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Education

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
Eastern Michigan University Eagle
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.

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.

The former Carstens Elementary School building, on Detroit's east side, is one of many, many schools that have been shuttered in Detroit.
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. 

flickr user Motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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.

There were some improvements in test results this year, but the overal picture is still rough.
Alberto G. / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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 http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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.

The former Carstens Elementary School building, on Detroit's east side, is one of many, many schools that have been shuttered in Detroit.
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. 

The former Carstens Elementary School building, on Detroit's east side, is one of many, many schools that have been shuttered in Detroit.
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.

Andrea Claire Maio

Where do students in a neighborhood struggling with blight, drugs, and gangs turn?

If you're talking about students at Cody High School in Detroit, it’s to Coach Jimmie Knight.

debt
Christian Schnettelker / Creative Commons

 A new report says restructuring Detroit Public Schools' debt could cost other school districts millions of dollars.

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan says other districts would lose about $50 per student if DPS is allowed to use property taxes to pay off its debt. Schools normally use these taxes to fund operations. But if the taxes were used to pay off debt, the state would have to make up the difference.

Mika Chang (left) with her sisters Bea, Kallia, Shannon and her nephew, Vincent.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

When we talk about immigrant communities in Detroit, the Hmong don’t usually come up in that conversation. The ethnic group from Southeast Asia began settling in Northeast Detroit’s Osborn neighborhood in the years after the Vietnam War. 

Kids at a public school in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state ranks schools on a top-to-bottom list each year. Those in the lowest five percent are considered “priority” schools. There were almost 260 priority schools until now, when the state superintendent removed 27 of them from the list. He said the schools had implemented improvement plans successfully since the schools were placed on the list in 2010.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Ann Arbor school board has unanimously voted to ban guns on school grounds, less than two months after a man wore a gun to a school choir concert.

Dozens of parents turned out to recent board meetings asking the board members to pass the ban.

But it required lengthy discussion with the board’s legal advisors, because technically, an exception in Michigan law makes it legal for someone with a concealed pistol license to open carry in schools.

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