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Education

Alana Burke and Samantha Engster
Michigan Radio

Universities are beginning to pay more attention to first-generation students, or those of whom are the first in their families to obtain a higher education degree.

But there’s still not a lot of information out there showing how these students fare at four-year colleges specifically. So, we thought we’d talk to a couple of them.

Eastern Michigan University
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U.S. District Judge George Steeh has ordered Eastern Michigan University to reinstate its women's varsity softball and tennis teams by fall of 2019.

In his February 12th ruling, Steeh ordered EMU to allocate funds for recruitment, scholarships, and support staff equivalent to what it had budgeted for the two teams before they were eliminated.

Lawmakers proposing relief from limits on school closures

Feb 12, 2019
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School closures across Michigan are on the rise because of the extreme winter weather of the last few weeks. Lots of people are worrying about the possibility of make-up days at the end of the year.

State Representative Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) is one of the lawmakers proposing plans to help school districts that exceed the annual nine day limit on  snow days.

"The legislation I'm introducing this week would exempt snow days which occur during a state of emergency from the allowance that's given to schools every year," said Frederick.

woman with curly hair in green graduation cap and gown looking over wall
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It’s a happy day when college acceptance letters arrive and high school students start on their journey to obtain a higher education degree.

But students who are the first in their families to attend university face unique challenges, particularly if they don’t have any mentors to help guide them through the complexities of college life. 

The T2C Studio: Grand Rapids Center for College Success is offering that guidance to students in Grand Rapids to help get them "to and through" college.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a bill in the Michigan legislature which could lead to teachers getting special mental health training.

State Sen. Sylvia Santana’s bill directs the Departments of Education & Health and Human Services to develop a professional development course for teachers on “mental health first aid.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Board of Education is launching the search for a new state School Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The board has hired the executive search firm Ray & Associates to conduct the search.

The job of Michigan’s top educator has been in limbo since the death last Spring of former state school superintendent Brian Whiston. 

creative commons

Funding for Michigan's public schools is insufficient to meet rising education standards, according to a recent study by researchers at Michigan State University. 

The MSU researchers said Michigan tightened its total spending on K-12 public education more than any other state over a 20 year period ending in 2015.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
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Today on Stateside, Michigan's funding for schools has declined more than any other state, according to a new study. We get reaction from the state senator who chairs the committee overseeing K-12 funding. Plus, an exhibit by a new artist-in-residence at the University of Michigan paints an apocalyptic environmental future over nostalgic images of America's past. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan claims Paw Paw Public Schools is maintaining a hostile environment that is hurting minority students. The group has filed a discrimination complaint against the district with the U.S. Department of Education.

Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University has named its next president. Philomena Mantella will be the fifth president to serve the university in its nearly 60-year history. And she’ll be the first woman in that role.

Mantella comes to GVSU from Northeastern University in Boston, where she’s the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Lifelong Learning Network.

Rachel Denhollander
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State Education officials are using a $5 million federal grant to improve early childhood programs for Michigan children under five.

Scott Koenigsknecht is a Deputy Superintendent in the Michigan Department of Education.

He says Michigan has a variety of early childhood education programs for kids from birth to five years old.

books
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In the frantic bill passing of lame duck, the state Legislature pushed through an A-F grading system for Michigan schools. It requires the state to grade K-12 schools in five areas, and then make the grades available for parents to view.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

For those of you concerned that you’ve become something of a slugabed when it comes to your use of the English language, and wish to exhibit a more trenchant style, Wayne State University has a few suggestions.

Wayne State University is out with its latest list of expressive, though neglected, words in the English language.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Catch up on the most read stories about Michigan’s education system.

 

Report: State took $4.5 billion from K-12 funds to plug budget holes

 

It was supposed to be paid back. The bill included language requiring funds to be repaid to the School Aid Fund to the General Fund between fiscal years 2011/12 and 2015/16. But the legislature never paid it back.

 

Flint school lockers
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s third graders will need to meet a new reading standard in 2019.

But there is concern the state’s educational system isn’t ready.

Under the Read by Third Grade law, a student’s performance on the state English language arts assessment will help determine if they will be promoted to fourth grade.

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A bill that modifies the funding structure for the School Aid Fund is headed for the governor’s desk

The bill would lower the amount of money schools get from the state income tax. That money would go toward environmental and transportation initiatives championed by Governor Rick Snyder.

old building
Wayne State University / Flickr

Wayne State University has the lowest graduation rate for public universities in Michigan, but federal data shows it's improving in that area faster than any public university in the country.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System shows that Wayne State’s graduation numbers went from 26 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2017.

EMU

14,000 students have dropped out of Eastern Michigan University over the past ten years without completing their degrees, primarily because they couldn't afford to keep attending classes.

It's a big problem for universities across the nation, especially universities like Eastern Michigan, which count many first-generation and working people among their student body.

classroom
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In the past decade, American education has gone through some major changes. Parents are sometimes shocked by how different schools look from when they were there, and that can lead to friction between parents and teachers.

 

Stateside’s education commentator Matinga Ragatz joins us to discuss how to bridge the gap in understanding between parents and teachers.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Public school advocates and the ACLU of Michigan want the Michigan Supreme Court to take their case. They want the court to reverse a decision that lets the state give public money to private schools in certain cases.

Courtesey of Muskegon Community College

The Board of  Trustees of Muskegon Community College voted unanimously on Wednesday to continue its tradition of an invocation at graduation, but just to the extent permitted by the law governing church and state.

The vote was in response to a complaint sent to MCC by the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA) about the 2018 graduation prayer led by MCC trustee Ann Oakes who is also a minister. Her invocation included a reference to Jesus, as well as multiple references to God and the Lord.

Woman handing books to kids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Kalamazoo Public Schools wants every student to see someone who looks like them in a book. That's why it's adding books to school classrooms to reflect the diversity of its student body.

It launched the initiative Tuesday at Woodward School for Technology and Research, where school and district officials hope the effort will engage more students in reading.

KPS is starting with just second and third grade classes for now.

outside of Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A school district in southwestern Michigan is being released from an agreement with the state put in place in 2014 to help improve its finances.

Teacher working with young students
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio


Photo Courtesy of Laura Griskiewicz Rzanca and findagrave.com

 

Today, in the spirit of Halloween, we bring you two different segments on the Minnie Quay ghost story and its historical roots. Plus, Kirk Steudle joins Stateside on his last day as director of the Michigan Department of Transportation to discuss what he's learned about the intersection of infrastructure and politics. 

The "Diag" on the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has seen sexual misconduct complaints against faculty, staff and third parties shoot up 161% in one year, according to a new university report.

The report covers complaints made from July 2017 through June 2018. U of M policy defines sexual misconduct as a range of behaviors, ranging from inappropriate comments to sexual assault and stalking.

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

Michigan’s public schools lost in court today. Multiple public school organizations and the ACLU sued the state over a multi-million dollar budget item.

The lawsuit is over public money going to non-public schools for state mandates; things like safety drills and health requirements. In its opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals said:

School desks
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Michigan faces a looming education and economic crisis if it does not address systemic racism affecting children of color in K-12 schools. That’s according to a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At a conference in Flint Thursday, officials and national experts are discussing how to reduce health hazards found in schools.

The conference comes the day before a U.S. Conference of Mayors summit in Flint on water issues.

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