Stateside

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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.

FLICKR USER MGOBLOG / FLICKR

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.

FLICKR USER MSTEPHENS7 / FLICKR

There’s a delicious backstory to how the Michigan sparkling wine, “Sex,” sold under the M. Lawrence brand, got its head-turning name.

It happened during the 1980s, Hour Detroit magazine’s chief wine and restaurant critic Chris Cook said, when Larry Mawby, owner of the Mawby winery was “fretting around for names for certain things.”

In that day, the trick was getting names and images for wine labels approved by the somewhat “prudish” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

“At that time, they were being very picky about certain things,” Cook said.

Overdrive Interactive

Senior technology writer for Slate, Will Oremus, has a hard time “getting” Snapchat. He says the app makes him feel old, and recently wrote an article about his struggle.

Oremus is 32 years old.

Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social apps in the world. So this raises the question: Are newer apps trying to keep older users out of the loop?

Kimberly Springer, Michigan Radio’s social media producer, doesn’t think so.

The U.S. National Archives on Flickr / Flickr

Patricia Majher's book Great Girls in Michigan History profiles 20 girls in Michigan who accomplished great feats before the age of 20.

Majher says while the girls were from all over the state with different areas of expertise, they all shared some personality traits. She describes them as precocious, self-driven, and not allowing obstacles to stand in their way.

The book includes stories of Betty Ford's dedication to dance at a young age. Ford founded her own dance studio in Grand Rapids at the age of 15, where she taught little girls and their mothers too.  Her career eventually led her to dance at Carnegie Hall.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The United Auto Workers is taking a big step this week to prepare for upcoming contract talks with automakers. Hundreds of delegates from more than 800 locals are meeting with top union leaders at Cobo Center for the UAW Special Convention on Collective Bargaining.

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause TB.
NIAID / NIH

On this day 133 years ago, a young German physician stood up before the members of the Physiological Society of Berlin and announced he had found the cause of tuberculosis.

It is hard to overstate the importance of that day, and what Dr. Robert Koch did for the understanding of infectious diseases.

Flickr user Chris Smith / Flickr

The Detroit Public Library turns 150 years old this week and will be celebrating Wednesday with an event that includes architectural tours of the historic main branch. The 1921 building is an architectural wonder, and is the fourth-largest library in the nation, with more than 7 million books.

Today on Stateside:

  • Delegates for the United Auto Workers are meeting at Cobo Center this week and their focus is on how to close the wage gap in the industry.
  • The Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford is in charge of a fundraiser that is centered on guessing when a 1998 Saturn will sink into a frozen lake.
  • Department of Natural Resources wildfire specialist Dan Laux joins us to discuss how to prevent wildfires as the season for fires begins.
  • A new film 1971 tells the story of the eight courageous citizens who broke into FBI offices to reveal incriminating evidence of the Bureau’s illegal actions. Director Johanna Hamilton, along with Michigan native Bonnie Raines and her husband John Raines, who took part in the break in, discuss the film.
  • The Detroit Public Library celebrates 150 years of serving the public this week, and we take a look at how the beautiful main library building came to be.
  • Medical historian Dr. Howard Markel tells us the story of the discovery of what causes tuberculosis.
Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

The new film 1971 tells the story of the eight members who made up the self-titled Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI. The group stole more than 1,000 classified documents from the FBI in order to expose some of the government agency's unconstitutional and illegal actions.

The film marks the first time these eight citizens are telling their story. Among them is West Michigan native Bonnie Raines and her husband John Raines.

The ice is still thick in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When do you think this Saturn will sink to the bottom?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain–Kingsford

The Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford decided to reach back into history and bring back an old fundraising technique. Instead of the usual pancake breakfast or rose sale, this time around they’re having a contest that asks people to guess how fast a 1998 Saturn will sink into Chapin Pit.

Mercedes Mejia

The 12th annual World Ice Fishing Championship kicks off in Kuopio, Finland this week.

Michigan native Myron Gilbert is there, representing the USA. Gilbert is part of the USA Ice Team. The team won the World Championship in Wisconsin back in 2010. Now it’s in Finland to reclaim that title.

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