Education

abbyladybug

Three members of Sigma Alpha Mu at the University of Michigan are facing criminal charges after the fraternity vandalized a ski resort one January weekend in Gaylord, Michigan.

The State Board of Education (SBE) has selected a new state superintendent of schools. Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Brian Whiston will take over the Michigan Department of Education in July. That’s when current state Superintendent Mike Flanagan will retire.

Whiston says he’s had a lot of success in Dearborn – and hopes to achieve similar goals statewide.

“We’ve raised student achievement, raised graduation rates, our budget’s in line,” he said after a final interview with the SBE Wednesday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Permanent suspension sounds … well … permanent, right?

Wrong.  

Just because the Sigma Alpha Mu international board has voted to “permanently suspend the charter of our University of Michigan chapter” after the fraternity vandalized a ski resort in Northern Michigan, doesn’t mean the frat is gone forever.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Recently, industrial designer Jeff DeBoer wrote an essay for The Next Idea raising the idea of making Michigan "the design Mecca of the world."

And he believes the key to that is to make art as important as the science, technology, engineering and math classes currently occupying much of the nation's attention.

Todd Petrie / Flickr

Thetoad / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder has taken direct control over the state office tasked with monitoring Michigan’s worst performing schools.

The elected state Board of Education previously had control over the state School Reform Office. Snyder signed an executive order on Thursday that moves the reform office to his budget office.

Flickr

The Next Idea

For more than a century and a half, our education system has been designed around a model that prioritizes the standard delivery of instructional content and persistently focuses on what should be “covered."  This model may have served the needs of public education through the first half of the 20th century, but not today.

Colleen / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Board of Education is expected to pick a new superintendent soon. The board narrowed the list of finalists to three today.

Bill DiSessa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, says the finalists will be interviewed next Wednesday, and the Board will make the final choice after that meeting.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan needs to spend more money on adult education if it wants to meet the need for skilled workers.

As Michigan’s economy grows, there is a greater need for skilled laborers.

Karen Holcomb-Merrill with the Michigan League for Public Policy says Michiganders with limited K-12 educations need help getting the basic skills they need to fill those jobs.

Pixabay

A new report criticizes the expansion of online K-12 schools in Michigan.

Co-author Michael Barbour is with Sacred Heart University.

He says MEAP scores at full-time virtual schools are below the state average, mainly because the schools aren't doing what they promised.

"For as much as we hear in terms of the PR from these companies about personalized or individualized instruction, it is [actually]  a one-size-fits-all model," says Barbour.

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren is still getting public and expert input, even as its deadline approaches.

The group is coming up with recommendations to overhaul and streamline Detroit’s multiple school systems. They face a March 31 deadline to submit recommendations to Governor Snyder.

This past weekend, the coalition held several workshops to hear from Detroit children.

MichigansChildren / YouTube

The state’s top education official says lawmakers should stop allowing new charter schools to open in Michigan. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan told state lawmakers today a moratorium on charter school creation would help stabilize traditional public schools – especially ones in high-poverty areas.

Flickr user Penn State Special Collections / Flickr

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the confrontation between civil rights marchers and Alabama State Troopers known as Bloody Sunday.

Retired teacher and librarian with Detroit Public Schools Gloria Mills has organized a bus trip to Selma for this weekend's commemoration.

James Allenspach

An on-line threat has shaken a west Michigan college campus.

Officials at Kalamazoo College are asking the FBI for help in investigating a threatening note posted on an online campus message board this week.

Buddha painting in Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka. People in Sri Lanka have practiced Theravada Buddhism for centuries.
Bernard Gagnon / wikimedia commons

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan has received $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism.

The school says Thursday the gift will enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The holder of the endowed chair will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Thai Buddhism.

via Detroit Public Schools

The Detroit Public Schools’ emergency manager has laid out a plan he says should get the district on a “sustainable path” by the end of his 18-month term.

Darnell Earley’s restructuring plan has some short-term specifics, such as convening a summit of Detroit’s “education service providers” to discuss putting a moratorium on creating new schools before fall 2015; identifying further potential school and “substandard facility” closures; and establishing a task force to deal with the district’s high population of special education students.

michigan.gov

Gov. Rick Snyder is getting some tough questions about the May ballot proposal to boost road funding at his education and economic summit this week in Detroit.

