Stateside: Third-grade reading law; new leader for Detroit’s Wright Museum; tracking snowy owls | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Third-grade reading law; new leader for Detroit’s Wright Museum; tracking snowy owls

Mar 12, 2019

Today on Stateside, we talk about Michigan's third-grade reading law, which starting next year will require schools to hold back third graders who aren't reading at grade level. Plus, we talk about the Broadway hit "Hamilton" as it makes its Detroit debut tonight.

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

How many students will third-grade reading law hold back? No one's sure yet.

  • Next school year, Michigan will become one of sixteen states that requires schools to hold back third graders if they are a grade behind or more in reading. Speaking at an MLive event last week, the governor called the 2016 law that mandates retention “destructive,” and promised to do everything she can to “get rid of that law.” 
  • Vice President of Public Sector Consultants, Michelle Richard, dicusses Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's response and gives an overview of what supporters and opponents say about the law. Plus, we hear from Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Yvonne Camaal Canul about how her district has been preparing for next year, when the third grade retention requirement goes into effect. 

Theater Talk: “Hamilton” makes its Detroit debut, plus world premiere of “Mazel Tov John Lennon”

  • It's Tuesday, and that means it's time to talk theatre with David Kiley of Encore Michigan.
  • We start with the long-awaited arrival of Hamilton in Detroit. We'll also hear about Miss Saigon at the Wharton Center, as well as Mazel Tov, John Lennon at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor, which is based on a true story about how the Nixon White House tried to deport John Lennon.
     

Grand Rapids man facing deportation hopes for pardon from Governor Whitmer

 

  • Rafael DeJesus came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 15 years old. At 22, he was convicted in Michigan of a nonviolent drug offense as a first-time offender. He was sentenced to 60 to 100 years in prison.
  • Governor Rick Snyder commuted DeJesus's sentence late last year after he served 25 years as a model prisoner. But before DeJesus could be released, ICE arrested him with plans to deport him back to the Dominican Republic. He is now being held behind bars in Calhoun County.
  • Stateside spoke about DeJesus's case with his attorney Hillary Scholten, with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. 

Snowy owls might be the only good thing about winter at this point

  • It’s called Project SNOWstorm. It has nothing to do with clearing away snow and everything to do with understanding and protecting the snowy owl. This national effort lets experienced wildlife experts band and track snowy owls. It relies on the public to be its eyes, to report snow owl sightings as the raptors spend their winters in the northern U.S. and southern Canada.
  • Raptor biologist Chris Neri is one of the volunteers with the Michigan wing of Project SNOWstorm. He has been banding owls since the mid-1990s, and is also an accomplished nature photographer. 

New leader of Charles H. Wright Museum outlines vision, responds to Monticello exhibit controversy

  • Neil Barclay is the new CEO at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Barclay is arriving just as the museum prepares to open a controversial exhibit exploring Thomas Jefferson's history as a slave owner.
  • Barclay talks with Stateside about the local pushback against the exhibit, and how he’d like the museum to change and grow in the coming years.  

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