michigan schools

When you go to vote this fall, you'll have a chance to weigh in on education.

Amidst mounting calls for the state to do a better job educating its students, state Board of Education candidates are up for election, as well as trustees and governors of Michigan's major universities. 

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about the myriad issues at stake in the upcoming education races. 

Flickr user alamosbasement/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan’s School Reform Office has warned failing schools that they could be shut down by next June – more than 100 of them.

Erin Einhorn, editor at Chalkbeat Detroit, published an article breaking down the effects of closing schools with poor testing results, including more than 40 in Detroit.

Using recent state exam scores as their metric, the office will inform each school by the end of 2016 if their doors will close.

Michigan school boards are struggling to fill seats.
wikimedia user motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

 

Michigan school boards are facing a dearth of candidates in the November election. Nearly 1,600 seats will open up in 540 districts across the state. Yet, in the 2014 elections, approximately 70 seats remained empty. Why are people so reluctant to serve on their school boards?

This year, just seven new charter schools are opening in Michigan.
flickr

Michigan's school system could get an overhaul. 

Governor Snyder's creating a new team to try to figure out how to make this state's schools more like the top-performing states.

The 25 people who’ll staff the “Governor’s 21st Century Education Commission” haven’t been appointed yet, but they’ve already got a big task: figure out what the best school systems do right, and what’s keeping Michigan from being more like them – and then, by November 30, tell the governor what to change.

Michigan superintendent Brian Whiston
Michigan Department of Education

Across the state, many Michigan schools are struggling to keep pace with national averages. The U.S. as a whole is struggling to keep up with other advanced countries.

It’s a major challenge, and in response, Michigan Superintendent Brian Whiston has announced the Top 10 in 10 Years plan. He aims to make Michigan one of the top 10 states for education within the next decade.

Broken piggy bank
Images Money / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ranks Michigan 12th worst in the country when it comes to education funding cuts.

The report says Michigan has cut per-pupil K-12 funding by 7.5 percent since 2008.

State's new e-textbooks get harsh words from critics

Oct 13, 2015
Apple with books
Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The first set of online textbooks released under Michigan's Open Book Project is drawing criticism from some educators and experts.

The social studies e-textbooks were commissioned under a grant from the Michigan Department of Education.

Many Michigan students finished up their first week of school today. While younger kids might see just another year of quizzes and tests, their parents are taking note of the effects of budget cuts and other administrative changes. We visited local schools to ask parents how things have changed this year.

flickr user Steven Depolo / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


In 1994, Michigan opened the door to schools of choice. It permitted school districts to welcome students from other districts.

Some two decades later, more than 80% of districts are now enrolling school-of-choice students.

Classroom
flickr user Ben W

The Michigan state police picked more than 80 public, private and charter schools to share $4 million as part of the Competitive School Safety Grant Program.

Nancy Becker-Bennett, director of the MSP’s grants and community services division, said schools all over the state applied for the program.

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

State lawmakers could take up legislation next week meant to keep schools out of deficit.

The legislation would require more reporting from schools that are deemed to be in financial trouble. It could also open up more money in state grants and loans.

State Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, says he’s confident the bills will reach the governor’s desk by the end of the year.

“The more I talk about the process that we’re trying to establish the more support we get,” said Walker.

Vacant lot in Detroit.
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss Gov. Rick Snyder’s Asia trip, the financial status of Michigan’s schools, and a new plan to sell Detroit land.


Chalkboard
user alkruse24 / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

What might the lame-duck legislative session hold for Michigan schools?

This is the time lawmakers often make a big push to pass pet bills and there are several in play right now that could mean big changes for students and teachers.

Chastity Pratt Dawsey, reporter for Bridge Magazine, and Michelle Richard, senior consultant for Public Sector Consultants, joined us today.

You can listen to our conversation with them below:


User: The Gouger / flickr

Students in Michigan schools can now report potential threats through a confidential tip line.

The “OK-2-Say” line allows students and concerned citizens to report anonymous tips via a 24-hour hotline, web, text messages and a mobile app.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, sponsored the bill to create the 24-hour, confidential tip line. She hopes the program will become a safe way to prevent violence in schools.

Starting this fall, Michigan schools are required to have epinephrine injectors ready in case students suffer an allergic reaction.

Until now, students with known allergies to bee stings, peanuts and other foods could have their own epi-pens.  

User: 21innovate / Flickr

​LANSING – Several Michigan schools are expected to get money to help transition from the traditional school calendar to a year-round calendar as part of a pilot program.

MLive.com reports the State Board of Education is set to approve grant requests for four schools at next week's meeting and two additional schools received money through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to help offset their costs.

The Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System is set to get $750,000; charter school GEE Edmonson Academy in Detroit will get $395,000; and Ypsilanti Community Schools will get $146,000.

Baldwin Community Schools and Madison District Public Schools each received $750,000 through the MEDC.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

About 180 Marshall High School seniors will get their diplomas tomorrow.

Two dozen students from Albion will be among those in caps and gowns.

Last year, Albion school district officials decided to close their high school for budget reasons.

Most of the Albion students ended up at Marshall. There was concern the two student bodies would clash.

Dan Luciani is the  principal of Marshall High School. He credits the students with making the transition work.

“The resiliency of kids,” says Luciani. “They really outdid themselves in adapting to the situation.”

Marshall school leaders will hold a special orientation for incoming freshmen from both communities later this summer.