Stateside: MI students inch up in national rankings; Flint mayoral race; the legend of Dogman | Michigan Radio

Stateside: MI students inch up in national rankings; Flint mayoral race; the legend of Dogman

Oct 30, 2019

Today on Stateside, Michigan students are improving their academic performance in comparison to peers in other states. We'll talk about what that tells us about the success of recent education reforms. Plus, we'll hear from both of the people vying for the title of Flint mayor in next week's election. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Latest national test results show Michigan students holding steady while other states fall behind

  • National test scores show Michigan is inching in the right direction for reading and math comprehension. The state's national rankings in fourth and eighth grade reading scores rose, as did the state's ranking for eighth grade math. We talked about what these scores can tell us about the state's recent efforts to improve academic performance with State Superintendent Michael Rice and Brian Gutman, director of external relations at the Education Trust Midwest.

Who's a good boy? Not the Michigan Dogman.

  • He was seven feet tall with shining eyes and a terrifying, humanoid howl. He looked like a man, but also had qualities of a canine-like creature. He was the Dogman of Michigan. The beast has been on the mind of Michiganders for the last 130 years—starting in 1887 when two lumberjacks saw a creature which they described as having a man's body and a dog's head. Rachel Clark with the Michigan History Center walked through the legend and sightings of Dogman.
  • This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center. 

How the Kalamazoo Promise is trying to help students get through, and not just to, college

  • The Kalamazoo Promise made national news in 2005 for pledging to cover college tuition for all of Kalamazoo's high school graduates. It was made possible by an anonymous donor, or donors. Even with tuition assistance, however, some students still face major life circumstances that make tackling college difficult. 
  • Angelita Aguilar, director of credential completion at the Kalamazoo Promise, and Alexia Jones, reconnection specialist with the program, explained why the Kalamazoo Promise hired so-called "reconnection specialists," and how they are helping students make it to college graduation. 

Incumbent Karen Weaver and state Rep. Sheldon Neeley compete for Flint mayor

  • The current mayor of Flint Karen Weaver is being challenged in her reelection bid by state Representative and former Flint City Council member Sheldon Neeley. It is Neeley's second time running for mayor. Mayor Karen Weaver took office in 2015, the year following the start of the water crisis in Flint. We talked to both candidates about why they are running, and their visions for the future of the city. 

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