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Education

Multi-colored books.
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Between now and November's election, we’re having conversations with statewide candidates about a variety of issues. The first one we’re tackling with candidates is education.

Recently-released state test results show that literacy scores of Michigan schoolchildren have continued to decline. Only 44 % of kids from 3rd grade through 8th grade in the state reached proficiency in the literacy portion of the test. That means more than half failed.

Stateside 8.29.2018

Aug 29, 2018

Today on Stateside, test results show fewer than half of Michigan's students are proficient in reading. So why isn't the state making gains in literacy? Plus, a Michigan teenager's baking skills have earned her a spot on national television.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


The Michigan Department of Education on Wednesday released the results of its latest M-STEP assessment exams.

The big takeaways? Only 44-percent of students in grades 3-8 passed the literacy part of the exam. That's down from 2015, the first year the M-STEP was given.

Students at computers
User: Extra Ketchup / creative commons

When it comes to standardized testing, Michigan’s students don’t seem to be performing any better than in recent years — or too much worse.

The Michigan Department of Education released the results of the 2018 M-STEP test Wednesday.

drinking fountain
jasongillman / Pixabay

Detroit students won't be drinking out of water fountains when school starts next week.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District announced Wednesday that students will be using bottled water after tests showed elevated lead and copper levels at some of the schools.

ferris state university sign
Ferris State University

Ferris State University teachers are back in class today after a Mecosta County Judge ordered a temporary end to their strike.

But the strike could be back on if the Judge decides not to grant the University a permanent injunction at a hearing Wednesday.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan State University says it will find a new, permanent president by June of 20-19 – And now it has a committee in place to help find the right person for the job.

Empty classroom
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Summer is winding down. Parents and kids are out doing their back-to-school shopping. But many school districts in Michigan are still trying to find enough teachers to fill their classrooms.

The issue of understaffing seems to be impacting almost all schools — whether they are small, large, public, or charter.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan school districts are still racing to fill teaching positions before the new school year starts.

The Michigan Department of Education hosted a teacher hiring fair in Lansing last week.  Around 100 public school districts and charter schools attended, as did around 475 job-seekers, said Rebekah Emmerling, manager of the educator evaluation and professional growth unit at MDE.

Eastern Michigan University
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A new program at Eastern Michigan University allows prospective students willing to commit to paying for their first two years of tuition to get their final two years paid for by the university.

Stateside 7.30.2018

Jul 31, 2018

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is now saying that there could be more than 11,000 sites in the state with PFAS contamination. Plus, a Grand Rapids woman who wants to help alleviate "period poverty" in her city. 

To hear individual segments, click here or see below: 

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan is not doing a good job educating children with disabilities. That’s according to a recent letter from the U.S. Department of Education.

Michigan was the only state rated as needing federal intervention after failing to meet special education standards.

A few weeks before that letter became public, Detroit Public Schools Community District announced it would be doing a massive overhaul of its special education program.

DANIEL WEBER / FLICKR

A new University of Michigan study finds young people are supportive of more gun control and of guns.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health conducts a regular text message poll of young people, between the ages of 14 to 24 years old.

WWI soldiers
Richard Bachus

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One.

Michiganders were an important part of that hard-fought victory. Thousands of men fought in France with the 32nd Division, known as the "Red Arrow" Division.

Among them: Joseph Bachus, grandfather of author Richard Bachus. The elder Bachus, a native of Ann Arbor and Harbor Springs, led his men into the trenches and received a battlefield promotion from General John Pershing.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Flint Community Schools will take an important step toward finding its next permanent superintendent.

An interim superintendent has overseen the district since Bilal Tawwab was let go this past spring. Former emergency manager Gregory Weatherspoon was hired in March to serve as interim superintendent.

children sitting on floor
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan study finds African-American boys are three times as likely as whites to be suspended or expelled from school before the fourth grade.

The study suggests a lack of alternatives to suspending or expulsion may be a reason.

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Michigan is the only state failing to meet enough special education requirements to need intervention, according to a recent evaluation by federal education officials.

