Stateside: Sounds of state parks inspire album; partnership districts check-in; Maya Lin exhibit
Today on Stateside, an update on the partnership agreements school districts signed with the state to avoid school closures in 2017. Plus, we talk to our Friday political commentators about the recent indictment of state Representative Larry Inman (R-Traverse City), and the effect of “dark money” on the public's trust in government.
Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.
- In 2017, more than three dozen schools across the state were at risk of being shut down by the state for failing test scores. Instead, then state Superintendent Brian Whiston came up with an alternative model. The state would partner with districts, offering additional support and an additional three years for schools to bring up student performance.
- Bill Pearson oversees partnership districts for the Michigan Department of Education. He talks about how the 33 districts with partnership agreements are doing, and the challenges that they still face in moving the needle on student achievement.
Musicians transform sounds of state parks into ambient music album
- Michigan’s “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign is putting out an album. "Pure Sounds of Michigan" combines recordings of natural sound at 10 of Michigan’s state parks with music composed and performed by different artists. We talk to two of the people behind the project about what they hope listeners take away from it. Dave Lorenz is the vice president of Travel Michigan, and Eddie Logix is one of the musicians featured on the album.
- The new exhibit Maya Lin: Flow opens Saturday, May 18 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It features seven large-scale sculptures by artist and architect Maya Lin, all centered around water. Ron Platt, the chief curator of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, joins Stateside to talk about the new pieces that Lin designed for the exhibit, and the role that the natural world plays in her work.
New online hub for tech start-ups aims to attract funders and talent, tell Michigan’s story
- Michigan is launching startupMICHIGAN.tech, a free web platform which could lead to new business and investor interest in the state. Mark Davidoff is the chair of Michigan Israel Business Accelerator, which is behind the new platform. He says startupMICHIGAN.tech will provide an accessible central database for Michigan’s startup community, allowing them to more easily communicate and collaborate.
Roundup: How bribery indictment for MI lawmaker impacts public trust in government
- The story most of Lansing is talking about this week is the federal indictment of State Representative Larry Inman. The Traverse City area Republican allegedly solicited a bribe from a union and a lobbyist, asking for campaign donations in exchange for votes to stop the prevailing wage law from being abolished.
- We discuss the intersection of money, politics, and corruption with our Friday political commentators. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan State Senate. Vicki Barnett is a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator.
- Stateside host Lester Graham and Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings use a dash of gin and a measure of absinthe to make an intense, “absinthe-forward” cocktail with a nefarious-sounding name: the Necromancer.