Education

Education
12:11 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

With school just weeks away, uncertainty lingers over Detroit teachers

Roy Roberts
via Detroit Public Schools

With Detroit Public Schools students set to head back to class in less than a month, serious questions linger regarding the district’s teachers.

The district’s emergency manager, Roy Roberts, imposed new contract terms on teachers last month.

That infuriated teachers and their union leaders, who said the district never even collectively bargained with them.

But those new terms are now null and void, argues Keith Johnson, President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He says now that the law has been suspended, Roberts’ “authority” is suspended, too.

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Education
3:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Get a Thingamagoop at the library

AADL's music tools collection
KN

The Ann Arbor District is thinking outside of the box with a new collection called "Music Tools."

The small collection features quirky instruments and sound processors. It includes items with futuristic names that make sounds like hovering spaceships and funky clicks and clacks.

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Education
11:22 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Michigan Attorney General sues to block Detroit school board from resuming power

School districts with emergency managers have been plunged into uncertainty, now that the state’s emergency manager law has been suspended.

In Detroit, the Michigan Attorney General is suing to make sure the elected school board doesn’t take power back there.

Detroit’s elected school board went from having very little power, to no power whatsoever when the state broadened the powers of emergency managers under Public Act 4.

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Education
11:02 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools to ask voters, "should we merge?"

Superintendents and school board members from both districts meet to discuss merger
Ypsilanti Public Schools

Two struggling Michigan school districts will ask voters in November if they should merge.

Ypsilanti Public Schools has about 3,600 students; Willow Run Public Schools has about 1,600.

Both districts have serious financial problems, along with poor student test scores and low graduation rates.

Both districts' high schools failed to meet adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind law last year. 

Dedrick Martin is Superintendent of Ypsilanti Public Schools.

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Seeking Change
10:14 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Helping divorce clients work cooperatively

User: s_falkow Flickr

Every Monday, Christina Shockley talks with someone in the state that is trying to make a difference in the lives of others. As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, today features Monika Holzer Sacks. She is a family law lawyer. She works mostly in divorce cases and says her goal is to help couples avoid going to court and instead have them work together cooperatively.

Education
1:47 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Michigan launches new school performance categories

jdurham MorgueFile

The Michigan Department of Education has unveiled a new system to classify school performance. 

The state's schools will now fall into three categories:  Reward, Priority and Focus.

Reward Schools include the top 5 percent of schools, and those that have made the most academic progress over the previous four years.

Vanessa Keesler is with the Michigan Department of Education. She says being classified a Priority or Focus school means there are some problems.

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State of Opportunity
8:53 am
Wed August 1, 2012

State of Opportunity: Harlem Children's Zone

Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra spoke with Geoffrey Canada about how to break the cycle of poverty Wednesday. Canada is with Harlem Children's Zone.

The Harlem Children's Zone has been around for 13 years and covers about 100 blocks in central Harlem, and has become a model for other organizations around the country. Its leader Geoffrey Canada has become famous for his "whatever it takes" approach to helping kids. 

Canada says part of what makes the Children's Zone unique is that it covers all kids, and it helps them from birth through college. Canada says it's "not about just creating a good school or saving some kids, but actually changing the culture so that a community that failure was the norm becomes a community where success is the norm."

To find out more about the Harlem Children's Zone, visit the State of Opportunity website.

Education
3:13 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Lansing Community College campus to undergo major renovation

Students walking on the Lansing Community College campus
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing Community College is about to undergo a $67 million renovation.

College president Brent Knight says many of the buildings on the downtown campus need significant upgrades and they will get those upgrades during the next 30 months.

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Education
7:49 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Changeup underway in the way state grades schools

Woodley Wonder Works Flickr

Michigan will change how it measures success and what it calls under-performing schools. In the future, schools that fall short will be called “priority schools,” and receive some coaching, and other help developing improvement plans.

The state recently won a waiver from the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act  to give it more flexibility in its school improvement plans.

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Education
1:22 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Biden: Republicans no longer believe in public education

Vice President Joe Biden says Republicans have stopped believing in the concept of public education.

Biden made those comments as he rallied thousands of educators at the American Federation of Teachers’ annual convention in Detroit Sunday.

AFT union leaders strongly back President Obama. And Biden took repeated shots at Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Biden says Romney and fellow his Republicans now “have a totally different perspective” from most Americans about education—and pretty much everything else.

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Seeking Change
9:06 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Helping autistic students navigate college life

Autism awareness ribbon
User; Beverly & Pack Flickr

A program at Eastern Michigan University is helping students with autism navigate college life. It's part of the university's Autism Collaboration Center. The center helps people with autism of all ages. As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Christina Shockley talked with the center's Lisa Johnstone about the program.

