Stateside

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Being a father is both rewarding and challenging.  

But, being a black father can have its own challenges. That's what Curtis Ivery believes. 

Ivery, chancellor of the Wayne County Community College District, discusses the father’s role in a book he co-authored with his son Marcus Ivery, called Black Fatherhood: Reclaiming Our Legacy.

The book discusses the disintegration of the African-American family and the alarm it generates.

We will pay for our lack of respect for teachers

Apr 2, 2015
Courtesy of TeachingWorks

The Next Idea

Teaching matters. We know that it can make the difference between a child learning to read by third grade, being confident in math, and developing the mindset necessary for success. Yet skillful teaching is not commonplace, and it’s hurting our society. Three reasons stand out:

Today on Stateside:

  • John Austin, president of the State Board of Education, joins us to discuss how teachers in Michigan should be evaluated.
  •  Michigan Radio’s Mark Brush and MI Curious question-asker Jeff Salisbury talk about the number of Michigan lawmakers with kids enrolled in traditional public schools.

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Many years ago, I was having lunch at the old London Chop House in Detroit. I was there with a very erudite Frenchman from one of the great wine families.

The host asked the entire table to name the best wine we had ever had. After some awkward answers and evasions, our French guest simply raised a finger and announced “I have one.”

It seems that his parents, wanting him to have a truly international education, sent him off to Harvard Business School in the 1950s.

He arrived here shy, with English as his second language, and felt very out of place.

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Few things are more addictive and entrancing than watching chain reactions and domino builds.

This summer in Wayne, the country’s most famous chain-reaction artists and domino builders will build one of the largest chain reactions in American history.

One of the nation’s premier domino and chain reaction artists is Lily Hevesh, or “Hevesh5,” as she’s known to fans. Another is Steve Price, or “Sprice,” as he’s known.

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Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow is announcing legislation aimed to support those with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s known as the “HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act.”

“This is a very important piece of what needs to be done, because it focuses on encouraging doctors to diagnose early and to do caregiver planning,” Stabenow said.

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As part of our “Learning to Teach” series this week, we’ve been talking about teacher effectiveness.

Paramount to that effectiveness are teacher evaluations.

“There’s nothing more powerful to move the needle in student learning gains than great teaching,” said John Austin, president of the State Board of Education.

Austin says evaluations must be improved on all levels of a teacher’s career. That includes supporting new teachers in their learning, professional development, and creating rewarding teacher career paths, so that teachers advancing in their careers don’t solely end up  in administration and out of the classrooms.

Erna Roberts has had a full life. As a survivor of the WWII Nazi takeover of her homeland, Latvia, as well as two separate Russian occupations, still living on her own at the age of 97 is the least of her feats.

The chambers inside Michigan's Capitol.
user CedarBendDrive, ae1106, and Lester Graham / Flickr/Michigan Radio

Jeff Salisbury asked us this question as part of our M I Curious news experiment. It's where you ask a question, questions are put to a vote, and we investigate the question with the most votes. 

(courtesy of KQED)

In our informal survey, 61% of teachers indicated that better pay is the best way to retain teachers. As part of our "Learning to Teach" week at Michigan Radio, Joshua Cowen, an associate professor at the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, discusses teacher pay in the state.

Today on Stateside:

Classroom
flickr user Ben W

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren released its recommendations for fixing the fractured system of educating Detroit's kids.

The 36-member panel of community leaders spent three months studying the many problems in Detroit's schools.

Kristen Van Ollefen leads 5th graders to her music class at TEP.
Dan Bobkoff / Courtesy of WBEZ in Chicago

This week, Michigan Radio is presenting Learning to Teach, a series of reports on the state of teaching in Michigan.

Teachers in Michigan average around $61,000 a year in salary, with starting salaries in the $36,000 range.

Would paying our teachers more lead to better teachers and more effective learning environments for Michigan kids?

A charter middle school in the Washington Heights area of New York City is testing this theory. It’s a school that serves mainly low-income Latino students.

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Both the Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and the Women’s Final Four in Tampa will fight it out with their shoes skidding across a floor made of Michigan maple.

The company responsible for making these floors is Connor Sports, a business located in the small Upper Peninsula town of Amasa, in Iron County.

The business has been around since 1872, a time before basketball was invented.

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They have been chosen – it’s time for the Final Four.

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo has now taken his Spartans to his seventh Final Four since 1999.

Number seven seed Michigan State plays number one seed Duke on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Today on Stateside:

  • Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics are here to give us a break down of this week’s political news, including Governor Snyder’s controversial pardon of a drunk driver, and Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation.
  • As part of Michigan Radio's "Learning to Teach" series, here is a postcard that explains, from the teachers’ perspective, what we need to do to keep them here in Michigan.

