Education

Alberto G. / Flickr creative commons

As the Ann Arbor school board considers cracking down on students who opt out of state tests, we’re now getting a clearer picture of why the board is so worried about the “opt out” movement.

The Michigan Department of Education says it could cut a portion of any district’s federal funding, if a single school in that district misses a test-participation requirement for four years in a row.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a push to recall the head of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

Steve Conn has been on the job since January.  But the DFT president has ruffled a lot of feathers with his confrontational style. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Benton Harbor’s school board is working to please Michigan’s Department of Treasury so it can get an emergency loan.

The school board approved plans to let Berrien County’s intermediate school district run its business office Tuesday night. Plante Moran currently runs the office. But the switch to the county district is expected to save around $125,000 a year.

School lunch line
Tim Lauer / Creative Commons

Michigan is getting $5.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help feed kids this summer.

The grant will fund a pilot program that lets families use electronic benefits cards to purchase healthy food in their communities.

Kyle Guerrant with the Michigan Department of Education said one in five children in the state  doesn't have enough to eat.

"Approximately 50% of a student's calories are received in the school environment," he said. "We know that need is still there in the summertime for many of  our students and families."

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The emergency manager of the Highland Park schools organized a community forum which turned out to be a carnival of surrounding schools. They set up tables and handed out flyers, trying to entice Highland Park’s students. That’s  because the charter school operating the district is closing the high school.

57-year-old Christina Lumpkin heads to work at DTE Energy.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

 

Back in March, I introduced you to 57-year-old Christina Lumpkin and her family. At the time, they were navigating a crisis. Lumpkins’s daughter, Maya, had lost her job at McDonalds, and the family didn’t have any money coming in.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Parents and students in Highland Park will get a chance to hear what options they have for next year now that the high school is closing.

A couple weeks ago, the state-appointed emergency manager of Highland Parks schools announced the district would be a K-8 district only. He says there are just too few students to make it feasible.

EMU faces controversy over resurrected Huron logo

Jun 6, 2015
Kenneth Bailey / Wikimedia Commons

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice were at Eastern Michigan University this week to meet with President Susan Martin and a Native American student group over the school's continued use of its Hurons logo.

The retired logo depicts the painted face of a Native American with feathers.

Reading kids
Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr

A legislative workgroup has released a report outlining ways to help Michigan students struggling with early literacy.

The Third Grade Reading Workgroup, which was created by Gov. Rick Snyder in March, recommends at least 90 minutes of diagnostic-driven, individualized reading instruction per day.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board will interview candidates for its superintendent job next week.

The board will quiz the finalists about ways they can improve the struggling school district.

Wednesday, a search firm released the names of the six finalists for the position.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Leona Group has agreed to run the Highland Park school district for less money, and shorten its contract. The revised contract runs only through the end of next school year, one year short of the original five-year deal.

A state-appointed emergency manager decided last week Highland Park couldn’t afford to offer high school next year. Still, the charter school company that’s operated the Highland Park school district for the last three years says it’s committed to the community.

The district is considering a new requirement for all kids to take the state test, or be excluded from magnet schools and programs.
Ryan Brown

The Ann Arbor school board is considering a new rule that would require all students to take the state standardized test, or risk losing their spots at magnet schools and programs.

Now a parent has responded with an online petition protesting that policy.

Brian Widdis / Bridge Magazine

A one-room schoolhouse. One teacher. Kindergarten through 8 grade. Older students helping the younger ones.

That was how many Americans were educated in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

And Bridge writer Mike Wilkinson has discovered, the one-room schoolhouse is not extinct in Michigan.

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Institute of Arts is opening its door to city teachers.

It’s been several years since Flint had a comprehensive arts program. 

The FIA is giving more than 400 Flint teachers free family museum memberships. 

Classroom
User Motown31 / Creative Commons

Highland Park schools can’t afford to offer high school next year, only grades K-8.

There are about 160 kids at Highland Park High school now. That’s only a third of the number of students there three years ago. That’s when district finances got so bad an emergency manager was appointed.

