education

Stateside
4:23 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Fixing the budget by keeping kids from dropping out of school

TeachingWorks aims develop a nationwide system for all teaching programs, so that teachers are prepared the minute they walk into the classroom.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

From Maine, to California - from Alaska to Hawaii - one of the biggest challenges facing governors and state lawmakers is how to plug the gaping holes in their budgets.

Certainly, Michigan is right in the thick of that challenge.
 
There are plenty of belt-tightening measures that have been taken - cost-cutting steps that can leave the quality of life for citizens somehow diminished.
 
But a new report offers another way to plug those holes in struggling state budgets: keep our kids from dropping out of high school. Increase the graduation rates.

The education advocates who put this report together find that high school dropouts cost our nation some $1.8 billion in lost tax revenue.
 
Today we took a closer look at the cost of high school dropouts, and we found out how one Michigan school district has successfully managed to raise its graduation rate.
 
We were joined by Michigan State University economist Charley Ballard and the Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools, Brian Whiston.
 
Listen to the full interview above.

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Education
12:09 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

University of Michigan professor elected to education academy

Jeffrey Mirel
University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A University of Michigan history professor is being honored for his contributions to education research and policy.

Jeffrey Mirel has been elected to the National Academy of Education. As a member of the academy, Mirel will participate in professional development programs and serve on expert panels to discuss education issues.

He's one of 12 members from across the country elected this year.

Education
10:05 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Detroit Schools celebrate, seek volunteer readers

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Public Schools is looking for more volunteer readers.

Reading Corps Week in Detroit begins Monday and runs through Friday. The district is planning a rally and training Saturday at Renaissance High School as part of its Reading Corps program.

Education, city and business leaders who have served as reading tutors will participate in the rally. Nearly 900 people have volunteered to help tutor Detroit students as part of the program.

New volunteers will be trained at the rally.

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Arts & Culture
11:05 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Why a free bus ride is making art teachers cry with joy

Let's go the to museum: new grant funds art field trips

For art teachers in Michigan, it may be hard to even remember what “good news” feels like.

Between budget cuts, pink slips and declining enrollment, more than 108,000 Michigan kids don’t have any art access in their schools. That’s according to a 2012 statewide survey.

But for some 20,000 students, that’s about to change. They’re getting…a free bus ride.

"The money is just not there."

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Education
5:29 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Stateside: The future of online education

Online learning is a new option to expand education in Michigan
User: Extra Ketchup creative commons

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

The state of Michigan is quickly becoming a leader in online education with the support of Governor Snyder.

K-12 schools, colleges and universities throughout the state are realizing the potential online learning offers to students. 

A recent education study conducted by The Center for Michigan found that residents are less enthusiastic about online learning. 

As a new form of education, there are still unanswered questions about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning for students.

Michigan Virtual University, founded in the late 1990's by the State of Michigan is now one of the largest virtual schools in the country. 

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Jamey Fitzpatrick, the President and CEO of Michigan Virtual University.

Education
5:11 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Stateside: Talking education with a 'Teacher of the Year' finalist

Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

After the Center for Michigan released its big report on public education in Michigan last month, one of the big themes that emerged for discussion was how to evaluate teachers, and how to better prepare teachers to do their jobs.

We wanted to bring a teacher into the discussion, so we brought in Robert Stephenson.

He taught elementary school for 18 years in Okemos, and he is currently an administrator at Donley Elementary School in East Lansing.

Robert Stephenson was also one of the top five finalists for National Teacher of the Year in 2010.

The report from the Center for Michigan took the thoughts and opinions of people all over the state.

Four out of every five people say they want teachers to be better prepared for the classroom, and two out of three said "we need to hold teachers more accountable."

We asked Stephenson about teacher evaluation, and about what's  missing when it comes to preparing teachers to stand in front of that classroom.

Education
6:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Stateside: A conversation about improving education in Michigan

user alkruse24 Flickr

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Last month, The Center for Michigan, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank, released its major report on K-12 public education in our state.

It was the largest effort ever to collect and analyze what the public thinks about Michigan schools and teachers.

As we heard here on Stateside, that report was based on hundreds of meetings with people all over the state.

And emerging from those discussions was a clear theme: the best way to improve Michigan schools is to improve the skills of the person standing at the front of the classroom.

Two-thirds of Michiganders say we need to hold teachers more accountable.

Four out of every five say they want teachers to be better prepared for the classroom.

Cyndy spoke with a high school principal, an education expert and a professor of teacher education to make sense of these statistics.

