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This story was updated with additional information at 2:42 pm on 10/1/15

State and local officials may be close to a deal to create a new K-14 school system in Highland Park.

A number of community colleges are interested in bankrolling much of the revamped system, according to people involved in the talks.

The Association of American Universities today announced the appointment of Mary Sue Coleman, former president of the University of Michigan, as its new president, effective June 1, 2016.

Coleman will succeed Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has served as president since June 2011. Rawlings informed the AAU board of directors in May that he would retire from AAU next May.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder says plans to overhaul Detroit’s education system should get moving in Lansing soon.

It’s not clear exactly what will be in those bills.

But in the past, Snyder has floated a bankruptcy-style plan for the debt-ridden Detroit Public Schools.

Cristian Bernal /

Students at Hastings High School have submitted a petition with 304 signatures asking to be allowed to display the Confederate battle flag on school grounds.

A small group of students initiated display of the flag, which they did not understand to be widely perceived as a symbol of racial hatred. 

Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court has refused to hear a case that alleges the state and the struggling Highland Park school district are failing in their legal obligation to adequately educate students.

The so-called “right-to-read” lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bipartisan bill meant to strengthen reading skills by the third grade has cleared a state House committee.

New language in House Bill 4822 encourages schools to adopt summer reading camps for students who fall behind.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Our state used to boast a pretty strong education system, but just about any measurement given these days suggests that’s no longer true.

Case in point: the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card, finds Michigan is in the bottom third of all states in fourth grade reading, fourth grade math and eighth grade math.

Representation of a chart that shows how Michigan is one of only six states with negative improvement for early literacy since 2003.
See full charts here -

The state's new schools superintendent Brian Whiston started a series of discussions seeking ideas to make Michigan a “Top 10” education state within 10 years.

Just about every measurement shows that all groups of Michigan students – black, white, poor, rich – are losing ground academically compared to their peers in other states.

Wikimedia Commons

  Nearly 1 in 4 college women experience some form of sexual assault, according to a new survey from the Association of American Universities.

The survey polled 150,000 students at 27 schools, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

And what’s interesting is that this survey indicates that sexual assault on campus may be even more prevalent than other, widely-cited studies suggest – for instance, the White House’s “Not Alone” campaign says 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college.

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

A new poll shows disagreement among parents about what exactly constitutes cyberbullying.

The University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked hundreds of parents of children between 13 and 17 years old about cyberbullying.   

The poll found agreement that children bullying other children online is wrong. But agreement was more elusive on what exactly qualifies as cyberbullying and what’s the best response.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan school district is ending a program that put grandparents in the classroom.

  Grandparents for years got a small payment for volunteering to help Saginaw teachers and students. Elease Watson tells WNEM-TV  that sometimes a simple hug can change a kid's day.

  But Superintendent Nate McClain says the district can't use certain grants to pay for the program. He says the money is reserved for instruction.

Detroit Public Schools

The Detroit Public Schools is in even bigger financial trouble than previously thought, according to a state report filed this week.

In its June 2015 quarterly report on school district deficits, the Michigan Department of Education pegged DPS’s annual budget deficit at $166,359,414.

Jake Neher / MPRN

There’s a deep divide at the state Capitol over plans to rescue Detroit Public Schools.

The governor hopes to sell lawmakers on a plan to restructure DPS and have the state pay off its massive debt. He says state-appointed emergency managers drove up that debt.

Jeremy Brooks / flickr

If some Democrats in Lansing get their way, all high school sex education classes would teach that “yes means yes” when it comes to sex.

The legislation says anything short of a conscious “yes” does not count as consent to sex.

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The University of Michigan has agreed to erase the findings of a sexual assault investigation against Drew Sterrett, a former student. In exchange, Sterrett will drop a lawsuit he filed against the university.

