Education

Education
5:49 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Governor says schools should have flexibility on algebra II

Flickr

He wants them to have more options when it comes to meeting the algebra II graduation requirement.

“I’m not in favor of changing the requirement for algebra II,” Snyder said at a workforce training conference. “I’m in favor of making it as tangible as possible for people.”

The governor says learning the principles of algebra II is often easier as part of a program in robotics or vocational training.

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Education
4:49 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

State Senate OKs funding for Common Core

TheToad Flickr

The state Legislature is a step closer to reinstating funding for a new set of school standards.  Earlier this year, lawmakers barred Michigan education officials from spending money to implement the Common Core State Standards.

Today, the state Senate passed a resolution that would continue the funding under certain conditions.

“School districts all around the state have implemented Common Core or have been in the implementation stages … of implementing something that was agreed to and supported by the Board of Education, I think, in 2010,” said state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe). “So it’s been around for three years.”

Among other things, the resolution says the standards cannot dictate curriculum to local schools.

“That’s something, I believe, needs to be addressed in the longer-term in a more forceful action by the Legislature, along with the governor, to ensure that Michigan is in charge of its own destiny,” said state Sen. John Moolenaar (R-Midland), one of the opponents of Common Core.

The resolution would allow state education officials to continue support for local schools that are already implementing Common Core.

The state House could give the measure final approval as early as next week. Superintendent Mike Flanagan has already told education officials to resume work on Common Core.

Education
10:54 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Talking about the effect of childhood trauma

Trauma as a kid can lead to health risks later in life.
user Laura4Smith Flickr

For State of Opportunity, reporter Zak Rosen explored how childhood trauma can lead to health problems later in life. 

In his story, he asks you to imagine this:

"Try to imagine this.  It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon.  Beautiful day. 

You’re hiking alone in the forest.  And then you hear some rustling leaves behind you. 

Your heart begins to pound.  You turn around to see a huge, snarling bear, staring directly at you. 

In this moment, your body is releasing a ton of hormones that will help you either fight the bear or run away. 

This is the body’s natural fight or flight response at work.

“If this happens once in a very long time, then that makes a lot of sense.  It’s life saving and it’s this big activation in your system,” says Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician and the founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco.  

But what if that bear is an abusive parent?"

Listen to the story here

Stateside
4:30 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Should Michigan parents consider online charter schools?

Gary Miron
wmich.edu

To parents who are seeking the best education for their children, it's a whole new world out there and it can be a confusing one. No longer is it an automatic choice to send your child to the public school in your neighborhood.

Today, there are charter schools. There are online classes. And, the subject of our discussion today: online K-12 charter schools.

Gary Miron is a professor of education at Western Michigan University. He recently co-authored a major piece, along with Jessica L. Urschel, for the National Education Policy Center. Its title: Understanding and Improving Full-time Virtual Schools---A Study of Student Characteristics, School Finance, and School Performance in Schools Operated by K12 Inc.

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Stateside
3:47 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Is Michigan preparing schools for emergencies?

A classroom.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

When you send your child off to school every day, you entrust the safety of your child to those who run that school.

So, when a new report from the group Save the Children revealed that Michigan is among four states that do not require K-12 schools to have emergency plans for multiple hazards, we wanted to learn more.

Even more, the study found more than half the states and D.C. don’t require schools or day care centers to meet minimum standards to protect children during major emergencies.

Are Michigan schoolchildren adequately protected? What more can and should be done to keep them as safe as possible?

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
3:20 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A preview of 'The Education Gap,' a State of Opportunity documentary

Republicans in the Michigan Senate have introduced seven bills aimed at reforming the education system in Michigan. Critics say the Republicans are trying to "destroy" public education in the state.
user alkruse24 Flickr

There is one thing that seems pretty clear about those of you who are Stateside listeners. Education matters to you! Whenever we talk about education, about our children, you are “all ears.”

Tomorrow at this time, you will not want to miss a powerful documentary produced by Jennifer Guerra for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project. It’s called “The Education Gap.”

