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Michigan Dept of Education

The state Board of Education has named an interim replacement for state schools superintendent Brian Whiston, who died suddenly this week.  

Before he left on disability leave last week, Brian Whiston named chief deputy superintendent Sheila Alles to act in his place. He died of cancer on Monday.

Today, Board of Education members voted to name Alles as Whiston’s interim replacement.

EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

As awareness of the problem of sexual assault on college campuses grew over five years or so, what's one result?

Many colleges and universities have implemented so called "mandatory reporting" policies.

State superintendent Brian Whiston
Dearborn Public Schools

The Michigan Department of Education has announced that State Superintendent Brian Whiston passed away Monday night at the age of 56.

Whiston was appointed to the position in April 2015, and went on long-term disability leave less than a week before his death. His previous positions included Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools and Treasurer and President-Elect of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

Detroit Medical Center now says it won't terminate its century-old partnership with Wayne State University.

Detroit Medical Center and the Wayne State University Physician Group announced Monday they will extend their partnership for six months.

This comes after Tenet Healthcare, the Dallas-based parent company of DMC, announced last week that it would end its contract with the school.

Under the partnership, doctors from DMC teach at Wayne State, and the medical school uses the hospital system's facilities.

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

High schools in Michigan might have to add financial literacy to their curriculum. Schools would have to offer a class on personal finance management skills like spending, saving, borrowing and investing to 11th and 12th graders. That’s if a bipartisan bill making its way through the state legislature is passed.

“In the U.S. we’ve just passed a trillion in credit card debt and I just think it’s really important for the young students – 11th and 12th grade – to be prepared for their lives going forward,” said bill sponsor Diana Farrington, R-Utica.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters will go to the polls across Michigan on Tuesday.

School millages and bond issues dominate the May ballot.

A few examples of what’s on the ballot:

At more than $96 million, the largest bond Kalamazoo Public Schools officials have ever put before voters is on the ballot.  If approved, the bulk of the money will be used to replace or repair roofs, boilers, parking lots, lighting, windows, and buses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are debating a change to the way the future teacher retirement fund’s growth is projected.

Faustin Tuyambaze / Unsplash

How can Michigan attract and retain new talent? That's a question we've been hearing from Governor Snyder's office and executive suites on down for years.

Earlier this month, a General Motors executive told a roomful of automotive engineers that the autonomous vehicle revolution will bypass Detroit unless the region addresses its talent deficit.

College graduates in caps and gowns
Photo by Caleb Woods / Unsplash

Almost four out of five Michigan residents support a substantial increase in state spending on higher education to keep tuition low for in-state residents.

That's according to a recent survey conducted for the Michigan Association of State Universities.

"Thirty years ago, the state paid for about 80 percent of the tab for a pubic university education," said Daniel Hurley, president and CEO of the Michigan Association. "Today, it's down to about 22 percent."

Hurley says the survey shows state residents think public higher education should be a state budget priority.

Solar panels
Ford Motor Company / Flickr

Mott Community College will use a $20,000 grant from Cypress Creek Renewables to help develop a solar energy training program.

The grant will support curriculum development for electric workers and construction workers who specialize in commercial solar installations.

Kevin Borgia is Cypress Creek Renewable's Midwest Policy Director.  He says Mott's new program will reach out in particular to women, minorities, and veterans.

Daniel Ernst / First in Michigan

The robots are coming! 

The world's biggest robotics competition is happening in Detroit this Wednesday through Saturday, bringing some 40-thousand students, mentors, coaches and their families to Ford Field and Cobo Center. This is the first year that this world robotics championship is being held in Michigan.

Low-income Grand Rapids preschoolers are catching up. Will Lansing notice?

Apr 24, 2018
In a neighborhood in southwest Grand Rapids, teacher Lorena Lopez leads a group of 4-year-old students.
Photo courtesy of Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative

In some of the poorest neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, in places inured to academic failure, children are grasping at a chance to defy the odds.

