, kids get their own bike. But the people who run the Open Roads workshop say the heart of the program is about teaching basic social skills.</p><p></p> Fri, 15 Apr 2011 15:10:36 +0000 Kyle Norris 2088 at Bike program sneakily teaches basic social skills The debate over social issues during a budget crunch <p>Governor Rick Snyder says he wants controversial social questions to take a back seat to taxes and job-creation. He says to do otherwise could create intense debates that enflame passions and sideline his efforts to fix Michigan&rsquo;s economy.</p><p>But that has not stopped some of his fellow Republicans in the Legislature. They say GOP control of state government makes this the moment to tackle controversies surrounding abortion, gun control, illegal immigration, and medical marijuana.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder meets up with his inner nerd every morning as he checks an electronic application that reminds him how much time is left before the budget deadline he set for the Legislature&mdash;May 31<sup>st</sup>.:</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;All I have to do is turn on my iPad and it shows me how many days and hours are left, and how many seconds&hellip;&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Snyder says he is singularly focused on completing the budget before that time on his iPad runs out. He has proposed massive cuts and tax reforms that would affect the budget. He says right now that should be the focus of everyone&rsquo;s energy at the state Capitol. He&rsquo;s finding some people &ndash; including Republicans &ndash; disagree. State Senator Rick Jones is one of those Republicans:</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;My job is looking at other issues that concern Michiganders.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Jones says the Legislature is working very hard on Snyder&rsquo;s budget proposals and goals. But he says that does not mean lawmakers cannot and should not also work on social issues. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee he recently took up and voted on a controversial abortion bill that is already covered by federal law. And he sponsored a measure that would add rules to the use of medical marijuana. Jones:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The issues we take up, are issues where I could walk into any coffee shop in my district and the vast majority agree that it&rsquo;s something we need to address.&quot; Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:35:01 +0000 Laura Weber 1859 at The debate over social issues during a budget crunch