Jen Guerra joined us today to give us a preview.

Listen to the full interview above.

Education
3:16 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

8 teachers named in complaint filed against the Michigan Education Association

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/MIchigan Radio

Michigan’s largest teachers’ union is being accused of trying to intimidate teachers who wanted to leave the union.

Earlier this month, the Michigan Education Association announced 99% of its members decided to stay in the union, despite Michigan’s new Right-To-Work law.

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Stateside
1:30 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

How do Michigan students measure up compared to the rest of the nation?

O.k., o.k., we know this one is empty, but some high school students in the Detroit Public Schools say their classroom are far from empty.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

This fall, Bridge Magazine is taking a close look at the challenges Michigan faces as we try to improve our education system.

The starting point for all of this is where Michigan students stand as compared to students across America, and then how students in the U.S. compare to other nations.

American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in Math, which puts us behind students in countries such as Poland and Slovenia.

As for Michigan, we're somewhere in the middle of the U.S. 'pack.' Education week ranked Michigan's K-12 education system 24th. And the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam found Michigan kids are 39th in 4th-grade math and 30th in 8th Grade reading.

This begs the question: how well are students in Michigan prepared for the good education that is needed to enter the middle class?

Bridge Magazine Senior Writer Ron French is seeking the answer in his series of special reports for Bridge Magazine. He joined us today to tell us more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Education
4:01 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Teen videos help teach social skills to kids with autism

Credit Photobucket

Researchers at Michigan State University say video-based teaching could help teens with autism learn social skills so they can live more independently.

Earlier studies have shown that many people with autism pay closer attention when they're getting information from innovative technology.

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Education
4:58 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

University of Michigan: Good finances this year, $11.5 billion in holdings

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan says its financial position is looking pretty good, with a three-quarter-billion-dollar increase in its net worth in the latest year.

The university's financial report released last week shows that the Ann Arbor school's net holdings stand at $11.5 billion. That's up $730 million from a year earlier.

The report says the school's investments have done well in a decade that includes the nation's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

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Education
12:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Ferndale LGBT center launches alternative high school

The Affirmations Alternative High School program is geared towards students who have a hard time in traditional schools.
Credit User Motown31 / Creative Commons

Affirmations, an LGBT community center in Ferndale, has launched an alternative high school program with the Michigan Educational Partnership.

The program is geared toward students who have dropped out or are having a hard time in school, often due to harassment or bullying that is common for LGBT students.

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Education
11:23 am
Wed October 16, 2013

One school in Detroit uses discipline with meaning

The Boggs School uses discipline with purpose.
user BES Photos Flickr

If you were a teacher, what would you do if a second grader won’t quiet down during story time? What if a third grader wants to go home sick, but she’s not actually sick?  What if one of your students hits one of his classmates?  How would you handle that?

Zak Rosen is spending the year at the Boggs School in Detroit. In this piece for State of Opportunity, he explores how the school uses discipline in constructive and meaningful ways.

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Education
11:27 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

New state consultant to work with struggling Pontiac Schools

The former emergency manager of two Michigan school districts is moving onto help Pontiac schools.

Donald Weatherspoon was the emergency manager of the Highland Park and Muskegon Heights schools.

Now, he’s a consent agreement consultant for the Pontiac schools. The Pontiac school board chose to enter a consent agreement after a state review found the district was in "fiscal stress."

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Education
12:24 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

MEA and AFT-Michigan announce formal partnership

AFT-Michigan members march at the MLK Freedom Walk in Detroit in June.
Credit Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers in Michigan are developing a formal partnership. Union officials say this is not a merger, but rather a collaboration between the two  organizations.

The MEA and AFT-Michigan represent about 185,000 education employees in the state combined.

AFT-Michigan President David Hecker says the partnership will allow the unions to strategize together on their common goals.

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Education
11:49 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Senate putting finishing touches on Common Core resolution

A classroom.
user frank juarez Flickr

Lawmakers in the state Senate hope to move forward this week on a plan to fund the implementation of new school standards.

