graduation rate

flickr/Schlüsselbein2007

Michigan is doing a better job calculating high school dropout and graduation rates. That’s according a new report from the state auditor general’s office.

An audit in 2006 showed the state was not providing reliable data on graduations and dropouts. It made a list of recommendations for how the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) could do better.

Now, the auditor general says the department has met all those recommendations.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Proposed bill would raise minimum wage

"On the heels of President Obama’s call to boost the federal minimum wage, lawmakers in Lansing have introduced a bill to lift the state’s minimum wage to ten dollars an hour. The measure would phase in higher wages until 2016. After that, they would be tied to inflation. Right now, the state’s minimum wage is 7.40 an hour," Jake Neher reports.

More Michigan high schoolers are graduating in time

A new report shows more Michigan high schoolers are graduating on time. According to the Detroit Free Press,

Overall, the data from the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information shows the graduation rate for the Class of 2012 was 76.24%, an increase from the Class of 2011 rate of 74.33%.

Detroit State of the City address looks at the positive and a possible state takeover

"Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says it’s 'time to change the conversation' about the city, and focus on the positive. Bing’s annual state of the city address Wednesday night touched briefly on Detroit's ongoing financial crisis—and the prospect of state intervention," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s third largest school district estimates it would face a $25 million deficit if lawmakers pass Governor Rick Snyder’s budget. In an annual address to the community Saturday, Superintendent Bernard Taylor outlined how that could impact next school year

Financial challenges

The district has trimmed around to $70 million from its budget in the last decade. Taylor says to cut $25 million in one year would be difficult.

“But we can’t be afraid. We can’t show any trepidation about what our situation is because in the end, whether we have a billion dollars or we have one dollar children have to be educated.”

He proposed a pay freeze for all administrative staff, and that they pay 20% of their health care premiums. But even with those and a number of other cuts, Taylor warned the district still may have to lay off more than 180 employees.

Academic challenges

Next year, the state will raise cut off scores for what’s considered "proficient" on the standardized MEAP test. Taylor says that will have a negative impact their academic achievement. But he stressed raising standards for a high school diploma isn’t a bad thing.

“It is not a precursor of anything if you are not college ready or workforce ready, meaning you have to have pronounced academics skills in the areas of literacy, mathematics, problem solving and being able to work cooperatively with others.”

Taylor wants to do a better job determining if students are really prepared to study beyond high school.

He’s asking the state allow the district to keep those students who aren’t ready in high school longer. Taylor wants to do that in cooperation with Grand Rapids Community College.