Education

Education
11:50 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Debate renews over Michigan graduation requirements

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are seeking to change the state's high school graduation requirements to make it easier for students to pursue career and technical education programs.

The bills introduced in the House last month would allow students to substitute algebra II with statistics, technical math or another math relevant to their career and technical education. It would also remove the foreign language requirement.

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Education
9:45 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Emergency manager revokes Highland Park diplomas

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (AP) - The state-appointed emergency manager for Highland Park's public schools has revoked diplomas awarded last year to 18 students.

MLive reported Friday that a review of transcripts determined the students were given credit for failed classes or didn't have enough credit hours to graduate.

Emergency manager Donald Weatherspoon says the students in the academically and financially struggling Detroit area district were "misled" by school officials.

Weatherspoon also is manager of Muskegon Heights Public Schools in West Michigan.

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Education
7:36 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

The Education Achievement Authority, Part 1: An introduction to Michigan's "reform district"

Nolan Elementary-Middle School

Debate is underway in Lansing on bills that would expand on an educational experiment now underway in Detroit.

It's called the Education Achievement Authority, and its aim is to turn the lowest-performing schools—with changes like a longer school year, and more online learning.

In this first of a three-part series, Michigan Radio takes a look at the Education Achievement Authority - which could be coming soon to a school near you.

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Education
9:29 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

New strategic plan for DPS growth has "community schools," universal Pre-K

Roy Roberts

A new plan outlines a path for the Detroit Public Schools to grow again.

The “Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools” plan centers around the idea of “community schools” that offer a wide array of services to the community.

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Education
7:49 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green retiring

Dr. Patricia Green
AAPS

Ann Arbor Public Schools' Superintendent has resigned.  

Patricia Green has been on the job in Ann Arbor since 2011.

In her letter of resignation, Green cited her 43 years in education.  Green’s resignation becomes effective in three months.  

The Ann Arbor Board of Education president praised Green’s service to the community as well as her advocacy for public education.

Education
4:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

New science standards likely for Michigan K-12 students

Credit Karpati Gabor / MorgueFile

Michigan schools could soon change how they teach science.

The idea is to provide more depth in the curriculum. That's according to Linda Forward, who directs the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation at the Michigan Department of Education.

She says 26 states worked to create the Next Generation Science Standards.

The plan blends certain subjects, such as chemistry and biology. It also ties engineering into science.

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Education
1:26 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Former First Ladies to appear at an event in Grand Rapids Monday

Former First Ladies Barbara Bush (right) and Laura Bush at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2012.
Lauren Gerson

Two former First Ladies will take part in a special event in Grand Rapids Monday.

Former First Ladies Barbara and Laura Bush are headlining the day-long symposium looking at the influence of First Ladies.

Elaine Didier is the Gerald R. Ford presidential museum director.   She says the Bushes have spoken at similar events at presidential museums in Texas.

“They are quite a dynamo,” says Didier, “The two have a great rapport. I mean it’s really is something……a mother-in-law / daughter-in-law first lady situation.”

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Education
5:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Survey: Michigan small businesses want changes to graduation standards

Jake Neher MPRN

Small business owners want Michigan to make its curriculum standards for high school students more flexible.

The state passed broad standards in 2006 for all students. They are supposed to ensure all students are ready for college.

The Michigan Merit Curriculum requires four years of math and English language arts; three years of science and social studies; and two years of a foreign language. Complete standards are outlined here.

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Education
1:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

How to make kids prejudiced based on t-shirt colors

Credit flickr user el frijole

 Today, on State of Opportunity, we're taking a look at research done by University of Texas psychologist Rebecca Bigler. 

Bigler's work focuses on how kids develop prejudice, particularly around race and gender. But to study kids' attitudes, Bigler has conducted a series of experiments using summer school students and colored t-shirts. 

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Stateside
5:38 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Should foreign language be a high school requirement?

Emily Spinelli of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and Representative Phil Potvin (R- Cadillac) debate the value of foreign language in high school classrooms.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

Michigan high schools currently require students to take foreign language in grades nine through twelve. Well, that might change soon.

Republican State Representative Phil Potvin of Cadillac is pushing a bill that would make studying a foreign language and algebra II merely an option for students.

Last year House Bill 4102 was heard in the 96th Legislature, but wasn't voted on. Potvin expects the bill to be voted on this year.

"The real reason to do this is that our kids have such a tight curriculum now. [This bill] would allow them some choices."

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Education
4:16 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

For Detroit's schools, it's just one guy in charge now

This guy just got a lot more powerful.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Updated at 4:16 pm:

Roy Roberts has been waiting for this day for months. 

Michigan’s new emergency manager law takes effect today. And that means Roberts just got a lot more powerful.

He's the emergency manager for Detroit's public school system.

But for months, he’s been locked in a power struggle with the elected DPS school board.