Republican leaders in the Senate had hoped to introduce a resolution last week to fund the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) says it was a good idea to wait because there were so many concerns that had to be addressed.

“I want people to have a good look at it and hear from some other experts before we do anything,” said Richardville. “It’s always on our radar screen because it’s an important issue. We’re not going to let that one drag out forever.

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Education
1:34 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

New bill seeks to protect students’ privacy, bans personal information on tests

State Representative Tim Kelly
GOP gophouse.org

A state lawmaker wants to ban school exams that require students’ personal information other than their name and student identification number.

Republican state Representative Tim Kelly’s bill would also ban collecting biometric data — like students’ heart rates and eye movements.

“There’s kind of some creepy aspects to some of the technology that’s being introduced today,” Kelly said. “And this is kind of an effort to ward against some of the things that may or may not be the best thing for students.”

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University of Michigan
11:15 am
Tue October 8, 2013

University of Michigan president, spouse, give one million dollars for student study abroad

UM president Mary Sue Coleman
University of Michigan

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Coleman, announced today they will give their employer one million dollars to help undergraduate and graduate students study and travel abroad.

Coleman says she spent three months studying throughout Europe as an undergraduate student, and her husband, Kenneth Coleman, traveled to Latin America as a graduate student.

She says her experience "changed my outlook about myself and what I wanted to do with my life. We want to help students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience what we did as students. It may be a semester abroad, international service projects, internships, or situations we've yet to imagine."

Coleman made the announcement at her “leadership breakfast,” at which she traditionally sums up the progress made by the University of Michigan, and the challenges it faces.

She’s the University's first female president and will retire next year.

Coleman has traveled to China, Ghana, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Brazil during the 11 years she has served as U of M president.

In November, she will lead a faculty group to India.

She says the next fundraising campaign for the university will seek to raise one billion dollars to fund scholarships and grants, to help students afford tuition at the state's largest public university.

Stateside
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Public universities and colleges in Michigan could be in trouble

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

What does the future hold for public universities?

A recent report from Moody's suggests the future is very uncertain for public universities: enrollment is flat, revenue is stagnant, and expenses grew nearly twice as fast as inflation.

Are public colleges on a "path to economic oblivion," as the Chronicle of Higher Education puts it? And how are Michigan's public colleges and universities faring?

Dan Hurley grew up and was educated in Michigan. Today he is with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where he's the Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis. He joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:54 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Building a pre-school from the ground up in Ann Arbor

Ryan Brown, co-founder of the U-School in Ann Arbor.
U-School

What if you could build a pre-school from the ground up?

What if you could take the things that seem to work well -- take out what doesn't -- and build-in new ideas after listening to your community?

That's exactly what my next guest is doing.

Ryan Brown wants to re-imagine what early childhood education looks like and feels like.

He's doing it with the "U School," which is opening next June in Ann Arbor.

And what's happening in these weeks before the U-School opens is worth looking at.

Brown is the co-founder, executive director, and a classroom teacher at the U-School, and he joined us today.

Listen to the interview above.

Education
9:50 am
Wed October 2, 2013

What is 'nature deficit disorder,' and how is one school fixing it?

Children at the CA Frost Environmental Sciences Academy in Grand Rapids.
Credit Sarah Huelett

Think back to when you were a kid, and how much time you spent playing outside. Maybe you wandered the neighborhood until the streetlights came on. Or built tree forts. Or explored a nearby field, or creek, or woods.

Now, think about the kids on your block – or in your house – and how much time you see them exploring the neighborhood. Without their cell phones.

Some advocates of unstructured outdoor play say far too few kids are doing that these days. They have a name for it: “nature deficit disorder,” and point to a growing body of research that links too much indoor time with problems including obesity, attention deficit disorder, and depression.

State of Opportunity checked in on one Grand Rapids school where kids don't just play outside, they learn from and in the natural environment. Read the rest of the story or listen in at State of Opportunity.

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