Education
2:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Should Michigan make learning a foreign language optional?

Habla Espanol? Parlez-vous Français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Parli Italiano?
marquette.edu

A bill in the state legislature would drop the foreign language requirement in Michigan high schools.

State Representative Phil Potvin dismisses the suggestion that learning a foreign language will better prepare Michigan teens for a globalized economy. He says the requirement has the opposite effect. Potvin says the foreign language requirement pushes kids to drop out of school.

“It’s forcing kids into frustration…it’s forcing kids into failure….at a time that I thought we were here to set up success,” says Potvin.

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Education
3:22 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Michigan AG loses a bid to remove Detroit school board members

Bill Schuette Facebook.com

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has been arguing that seven of the eleven school board members on the Detroit school board are holding office illegally and he wants them removed.

He lost a challenge in court early this week.

Chastity Pratt Dawsey reports for the Detroit Free Press that "Wayne Circuit Court Judge John Gillis Jr. denied State Attorney General Bill Schuette’s motion for summary disposition and granted the school board’s motion, effectively allowing the school board to continue to hold office."

In a statement released today, the attorney for the school board, George Washington, called the lawsuit bogus:

George B. Washington, attorney for the Detroit School Board, said “We are glad that this lawsuit has been exposed as the bogus claim that it always was. Attorney General Schuette and Governor Snider [sic] filed this lawsuit to prevent the largely black and Latino citizens of Detroit from having any say over their own schools. The Attorney General should not appeal this decision and he and the Governor should stop trying to destroy elected government in the City of Detroit."

Schuette has argued that the Detroit school board members cannot be elected by district, because state law requires that a school district have 100,000 students or more to elect board members that way.

It's the difference between a "first class" school district, and a "general powers" school district.

He's argued that Detroit hasn’t met that threshold since 2008.

In his decision, Judge Gillis Jr. wrote that the state code does not address what should happen in a district where student enrollment has declined.

Education
1:01 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Michigan court rejects appeal in mosque controversy

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court won't hear an appeal over the sale of a Detroit-area school for a mosque and Islamic community center.

In an order released Saturday, the court said a September decision by the appeals court in favor of the Farmington school district will stand.

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Education
1:33 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Detroit students say education policies violate their civil rights

Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Some students, parents, and education advocates from Detroit and Highland Park will testify at a federal hearing in Washington this week.

They are part of a nationwide group speaking out against changes in Detroit and other poor school districts.

The group alleges that some of the measures, particularly closing neighborhood schools, have “sabotaged and destabilized” education for many children.

Helen Moore is with the Detroit-based group Keep the Vote-No Takeover.

She said the group wasn’t getting far fighting these measures at the local level.

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Education
6:35 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Snow and ice lead to school closings this morning

Digging out in a 2011 snowstorm.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The snow and freezing rain have led to hazardous road conditions around the state. From the National Weather Service:

Freezing rain will continue overnight across portions of the Great Lakes states, where total ice accumulations could exceed one quarter of an inch. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall is forecast from northern Wisconsin into northern Michigan. The wintery mix will move into the Northeast States and northern Mid-Atlantic early Monday.

Parents have received robocalls from their school districts notifying them of the closures, but if you missed a call, here are a few links for school closings.

WXYZ-TV in Detroit has  list of school closings in SE Michigan.

WLNS-TV has this page for districts in the central part of the state.

And WOOD-TV has a list of closings for the western part of the state.

The snow and ice are expected to melt this morning as temperatures rise into the mid-40s across much of the state.

Education
4:43 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Stateside: The possible return on investment for early childhood education

Jane M Sawyer morgue file

Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra and Dustin Dwyer discussed early childhood education.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Governor Snyder announced his plan to increase funding for early childhood education during last week’s State of the State.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra and Dustin Dwyer are researching education in Michigan through the State of Opportunity project.

They spoke with Cyndy today about the benefits of early childhood education.

According to Guerra, there were waves of both skepticism and excitement after Gov. Snyder talked about early childhood education in his State of the State address.

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Education
1:58 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Stateside: Study surveys the state of education in Michigan

The Center for Michigan's latest report
http://thecenterformichigan.net/

John Bebow and Amber Toth discussed education in Michigan.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio file.

A recent study called “The Public’s Agenda for Public Education” surveyed more than 5,000 Michigan residents to learn how to best improve public education.

John Bebow, president and chief executive of the Center for Michigan and Amber Toth, outreach director for the Center for Michigan, were both involved in the study.