The plan would raise the state’s sales tax from 6% to 7% and boost road funding by about a $1 billion a year.

A new contractor will run Ann Arbor school buses next year.
Leslie Science and Nature Center / Flickr

Update 2:48 p.m.

The school buses are running again this afternoon in Ann Arbor. A spokesperson for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, the agency responsible for operating the district's bus system, has drivers for this afternoon.

Michigan Radio's Virginia Gordon spoke with WISD spokesperson Emma Jackson.

Wikipedia / National Archives & Records Administration

Most of us can remember an influential teacher, or a significant moment we had with a former teacher.

Whether they were words of advice or words that put you in your place, these teachable moments can ring in your ears from school days gone by. 

via Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

Wayne State University plans to issue its first-ever posthumous honorary degree to slain Detroit civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.

Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klan members near Selma, Alabama in 1965. The 39-year-old mother of five was a Wayne State nursing student when she died.

“I think that Mrs. Liuzzo could not be a better spokesperson or symbol for Wayne State,” says Kim Trent, who sits on Wayne State’s Board of Governors. “She was a non-traditional student, someone who was really trying to use her life to change America.”

One of Gov. Snyder’s top education advisors made a rare public appearance at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s yearly Detroit Policy Conference Thursday.

Paul Pastorek has been working behind the scenes in Lansing for months.

According to the Governor’s office, he’s an “at-will consultant" helping design a major overhaul for Detroit’s struggling, fragmented education system.

Ian Contreras / Creative Commons

This school year, the federal government outlawed the sale of certain snack foods in schools. The idea behind the new guidelines was to improve kids’ health.

But it’s hurt many student organizations that use bake sales to raise money for clubs, athletics and field trips.

Snacks sold to students during the school day can’t have too much fat, sugar or salt. No more than 200 calories in total.

Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

A state board has approved selling bonds to come up with $50 million to help community colleges ramp up their career and technical training.

Eighteen community colleges qualified for the money to buy equipment and technology. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Winter's icy grip on Michigan has some in the Legislature arguing once again that the state should allow schools more days for weather-related closures before they must add extra days to the end of the school year.

Schools can be closed for up to six days before they must make up time to receive full funding from the state. But Michigan's 852 school districts missed an average of 9.5 school days in the 2013-2014 school year. And this winter is shaping up to be harsh as well.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Saginaw High School students cheered last night.

They didn’t win the big game.   District leaders decided not to close their school.

Saginaw’s two high schools are well under capacity and struggling academically. 

Interim School Superintendent Kelly Peatross wanted the Saginaw School Board to agree to consolidate the two schools (Saginaw and Arthur Hill) into one. 

Chatfield School

UPDATE: A pro-charter group says the methodology used in the Education Trust-Midwest report is deeply flawed.  A link to The Center for Education Reform's critique is included at the bottom of this article.

When Michigan's charter school experiment began 21 years ago, the hope was charters would be better than traditional public schools.

"The majority of them are actually not delivering on that promise," claims Amber Arellano of Education Trust-Midwest, a Kellogg Foundation-funded non-profit that says it is non-partisan, and "agnostic" on the question of who operates schools.

Changes underway at EAA

Feb 18, 2015

The Education Achievement Authority, the controversial state-run system for some of the lowest-performing schools, is making some changes.

EAA chancellor Veronica Conforme announced the “restructuring” at a board meeting this week.

www.brookings.edu

Paying for college – it’s a challenge for many households.

Seventy percent of the college grads this year took out student loans, and the average college grad this year is paying back student loans of around $33,000.

While these numbers may seem daunting, advancements in technological and business models may help lower cost of college over time.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Only one in three Michiganders feels Michigan's statewide school system deserves an A or a B grade. That's according to new polling from Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants.

Rep. Adam Zemke is the Democratic vice chair of the House Education Committee and he represents Ann Arbor.

Empty desks in a classroom.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr

Most people in a Michigan Radio/Public Sector Consultants poll would give Michigan a "C" when it comes to the state's education system.

Six-hundred likely voters in Michigan were polled from February 2 through February 5, 2015. Thirty-five percent gave Michigan's school system an A or a B - 49% gave Michigan a C, D, or an F (16% were unsure or didn't offer an answer).

Pages