Education

Education
4:49 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Impacts of new school consolidation law felt in northern Michigan

An empty classroom.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

A record number of Michigan schools are struggling to stay in the black.

So far, the headlines have focused on the fiscal problems of some of the state’s more populated counties.

A new state law allows state officials to dissolve and consolidate small schools with big problems.

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Stateside
4:39 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How deeply do major university donors influence higher education in America?

Real estate mogul Stephen Ross, left, donated $200 million to the University of Michigan in September.
Teresa Mathew The Michigan Daily

It was a gift — with a capital "G."

Real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made big headlines last month with an eye-popping $200-million gift to the University of Michigan.

The donation is earmarked for the university's athletic department and the business school that already bears the name of Stephen Ross from an earlier gift of $113 million.

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Education
12:30 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

On count day, all eyes on Detroit Public Schools

The district wants to improve. But they need students, and state money, to really make a change.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

Tomorrow is count day for Michigan's public schools.

The more students a school has in attendance on count day, the more money they get from the state.

It's a make or break day for Detroit Public Schools.

After months of sales pitches, finding out how many students enrolled

The district has spent months trying to recruit kids away from charter schools and private academies.

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Stateside
4:12 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Sequester cuts by Congress have hit special education students in Michigan

user BES Photos Flickr

The start of the new school year has brought unpleasant and unwelcome surprises for the parents of Michigan children with special needs.

That's because the federal sequester has hit special education, in the words of our next guest, "like a ton of bricks."

A new round of special ed cuts were forced by a 5% reduction in federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and now parents and special education students are seeing what that means.

With some 6.5 million disabled children from ages 3 to 21 getting services funded by the IDEA, this is something being felt across the country.

Marcie Lipsitt is the co-chair of the Michigan Alliance for Special Education. As the mother of a son with special needs, she has been a state and national advocate for disabled children. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Education
7:22 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

State House approves funding for Common Core school standards

High school (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The state House has voted to reinstate funding for the Common Core state school standards.

More than 40 other states have chosen to adopt the standards, which set yearly expectations for what students should learn at every grade level in math and language arts.

But earlier this year, Michigan lawmakers temporarily barred the state from spending money to implement Common Core. A legislative panel was formed to study the issue over the summer, and its chair, Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp.) crafted a resolution based on more than 17 hours of public testimony.

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Stateside
4:23 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

What's going on with Common Core?

Students in a classroom.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

An interview with Michael Brickman, the national policy director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank.

You might have heard about the Common Core education standards and maybe a bit about the fuss over these new standards. We wanted to get a little more information about what’s going on.

We talked to Michael Brickman, the national policy director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Education
6:35 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Legislature could vote to reinstate Common Core funding soon

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State lawmakers have been debating the Common Core State Standards for months. The nationwide school standards lay out specific things that students should know after each grade level. The goal is to set expectations for students no matter where they live in the United States.

But opponents say Common Core would strip local control of school curriculum and could compromise the security of students’ personal information through data collection.

Now, the state House Education Committee is set to take up House Concurrent Resolution 11 Thursday morning.

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Stateside
5:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Should schools continue to teach kids to write in cursive?

jdurham mourgeFile

When was the last time you got a hand-written note in the mail?

When was the last time you wrote a note in cursive?

The recently approved Common Core standards don't include a requirement to teach children cursive. That’s prompted a question. Do we need cursive or is it merely an antiquated writing style that’s not all that useful anymore?

Gerry Conti is a neuroscientist and occupational therapist and an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Education
10:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Schools working to implement Common Core despite political controversy

Frankie Rau and Emily Riley can tell you all about their own school's educational philosophy, but don't know much about the common core. Their school has has little trouble implementing the standards thus far.
Credit Sarah Alvarez

As early as today state lawmakers may revisit the Common Core State Standards. In the spring, Michigan’s Board of Education adopted the standards, but until now the legislature, concerned primarily, although not exclusively about local control, made it impossible for the state to spend any money implementing the Common Core.

Schools all over Michigan have already begun implementing the standards, and state funds for implementation are unlikely to help struggling districts buy the materials they need to align their curriculums and prepare students to be tested on the Common Core.

State of Opportunity has the full story of two rural schools implementing the Common Core and having different experiences with the new standards.

 

Education
9:07 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Michigan universities are waiting to see how a federal government shutdown may affect them

Students walk to and from class on the East Lansing campus of Michigan State University (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking closer to a federal government shutdown.

Spokespeople for several Michigan universities say they're waiting to see what kind of an effect a federal government shutdown may have on their institutions.

Michigan’s universities and colleges get hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government every year.

But it’s unclear how much, if any, of that money will actually be held up if the government does shut down.  

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Education
4:20 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

No student on search committee for new U-M president

Mary Sue Coleman is leaving office.

This spring the President of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, announced she is leaving that post .

The U of M Board of Regents appointed a Presidential Search Advisory Committee this summer and this time it does not include a student.