That’s because nobody really knew how things were supposed to work, or who was running what, during the tumultuous period between the old EM law getting overturned, and the new EM law taking effect.

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Education
1:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Former Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly joins the faculty at Wayne State University Law School

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly
Official portrait

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly joined the Wayne State University Law School faculty this week.

Jocelyn Benson is the interim Dean of the law school. She says students, staff, and alumni are excited for all that Kelly will bring to University.

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Education
11:23 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Former Grand Rapids schools superintendent gets $280,000 to settle lawsuit with district

Bernard Taylor at a press conference in March 2011.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Bernard Taylor Jr. ran what’s now the state’s fifth-largest K-12 district for five years.

Eventually, Taylor and some members of the school board did not get along very well. By in the spring of 2011, it became clear Taylor was looking for a new job. He agreed to resign that summer and ended up signing a severance package.

But last month Taylor sued, claiming the district never paid him.  He calculated GRPS owed him $330,000 including lawyer’s fees.

Education
9:03 am
Wed March 27, 2013

$700,000 for baby scholarships

Tiffany Burns' daughter Yalana will be one of the first recipients of the new Early Start scholarship program.
Credit Dustin Dwyer

We think of scholarships as a way to help more students go to college. But there’s a new scholarship program in Michigan that has nothing to do with college. It offers scholarships to babies.

If you have a baby and you want to have a job, or you need to have a job, you have to find childcare. And childcare costs money—thousands of dollars a year.

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Newsmaker Interviews
5:30 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Why do many kids repeat kindergarten?

Administrators said keeping bus transportation, art and music, and avoiding making athletics pay-to-play programs were some of their top priorities to save from cuts.

One in every nine kids in Michigan public schools repeated kindergarten, according to Michigan Department of Education data for the year 2010-11. That means the state pays an additional $7,000 per child every year, ultimately costing taxpayers $93 million.

Ron French, senior writer with Bridge Magazine has been investigating this story and found that the likelihood of a child repeating kindergarten was most closely linked, not to race or family income, but geography. In the article, he also writes about “planned retention," meaning parents actually plan to have a child do two years of kindergarten instead of one. 

Education
4:22 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Kettering University may change how doctors learn surgery

Collaborators testing a VR surgical simulator.
Courtesy: Kettering University

Kettering University in Flint is developing technology that may soon change how doctors learn surgical procedures.

Mehrdad Zadeh is Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering  at Kettering.  He says it’s a process using "haptic feedback."

Patrick Hayes is with Kettering University and explains:

Haptics technology allows a user to ‘touch’ virtual objects by using forces, vibrations or movements of the user in simulations. It has a wide variety of practical uses in various industries, but students in the Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics (REACH) Lab have found the technology particularly useful in coming up with practical applications of haptics in the local medical community.

Professor Zadeh says the technology is actually similar to some video games and simulates the feel of working with real flesh.

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Education
5:43 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Sorry college students, this scholarship program is for babies only

A young man at the Spartan Child Development Center in East Lansing.
Credit Dustin Dwyer

 About 200 Michiganders will benefit from a new scholarship program announced today. 

But if you want to be one of the lucky recipients, there's a catch: you can't be any older than two. 

The state's Early Childhood Investment Corporation announced today that it's partnering with the Women's Caring Program on a new $700,000 program to help low income families afford child care. 

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Education
8:38 am
Tue March 19, 2013

U-M students rally for in-state tuition for undocumented residents

Students rally near U-M's Fleming Administration Building.
Kirsten Kortebein Michigan Radio

A small number of University of Michigan students and administrators have been meeting for months to examine the feasibility of offering undocumented students from Michigan in-state tuition.

Undocumented students pay international rates to attend U-M and they aren't eligible for federal financial aid.

For about the past year and a half, the Coalition for Tuition Equality has advocated to change the policy. The student group has run an aggressive campaign; among other things, they've held rallies on the Diag at the center of the Ann Arbor campus, staged sit-ins at meetings of the university's board of regents.

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Stateside
4:57 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Is the Kalamazoo Promise worth keeping?

The Kalamazoo Promise has an impact inside and outside of the classroom
courtesy: Mott High School

Students who attend a public Kalamazoo high school for their entire high school career and live in the district during those four years have the opportunity to attend a Michigan college or University for free.

This, of course, is old news.

The Kalamazoo Promise was announced in November 2005 and has since proven to be one of the most groundbreaking educational programs in the state.

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Education
12:09 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

Michigan lawmaker introduces religious holiday-school attendance bill

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Democratic Michigan lawmaker wants to ensure that students are not penalized for missing school to observe a religious holiday.

Democratic Rep. Kate Segal of Battle Creek recently introduced a bill that would prohibit public school officials from counting days students take off to observe religious holidays against them when handing out perfect attendance or other awards.

Segal said in a statement that if children make up their missed work they should not have to choose "between observing their faith and boosting their academic resume."

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