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U of M Bentley Historical Library

The late Doctor Robert Anderson committed sexual misconduct on “countless occasions” during his nearly four decades at the University of Michigan.

That’s the conclusion of an independent investigation conducted by the firm WilmerHale, and released on Tuesday.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan is planning for a mostly in-person fall semester after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many operations to go remote. 

Part of that process is getting faculty and staff who have been working remotely back on campus for in-person work. President Mark Schlissel announced today that the school is beginning a gradual phasing-in of on-site work.

young woman holding a cell phone
freestocks / Unsplash

Updated Thursday May 6, 2021, at 3:31 p.m.  

Traverse City students who participated in a racist social media group chat won’t be criminally charged.

In late April, local authorities began investigating a Snapchat group titled “slave trade.” That’s where some high school students in Traverse City pretended to place bids on people of color, including their classmates. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Eli Broad, a Michigan State University alumnus who became a billionaire philanthropist and contemporary art collector, has died. He was 87.

Suzi Emmerling, a spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. She said Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness.

WoodleyWonderWorks / Flickr

The Michigan Department of Education is offering an option to help school districts deal with what State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice calls a "critical shortage of special education teachers in many Michigan school districts." 

The MDE will allow a time limited waiver that enables a district to temporarily fill a vacancy in a special education classroom with a special education teacher whose specialty area - formally called an endorsement - differs from the classroom with an open slot.

The goal is to reduce reliance on substitute teachers in special education programs.

Selfie picture of Jane, wearing glasses and hair tired up in pigtails.
Courtesy Photo

We’ve heard a lot about schools and the pandemic this year. We’ve heard about how some schools stayed in person and how some didn’t. We’ve heard from teachers and parents about what’s working and what isn’t in this strange school year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s talk of a major investment in Flint Community Schools.

But at this point, it’s still just talk.

Flint public schools have been caught in a downward spiral for years, declining enrollment fueled by aging buildings.

But key players in Flint have been talking behind the scenes about a plan to build new schools.

To say Leah Juelke is an award-winning teacher is a bit of an understatement. She was a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2020; she was North Dakota's Teacher of the Year in 2018; and she was awarded an NEA Foundation award for teaching excellence in 2019.

But Juelke, who teaches high school English learners in Fargo, N.D., says nothing prepared her for teaching during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The level of stress is exponentially higher. It's like nothing I've experienced before."

A group of students wearing masks look at a book on a desk together
JR-50 / Adobe Stock

Update: 8:55 p.m.

At a meeting on Thursday evening, Detroit public school board members adopted a plan to maintain a pause on in-person instruction through May 11. The district will open schools for learning labs where students receive staff oversight on virtual learning on April 26. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the district would consider suspending all in-person instruction through the end of the school year if the current COVID-19 surge continues. Positivity rates on COVID tests in Detroit are 20%.

test with bubble answers
mehmet / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Education has denied Michigan's request to waive the federal requirement of year-end statewide assessments, known as state summative tests, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That means Michigan students are going to have to take the M-STEP and several other tests this spring.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

In high school English classes, students are often tasked with trudging through the classics. At West Bloomfield High School, in Jennifer Tianen’s class, they’re getting a different view of one author in the literary canon.

These students have been transcribing the letters of Marjorie Bump, a Petoskey woman who was friends with Ernest Hemingway when he lived at his boyhood summer home of Windemere. She was also a character in his Nick Adams stories, particularly The End of Something, where Hemingway’s self insert character, Adams, ends up with a broken heart.

Oakland University Campus
Oakland University

Any Oakland University student living in on-campus housing this fall will need to be get the COVID-19 vaccine before fall move-in in August. Students can get an exception for a religious or medical reason.

Bob Murphy is the chief policy officer at the Michigan Association of State Universities. He says although Oakland may be the first state university to have some sort of vaccine mandate, it won't be the last.

The Old Main building at Wayne State University
Wikimedia Commons

Wayne State University is putting classes and sports on hold, as COVID-19 rates surge in Detroit and across the state.

The 10-day pause will begin Wednesday. Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said it’s necessary because average weekly COVID-19 positivity rates in Detroit have soared above 15%, the university’s trigger metric for in-person learning.

Beenish Ahmed / Michigan Radio

Two of Michigan’s biggest school districts are taking a post-spring break break from in-person learning.

It’s a precautionary measure that Dearborn Public Schools and the Detroit Public Schools Community District will hope stem the spread of COVID-19, as cases spike again in Michigan. Both districts will temporarily return to virtual learning this week.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The rise in COVID-19 cases has forced Grand Rapids Public Schools to change plans for in person instruction.

GRPS has offered a hybrid option, with two days of in-person learning per week, since January.