Sterrett’s case has made him kind of a poster boy for critics who feel universities are overcorrecting on college rape, with a lawsuit that details all kinds of alleged flaws in the school’s investigation process – like failing to include evidence from a roommate who was present while the sexual incident occurred.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Aspiring college students will be able to apply for federal financial aid three months earlier than now and submit a previous year's tax return, changes aimed at helping more people pay for school, the White House said.

Under the current system, students planning to start school in the fall of 2017 must wait until January of that year to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The new system will let them complete the form as early as October 2016, the month that marks the traditional start to the college application season.


A bill to improve third graders’ reading skills in Michigan is winning support from Democrats and some school groups.

The bipartisan bill differs quite a bit from controversial legislation that died last year. That bill would have forced schools to prevent kids who fail a state reading test from advancing to the fourth grade.

Marc Grassi watches his daughter, Franca, eat breakfast before her first day of school at St. Clare of Montefalco in Grosse Point Park, Michigan.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

On her first day of school, Franca Grassi woke up, ate a bowl of oatmeal with diced nectarines and maple syrup. She brushed her teeth with the help of a Mickey Mouse iPhone app. Then her parents, Nikki Rittenour and Marc Grassi, drove her to school in their station wagon.

Unlike traditional playgrounds like the one pictured, playscapes aim to incorporate more of a landscape-based design.
flickr user Takuma Kimura /

Instead of letting the adults decide how to overhaul a school playground, why not go to the consumers?

Why not ask the kids who will be using it?

That’s the idea behind the design and upcoming construction of a new playscape at Ann Arbor’s STEAM at Northside school, and the organizers think what they’ve learned can help other schools.


Colleges are now legally required to train new students about sexual assault prevention and awareness.

That’s part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.  

And it turns out the training at Central Michigan University has been pretty popular for a while now.  

A lot of other colleges have hired CMU’s training group. The Navy even brought them to instruct groups of sailors and Marines.

So we thought, what better time to check it out?  

Michigan House Republicans

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is pushing for changes in Michigan’s special education system.

He outlined findings of his special education listening tour and survey on Tuesday to the state Board of Education.

Of almost 2,000 parents surveyed, 24% said their child had been subjected to restraints or seclusion.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s the first day of school in much of Michigan.   

Dozens of men stood in the rain at the entrance to Flint’s Northwestern High School greeting students as they stepped off the bus.

From politicians to pastors, the men shook the students’ hands and wished them “good morning”.  

user Wonderlane / Flickr

Students heading back to class this week will play a more important role in teacher evaluations this year.

Last school year, state law mandated student growth had to be a “significant” factor in K-12 teacher evaluations. But local leaders got to decide what “significant” meant in their districts.

user alkruse24 / Flickr

Tuesday marks the first time the city of Highland Park will not offer high school classes.

The district’s emergency manager Don Weatherspoon closed the city’s only high school due to low enrollment.

School Bus
Nicolae Gerasim / Flickr

Michigan prisoners have raised more than $53,000 to help buy children school uniforms and supplies. The program, Dress for Success, is part of the Pathways to Potential project of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

moare / MorgueFile

Michigan expects there will be a shortage of teachers in certain subjects this school year. Early childhood, special education, foreign language and a variety of occupational teachers are facing a “critical” shortage.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s new school superintendent wants to do something with the district’s unused buildings.

Superintendent Bilal Tawwab says he’s forming a task force to figure out what’s the best thing to do with nearly two dozen empty school buildings, many of which have sat unused for years.


Forty-three Michigan school districts will start this school year with a lower credit rating.

The Detroit News reports that Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the districts over the past year.


Right now, college freshman around the state are getting training about sexual assault on campus.

At Central Michigan University, that even means going into the profile of perpetrators who commit acquaintance rape.

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Oakland Community College, Michigan’s largest community college system, will sharply cut back its online course offerings next year.

OCC has offered online courses for years.

More recently, it sought accreditation as a “virtual campus” that’s authorized to grant online-learning based degrees as well.