Education
7:12 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

American Federation of Teachers takes to the streets on behalf of Detroit's teachers

Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The American Federation of Teachers is in Detroit for the group’s annual convention.

And they’re taking it to the streets—and to Detroit Public Schools’ officials—on behalf of the district’s teachers.

Earlier this month, Detroit Public Schools’ emergency manager Roy Roberts imposed new contract terms on the district’s teachers.

Those terms include a pay cut, larger class sizes, and less prep time for teachers.

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Education
4:55 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Highland Park Public Schools selects Leona Group to manage charter system

Bill Coats, founder and CEO of the Leona Group
The Leona Group, L.L.C.

Highland Park Public Schools contracted the Leona Group to run its charter system next year.

A press release issued by the school system's Emergency Manager, Joyce Parker, said that she met with the newly appointed board of education today who approved the Leona Group, LLC contract as charter operator unanimously.

From the release:

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Education
1:22 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Michigan's graduates cope with mounting student loan debt

National student debt
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Students at Michigan's five largest universities sought more loans to pay for college, according to a Detroit Free Press database

These students will join recent graduates around the country whose outstanding private and federal education debts have topped $1 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the data, as of 2010, students in Michigan have the 11th highest average debt of any state.

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Education
4:43 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

WMU approves 3.9 percent tuition increase

Western Michigan University's Main Campus
user TheKuLeR Wikimedia Commons

Western Michigan University says it's raising tuition 3.9 percent for the coming academic year, reports the AP.

Trustees at the Kalamazoo school approved the increase today. The school says instate freshmen and sophomores will pay $9,982 in tuition and mandatory fees in 2012-13. That's up $376 from the current academic year.

Western Michigan says with the increase, the school is 10th in cost among the 15 Michigan public universities.

Out-of-state freshmen and sophomores will pay $23,262 for the academic year.

The trustees approved an operating budget of $349 million for the 2012-13 year.

Last year, Michigan Radio's reported on public university tuition increases for the 2012-2011 academic year:

This year for in-state undergraduates, tuition has increased by:

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

10:42 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Making luck: Five ways to increase opportunity for disadvantaged kids

Lead in text: 
Last week, Dustin Dwyer from our State of Opportunity team showed us how upward mobility isn't so easy in the U.S., especially for disadvantaged kids. This week, Dustin shows us how some might break that pattern.
We've been taking a look at what research can tell us about getting ahead in America. Last week, we brought you "Five facts about achieving the
Education
5:15 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Ypsilanti schools could be headed for state takeover

Superintendent Dedric Martin say an emergency manager may be needed.
http://www.ypsd.org/district/superintendentsmessage/

Superintendent Dedric Martin says the school system could need an emergency manager, unless staff agree to deeper cuts. 

Martin acknowledges staff already took a 10 percent salary cut. 

“That comes on the heels of additional concessions that they've made. And we've had reductions at all levels. Unfortunately it's not enough to carry a balanced budget and pay back money that has already been borrowed and spent," he said.

Martin says he knows the "emergency manager" card could be perceived as a ploy to get further concessions from unions.

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Education
9:18 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Covering ethnic issues in mainstream media

User: NS Newsflash Flickr

Each Monday, Christina Shockley talks with someone who is trying to have a positive impact on their community or the state and asks why they're doing it.

Hayg Oshagan is Director of Media Arts & Studies at Wayne State University. He sees a lack of coverage in mainstream media of ethnic issues, so he created Detroit New Media.

Oshagan talks about the program as part as Michigan Radio's "Seeking Change" series.

Education
11:07 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Lansing Board of Education approves 'improvement plan'

Children entering Lansing STEM Academy (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Lansing school district will launch a multi-faceted plan this fall to improve student academic performance.  The plan is about more than just teaching.

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Education
3:07 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Check out the details of Michigan’s first privatized public school system

From left to right; Mosaica Regional Vice President Alena Zachery Ross, Mosaica founder and President Gene Eidelman, and Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon during a budget hearing Monday afternoon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Parents in the Muskegon Heights Public School district are just starting to get an idea of what to expect for their children this fall.

The district is having major financial problems and is under the control of a state appointed emergency manager, Donald Weatherspoon.

Weatherspoon said turning over the entire district to a charter school operator was his only option to keep school open this year.

Last week, the three-member school board (appointed by the Weatherspoon) hired Mosaica Education Inc. to operate the schools in Muskegon Heights.

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