  • Michelle Richard, an education specialist with Public Sector Consultants joins us for another segment of the "Learning to Teach" series, to talk about teacher evaluations.
  • Keith Kindred, a teacher of social studies at South Lyon East High School, is here to present The Next Idea relating to teacher preparation and what that should entail.
  • No recognition for same-sex marriage in Michigan makes taxpaying difficult for same-sex couples. Joe Henchman, Vice President of State Projects at the Tax Foundation in Washington, joins us to explain.
  • Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo brings the Spartans to the Final Four for his seventh time, so Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon talks about that journey and what’s yet to come.
  • Jason Gasperich, director of sustainability for Connor Sports, talks about the Final Four floors and how they were made in Michigan.
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April 15th, the looming tax deadline, is approaching.

While it can be complicated for anyone to figure out what we owe Lansing and Uncle Sam, there’s a particular group facing extra complications: same-sex couples in Michigan. These couples can file a joint form for their federal taxes, but the state of Michigan considers them single.

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Political news continues to surface even though lawmakers at the state Capitol have begun their two week spring break.

On Friday, an investigative report, by the Associated Press, about a controversial pardon made by Governor Rick Snyder came out.

We already know what it takes to train great teachers

Mar 30, 2015
Flickr/BES Photo

The Next Idea

Just a couple of years ago, a colleague of mine – a woman who has taught for over 25 years – broke down in front of me after school one day and cried her eyes out.

She felt like she was failing her students, not because of her inability as a teacher, but because “the system” has increasingly made it impossible for her to meet their needs. 

user Wonderlane / Flickr

There's wide agreement among education experts that teacher quality is the most important school-based factor in how students do in school.

Today on Stateside:

  • Detroit News Business columnist Daniel Howes discusses this week's UAW conference and the union's plans to close the two-tier wage gap.
  • Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon tells us about Michigan State’s spot in the Sweet 16.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Detroit Public Schools is $53 million behind in pension payments with no end in sight for the financial free-fall.

According to Chad Livengood of The Detroit News, the district is predicting a deficit of $166 million.

"The biggest driver to the DPS deficit is legacy costs and past debt," Livengood says.

Tom Izzo talking to a referee
MGoBlog on Flickr / Flickr

On Friday night Michigan State faces Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 portion of the NCAA March Madness. It's Michigan State's seventh Sweet 16 in eight seasons.

GM had an event-filled year. The company announced more shifts at assembly plants, like at this one - the Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri. It also dealt with the fallout from the ignition switch recall.
GM

UAW members gathered in Detroit this week to let local delegates air their views about what the union should demand in contract talks with U.S. automakers later this year.

The discussion has centered on the two-tier pay system that's been in place for the last eight years.

Elaine Fogel

The Next Idea

For new ideas to flourish, for innovations to truly take hold and change our communities, we hear all the time that we in Michigan need to connect and collaborate more and be more civil to each other. But how, exactly?

Collaboration and civility are feel-good abstractions that well-meaning folks use, but often without offering a clear pathway to actually achieving improvement. Instead, we are left with flimsy takeaways that basically say, “Just try harder to be more open” or "Just go meet people." 

Detroit native Steffanie Christi’an is a musician and writer. She has collaborated with some of the top producers in New York City, including Big Proof of D12 and Emanuel (Eman) Kiriakou.

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No swearing in front of women or children, and don’t you dare sell dyed chicks or bunnies!

Those are just a couple of the extremely old laws still on the book in Michigan.

There’s an effort underway now in Lansing to scrub some of these outdated laws away – an effort to shrink the size of the state’s criminal code.

Today on Stateside:

  • Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio Network’s Lansing Bureau Chief, chats about Michigan’s “no dueling” law and the effort in Lansing to rid Michigan of archaic laws.
  • Hour Detroit magazine’s chief wine and restaurant critic, Chris Cook, discusses “Sex,” one of Michigan’s sparkling wines with an interesting history behind its name.

Michigan State University

This week will bring a gathering of doctors, psychologists, social workers and religious leaders to Dearborn for the 7th Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference.

It's the only conference of its kind in the nation, if not in the world.

Dr. Farha Abbasi is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and a practicing Muslim. She founded this conference in 2008.

VH1

Entrepreneurs can pop up out of anywhere.

Take Kellyann Wargo of Ann Arbor.

While she was a student at the University of Michigan, her entrepreneur’s eye saw a business opportunity in the “Walk of Shame” so many students take on the “morning after the night before.”

She started charging five bucks to drive people home. That idea eventually turned into the Walk of Shame Shuttle, her business.

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