The district was planning to expand that to four days a week after spring break, starting on April 12th.

Now those plans are changing.

black and white photo of ron weiser
University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Board of Regents has called a special meeting on Friday, April 2, at 9:30 a.m. "to address recent events."

Sources say the Board will consider whether to censure fellow Regent and Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser.

The meeting comes after controversial remarks he made last week at a Republican Party gathering.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we dive into a Republican effort to tighten up election laws in Michigan. Plus, the Michigan classrooms where teachers come, teachers go, and students miss out. And we check in with a grocer about what it’s been like for him and the store during the pandemic.

Teacher at a chalkboard
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

From August of 2020 to February of 2021, 749 Michigan teachers retired. That's a 44% increase from the 519 teachers who retired in the same time period during the 2019-2020 school year.

Those who work in education say the COVID-19 pandemic has likely played a role in retirement numbers increasing, but teachers leaving the profession is an issue the state has struggled with for years.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The jury is still out on whether Michigan students will have to take the M-STEP test this year. But whatever tests students do take won’t be used for school accountability measures.

The Michigan Department of Education requested a waiver on accountability measures that tests are typically used for. That includes things like public school rankings, and measuring progress toward long-term goals.

teacher kneeling at desk, showing students papers
twinsterphoto / Adobe Stock

The remainder of the school year could be in doubt if Michigan communities don’t take steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. That’s the message from some school superintendents in Wayne County.

The superintendents say that currently, they’re committed to continuing in-person learning and school-related activities. They say they’re being vigilant about precautions—and they’re confident that classroom transmission is relatively rare.

But cases in the community inevitably mean cases in schools. And that’s led to disruptive mass student quarantines in many districts.

Michigan History Center

While teaching has long been considered a “feminine” job, with 76% of teachers being female in 2019, it hasn’t always been open to women of color. Not until the mid-1800s when Detroiter Fannie Richards changed education in Michigan forever.

Richards was born around 1840 in Fredericksburg, VA, and moved to Detroit after her father died in 1850. Around that time, Black Detroiters were primarily settled in the area that is now Lafayette Park and were staunchly middle class, Michigan History Center’s Rachel Clark described.

Unsplash

Don’t get us wrong — COVID-19 has generally made being a teacher or a student or a parent in the K-12 system way harder. But when schools first shut their doors last spring, some educators were also hopeful that the sudden pivot might be a chance to reimagine what school could look like post-pandemic. So, has that happened?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As Flint public schools resume in-person classes for Kindergarten through third graders this week, mask wearing, sneeze guards and social distancing are on the curriculum along with Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

It starts when students walk through the school door.

Every student and visitor to Flint schools will have to check in at a video kiosk or with hand held device to have their temperature checked.     

College graduates
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A growing number of Michigan's public universities are offering free tuition programs for lower-income undergraduates.

Saginaw Valley State University announced on Tuesday that it is joining the group.

SVSU President Donald Bachand said in a written statement, "We have maintained the lowest tuition in the state for many years, but the sticker price still causes many families to think an SVSU degree is out of reach."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After a delay, Flint Community Schools will return to in-person learning next week.

The district’s planned return to the classroom was postponed three weeks ago because there were not enough sneeze guards for all the student desks. District officials insist they have enough now.

School Board President Carol MacIntosh insists they want students to learn and go home healthy.

“I would like to be able to look any parent or community member in the face and say ‘Look we went the extra mile because we are serious about our students’ safety,” says MacIntosh.

DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District

Around 20,000 students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District are expected back in classrooms on Monday.

DPSCD suspended in-person learning when COVID-19 cases spiked in November. Now that community positivity rates have dropped well below 5%, the district decided it was time to re-open its doors, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said.

a person holds a vaccine vial
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, Wayne State University has a low COVID-19 infection rate among Michigan’s major universities. We talk with the school’s president about how the institution has been keeping case numbers down. Also, an activist discusses the ongoing effort to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to people with disabilities in Michigan. Plus, the co-founder of one homegrown restaurant chain talks reopening at a limited capacity.

Wayne State University
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Many college campuses have been sources of community spread of COVID-19 over the past year. Big schools like the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have at times struggled to curb spread and socialization among the student body. University of Michigan recently struggled with the first cases of the U.K. variant spreading through the state, and the school community currently represents about two-thirds of the total infections in Washtenaw County.

U of M has had more than 5,000 cases to date, with MSU not far behind that number.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest public school district will be re-opening to in-person instruction next week.

Officials with Detroit Public Schools Community District say face-to-face instruction will resume next Monday, March 8. The district suspended in-person classes in November, as COVID-19 case rates in the city climbed in November.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says with infection rates in the city down and teachers having access to coronavirus vaccines, the district can again provide an in-person learning option. 

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