The Department of Education breaks its annual evaluation on special education down into three categories: meets, needs assistance, needs intervention, and lastly “needs substantial intervention.” The state of Michigan spent the past four school years in the “needs assistance” category.

WoodleyWonderWorks / Flickr

Detroit education officials are working to address shortfalls in the school district's special education program after audits found it's failing to meet student needs.

The Detroit News reports that the Detroit Board of Education on Tuesday approved Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's plan for sweeping reforms to its special education department. Two audits identified that the district lacks an effective system for identifying and evaluating children who may be eligible for special education services.

Solutions for Teachers / YouTube

Tracking a student's behavior is a big part of a teacher's job.

Two Michigan teachers developed a new app to make that job a little bit easier.

It's called TABS, Tracking Appropriate Behaviors System.

Along with tracking a student's behavior, it can also be used as a digital hall pass, and assist administrators, teachers, and students during a school lockdown.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit demanding literacy rights for Detroit children.

Filed in 2016, the suit attempted to force the state of Michigan to improve the condition of city schools. A week ago, Detroit school officials released a report pegging the cost of repairing the city’s school facilities at half a billion dollars.  

But in an opinion issued Friday night, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III dismissed the suit.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After a storm of criticism, state education officials are extending the public comment period on proposed changes to the state social studies curriculum.

The public now has until the end of September to share its opinion of the proposed changes to what the state will require be taught in Michigan schools. It’s the first major change to social studies standards since 2007.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the state’s nearly $17 billion education budget in Ypsilanti today.

The $16.8 billion fiscal year 2019 Education Omnibus budget, includes funding for the largest increase in the minimum K-12 foundation allowance in more than 15 years.

Snyder says the budget features many “critical” investments. But the governor says it’s about more than money.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Organizers say a new non-profit charter school will offer Flint area students a unique learning experience.

Starting in the fall of 2019, the Flint Cultural Center Academy will enroll 300 students in kindergarten through 5th grade. Eventually, the plan is to expand the school to K through 8th grade and increase the student population to 650.  

Sloan Longway executive director Todd Slisher says, as part of their instruction, the students will spend 90 minutes a day in Flint’s arts and science institutions.

Stateside 6.25.2018

Jun 25, 2018

Today on Stateside, Detroit Public Schools Community District has a long list of building repairs that will cost around $500 million to fix. But the district has no way to borrow the money it needs to pay for those repairs. Plus, how Michigan libraries ended up on the front lines of the state's opioid crisis. 

To listen to individual interviews, click here or see below: 

DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District / Facebook

 


Years of neglect have taken a terrible toll on school buildings in the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The district has just completed a review of its facilities, and the result is stunning.

The cost to fix Detroit school buildings is $500 million. If the district doesn't address the problems soon, in just five years that cost will balloon into the billions.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint school officials are putting their search for a new superintendent on the fast track.

The Flint Board of Education has done little publicly since dumping Superintendent Bilal Tawwab back in March.    The district hired a former emergency manager to serve as interim superintendent.

https://www.michiganstateuniversityonline.com/about/michigan-state/

Tensions could be high at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting at Michigan State University.

Protestors plan to show up and continue their call for increased transparenc, and for Interim President John Engler’s resignation. These calls come amid repeated blowback in how the university has handled the fallout from Larry Nassar. Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.

Bee Hive in Ann Arbor
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

 


They may be tiny, but the honeybee is a powerful force for good in our environment.

Brian Peterson is a fifth-grade teacher in Rochester and the founder of Bees in the D, a nonprofit centered around urban beekeeping.

Peterson spoke with Stateside about how exactly he caught the bug for beekeeping, and how he's spreading his love for the pollinators around Southeast Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some of Michigan’s most influential business and education leaders say they plan to work together to improve the state’s education system.

The coalition officially unveiled Launch Michigan in Lansing today.

Doug Rothwell, the president and CEO of Business Leaders of Michigan, calls this a “transformational moment.”

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