GsGeorge / WIKIMEDIA Commons

The Ann Arbor teachers union is battling with the school district over contract negotiations.

Both have filed charges of “unfair labor practice” against the other.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A program that’ll offer students in Grand Rapids free college is getting a big boost. A group of 400 donors has raised more than $33 million in one year.

Sixth-graders who commit to come to school regularly and get good grades can go to college for free. The scholarships target middle schoolers who funnel into a low-performing Grand Rapids high school.

Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Despite some state intervention this school year, Benton Harbor schools is still struggling. This spring has been rough for the district.

Benton Harbor schools has more than a $15 million deficit. The district signed a consent agreement with the state last fall to avoid an emergency manger.

Alberto G. / Creative Commons

A bill meant to improve teacher evaluations across Michigan has cleared the state Senate.

Similar legislation never got out of the Senate last year. Bill sponsor state Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, says Senate Bill 103 relies less on state standardized tests to evaluate teachers and administrators.

Apple with books
Creative Commons

A new report from the Education Trust-Midwest says without vast improvements to public education, Michigan is on track to become 49th in the country for white student achievement by 2030.

ETM says since 2003, white students have fallen from 13th to 45th in the nation for fourth grade reading.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police spent part of this past week reaching out to the city’s teenagers.

"It’s all about safety,” Police Chief James Tolbert told students at Flint Southwestern Classical Academy.   Tolbert spoke during a session on things the teenagers can do to avoid trouble.

Cadets from the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy
Michigan National Guard / Creative Commons http://tinyurl.com/k8j8sr4

A new report released this week says the state-run Michigan Youth Challenge Academy failed to account for thousands for dollars between 2012 and 2014.

The report from the Michigan Auditor General says the military-based program in Battle Creek also failed to keep track of its own performance, and didn't feed cadets enough calories.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“We have to right-size this school district.”

That’s what outgoing interim Flint schools superintendent Larry Watkins said tonight, after the school district voted to close three more schools.

Closing the three elementary schools will save the district an estimated $7 million over the next seven years.  

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Detroit Public Schools is revamping some of its offerings in the hopes it will make its schools more competitive.

Todd Losie is the principal at FLICS, a K-through-8 school that sits right next to Renaissance High School.

Both schools will go for International Baccalaureate certification.

Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Responsibility for turning around Michigan’s worst schools now lies directly with Gov. Rick Snyder.

 His order taking direct control of school turnarounds – which was issued earlier this year – took effect Tuesday. Those duties previously belonged to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), which is governed by the elected State Board of Education (SBE).

(courtesy of KQED)

A new pilot program in Grand Rapids will try to raise student achievement at high-poverty schools.

Education Trust-Midwest announced Monday it's launching a program to provide greater support and coaching to teachers. Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan education research organization based in Royal Oak.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Principals and teachers at Detroit Public Schools' eight lowest-performing schools will be required to reapply for their jobs, under a new restructuring plan designed to boost academics, public image, and student enrichment.

Principals will reapply and be chosen first, and then will have an opportunity to evaluate their staffs and select a team, according to school spokesman Steve Wasko. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More than 80 Americorps members will spend part of the next few years helping Flint school children. 

The national service program named Flint as one of ten communities nationwide that will participate in its Operation Americorps. Similar grants have already been announced in New York,  Tucson, Arizona and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The program combines three different parts of Americorps. 

Ashlie Forchione

Michigan State University graduate students marched on campus to protest a contract they say does not provide an adequate lifestyle for vital university staff.

About 250 students participated in the march, sponsored by the Graduate Employees Union. They are demanding a set of accommodations in their next contract that includes tuition waivers, affordable health care, an inclusive work environment, and a living salary.

Union President Sylvia Marques says MSU's pay for graduate students is on the low end for Big Ten universities, and that combined with high health care premiums, it is difficult for the students to make ends meet. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder rolled out his plan today to overhaul education in Detroit and get Detroit Public Schools out of the deep, deep hole it’s in now.

DPS is reportedly the worst-performing urban school district in the country, with years of falling enrollment and $2 billion in crippling debt.

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