Matt Nolan is an attorney and the director of Dow Corning’s Political Action Committee. He is the former Michigan Student Assembly president.  And he sat on the search advisory committee that chose Coleman to be President.

In fact, most searches for president of a major university includes a student representative.

The seven people on the Committee are faculty members, although some of them also hold administrative positions.  What are they going to be missing that a student might notice during a search like this?

Listen to the interview above to hear the answer.

Education
3:36 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Wayne State University offers in-state tuition to undocumented students

University of Michigan students protest for tuition equality. Wayne State is the second university in the state to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students.
Credit Terra Molengraff / The Michigan Daily

Wayne State University will begin charging in-state tuition to undocumented students. The decision is part of a policy change that now ties tuition to students' high school diplomas, instead of their residency status.

Students who went to a Michigan high school for at least three years and graduated are now eligible for in-state tuition. Students who got their GED in Michigan are also eligible for in-state tuition.

Provost Margaret Winters says the change is good for all students.

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Education
4:35 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Students making gains under first-of-a-kind charter; school leaders set bigger goals

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

On average, students under the state’s first fully privatized public school district are learning at a faster rate than under the old system. That’s according to data released Monday night by the charter company running the Muskegon Heights district.

Muskegon Heights schools’ emergency manager set up the charter system in the summer of 2012, when the existing district couldn’t afford to open. Highland Park Public Schools is under a similar arrangement.

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Education
5:59 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Wayne State to forfeit state aid tied to tuition restraint

Old Main, Wayne State University
Wikimedia Commons

Wayne State University is giving up more than $500,000 in state aid, because this year's tuition hike exceeded a limit set by state lawmakers. 

Tuition at Wayne State went up 8.9% this fall. That's more than the 3.75% cap set by the legislature.

A Wayne State spokesman says the tuition hike was necessary to offset years of declining state aid to the university. Matt Lockwood says state funding to the university has decreased by 28% since 2002.

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Education
4:08 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

The University of Michigan selling 51 acres of land for $3.5 million

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan has agreed to sell 51 acres of vacant land to NSF International for $3.5 million.

The school's eight-member board of regents unanimously approved the sale during a meeting this past week.

The Ann Arbor News reports officials expect to close the sale by the end of October.

The site is in Washtenaw County's Ann Arbor Township. The university plans to retain mineral rights in the sale and to have first opportunity to buy the property if NSF decides to sell.

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Education
3:21 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Pontiac schools agree to state consultant, avoiding emergency manager appointment

Pontiac Middle School.
pontiac.k12.mi.us Pontiac School District

Pontiac’s Board of Education approved a consent agreement with the state, in an attempt to avoid a financial manager appointment.

According to the Associated Press, there were four options on the table for the struggling school district, which runs a $38-million deficit:

1. The district could accept a consent agreement with the state.

2. An emergency manager could be appointed.

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Education
11:49 am
Thu September 19, 2013

What does "quality education" mean to you?

Credit splorp / Flickr

Today we're asking you and our in-studio guests, "What would it take to give all kids in Michigan a quality education?"

Our conversation starts with a look at how educational opportunities vary throughout the state and find out how we got here.

We've fielded your advance questions and comments, but we'll also have plenty of room for your calls (phone 866-255-2762) and tweets (@StateofOpp). You can also post to the State of Opportunity Facebook page

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Stateside
4:52 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The University of Michigan is now offering in-state tuition to undocumented students

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

The new fall semester at the University of Michigan is bringing significant change.

Earlier this summer, the U of M Board of Regents said “yes” to offering in-state tuition to undocumented students as long as they meet certain criteria. All military will be allowed to pay in-state tuition, active, reserve, and honorably discharged, as well.

The vote was watched closely by advocates for young people who were brought into this country as undocumented immigrants. On such advocate is Serena Davila. Davila is the Executive Director for Legislative Affairs for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, spoke with Davila about the change in tuition.

Listen to the full interview above.

Education
12:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Demand for more preschool spots outstrips supply

Credit Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Some 16,000 four-year-olds across Michigan might not have been able to find spots in a high-quality preschool program if it weren’t for a major expansion, paid for by taxpayers. 

Those 16,000 seats got filled in a matter of weeks – and there are thousands more kids whose parents wanted to get in, but couldn’t.

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Stateside
4:28 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Some Michigan schools are now operating year-round

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

In Michigan, by state law, the day after Labor Day is Back-To-School Day.

But in some 30 districts and charter schools in Michigan, kids have already been going to school because these districts and schools are experimenting with year-round school.

It's a concept getting much attention with the realization that our traditional school schedule causes most kids to forget some of the reading and math skills over the long summer break. That forces teachers to spend the first month or more re-teaching the previous year's material.

What does year-round school look like and is there a demand for it?

For the answer, we turned to the Crosswell-Lexington Community Schools in rural Sanilac County, which is offering the option of a year-round schedule.

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