They spoke today with Cyndy about the survey and the state’s future goals for education reform.

“Those who most need that economic ladder that a great education provides, are feeling least well served by today’s system,” said Bebow.

One student with whom Bebow spoke was using dated textbooks.

“We had a student in a community conversation say, ‘my government textbook says Ronald Reagan was the last president.’ We had other people at the opposite end of the spectrum concerned about how we spend money. There are so many concerns expressed. This survey is by no means a lambasting of the education service industry. People are concerned…” said Bebow.

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Politics & Government
4:42 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Stateside: Debbie Dingell and Saul Anuzis share thoughts on approaching political year

Debbie Dingell and Saul Anuzis noted the importance of education in the coming political year.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Debbie Dingell and Saul Anuzis discuss the 2013 political year.

What does 2013 have in store for Michigan politics?

Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, and Debbie Dingell, President of D2 Strategies, spoke today with Zoe Clark.

They addressed the importance of Democrats and Republicans collaborating on key issues for the state.

Dingell predicted an ardent strategy from Democrats.

“The air is not cleared and will be an issue for the next two years. The challenge for Democrats is to develop a strategy that gets at the core of the issue but doesn’t hurt Michigan in the process,” said Dingell.

“The biggest challenge for all of us is, how do we do what’s right and what’s best for Michigan? How do we move forward on good public policy where we actually have common ground?” said Anuzis.

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Education
5:30 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

National advocacy group ranks Michigan 6th in nation for education policy

Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

A national education advocacy group ranks Michigan sixth in the country for education policy.

The group Students First says the state gets high marks for bills passed in recent years by the Republican-led state Legislature.     

They include measures making it tougher for teachers to be tenured, and teacher evaluations that depend more on student achievement.     

But Andy Solon with Students First said the state can do better in some areas.

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Education
10:18 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Declining enrollment may spell doom for some Michigan school districts

DETROIT (AP) - Declines in school enrollment across the Detroit area are driving school districts into debt and forcing administrators to make additional cuts.

Data reviewed by the Detroit Free Press shows that during the five years spanning fall 2008 to fall 2012 enrollment declined 17 percent in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne county school districts. Highland Park enrollment declined 69 percent, while Detroit dropped 29 percent. Romulus and Inkster declined 26 percent.

Overall, 20 Detroit-area districts had double-digit enrollment losses.

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Education
5:07 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Stateside: Grand Rapids restructures its districts to save money, improve education

The Grand Rapids School Board approved a district restructuring plan
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

On Monday, The Grand Rapids School Board unanimously approved a district restructuring plan. Recommended by Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, the plan aims to both improve student achievement and save money.

The “Transformation Plan” attempts to reinvent the school district by closing ten buildings, reopening one elementary and reforming other programs. The plan will save more than $22.4 million over five years, with at least half being re-invested in replicating and expanding effective school programs.

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Economy
5:41 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Stateside: Addressing Michigan's income disparity

Charley Ballard called for policy changes that allow for economic growth
Michigan State University

The gap between the Middle and Upper class in Michigan has widened.

Michigan State University’s Charley Ballard spoke with Cyndy about income disparity in both the state and country.

“There is a lot of emphasis about the level of income, but I am talking about the gap between those at the top, the middle and bottom in terms of how much their household income is. A big story is that the gap has widened. Michigan is typical in that the gap between the gap and top and the middle has gone way up, but the gap between the middle and the bottom has not,” said Ballard.

The disparities in income are largely a result of varying degrees of education among Michigan workers.

“Those at the top tend to be college-educated. Those at the bottom tend to not be,” said Ballard.

According to Ballard, Michigan’s statistics are average when compared nationally.

“In a lot of ways we’re a middle-of-the-pack state. If you take that ratio of the household income for the person at the 90th percentile, upper-middle class, and compare that with the household income with someone at the tenth percentile, that ratio increased by more than 20% in Michigan.”

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Education
5:29 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Debate heating up over expansion of state's school 'turnaround' district

Civics teacher Jonathan Hui, like 25 percent of teachers at Denby, is from the Teach For America program.
Jake Neher MPRN

State lawmakers are mulling over a number of bills that would overhaul public education in Michigan.

One measure would expand a new state-run district meant to turn-around schools with test scores in the bottom five-percent.

The idea has many public school officials pitted against each other.

Schools like Detroit's Denby High school are at the center of the debate.

Last year, it was one of the lowest-performing schools in the Detroit Public Schools system. Now, it’s one of 15 Detroit schools the state oversees through its Education Achievement Authority.

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