So it was one recent spring day, in a pre-K classroom on the city’s southwest side. In a poor, largely Hispanic neighborhood, where more than half of adults over age 25 lack a high school degree, a group 4-year-olds watched a classmate draw a “2” and a squiggly “0” on a whiteboard.

Their teacher, Sadie Kovich, asked: “What is it if the 2 is in front and a 0 is in back?”

Students in the hallway looking at ducks
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

It might not be Pamplona, but the annual "Running of the Ducks" at Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School in Grand Rapids is its own time-honored tradition. 

This Friday, students and teachers gathered in the hallways to watch as a mother duck marched her ducklings to water for the first time.

The mother duck nests in the school's courtyard every year. When spring comes, she leads her babies through the school and into the woods a few hundred yards away.  

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Interim Michigan State University president John Engler has appointed two long-time MSU professors, Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz, as the school's new faculty athletic representatives. 

Their appointments come as MSU finds itself under fire for its handling of the sexual abuse scandal involving former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

A boxcar used to transport victims during the Holocaust.
Courtesty of the Holocaust Memorial Center

A recent New York Times story published on Holocaust Remembrance Day bore a striking headline: "Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds."

That survey found many people don't have an even a basic understanding of how six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

That lack of knowledge is especially pronounced in millennials, or people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, joined Stateside Wednesday to talk about these recent findings.

The washing machine at A.L Holmes Academy of Blended Learning
Courtesy of Tammy Mitchell

 


 

It's no secret that kids who aren't sitting in class aren't learning, and Detroit has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the country, according to a 2016 Associated Press report

 

We hear policy recommendations and deep-dive discussions about how to boost school attendance, but, as first reported in Chalkbeat Detroit, one Detroit school has a different solution: a washing machine. 

University of Michigan students wait for a bus
The University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1f2P1w6

In January, the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government (CSG) released their anticipated “Campus Affordability Guide.” The guide was meant to help lower income students save money.

Some of the advice included canceling cleaning or laundry services, selling your car for some extra cash, and buying fewer snacks.

Courtesy of Michigan ACLU

In a letter to its principal this week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked Utica Academy for International Studies to lift its prohibition against political signs at student demonstrations.

UAIS principal Shaun Greene-Beebe announced the ban to the school community leading up to the March 14 National Student Walkout that took place in response to the Parkland, Florida school shootings. 

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27373086

Governor Snyder released a plan yesterday to improve safety in Michigan schools following the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

His $20 million plan calls for boosting security at hundreds of schools, setting up a task force to come up with more ways to improve school security between now and the end of the year, more training for school administrators and school resource officers, and expanding the OK2SAY tip line.

The governor says he intentionally stayed away from guns.

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

Governor Rick Snyder released a plan Monday to improve school safety following the Parkland, Florida shootings.

The plan calls for boosting security at hundreds of schools, and expanding an anti-bullying tip line. A task force would also come up with more ways to improve school safety between now and the end of the year, when Governor Snyder steps down.

Snyder says these are things he believes could result in a consensus in Lansing.

The proposal also includes more active-shooter training for law enforcement, but does not include any plans directly related to guns.

arcticpenguin / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Michigan State University seems to have used private statements between a student and a counselor in a press release to the public. David Jesse with the Detroit Free Press outlines the details in a story published yesterday.

Here’s the timeline: On Monday, a former student filed a lawsuit in federal court. That suit claims that back in 2015 three Michigan State basketball players raped the student. It alleges that university personnel discouraged the student from reporting the incident to police. On Wednesday, MSU officials issued a statement denying the allegations, and then proceeded to reveal when the student visited the counseling center and included details about what counselors advised.

Plaque on the door of the MSU Board of Trustees
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

 

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees holds its final meeting of this school year on Friday after what was arguably the most damaging year in MSU history in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.  

The group Reclaim MSU was formed in response to the university's poor handling of complaints against Nassar. It's made up of students, faculty, and staff who promise to work for greater transparency and accountability from the board and school officials. 

Keyboard with a"Jobs" button
Got Credit / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A summer jobs program is providing kids in Detroit with more than just a paycheck.

That's according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They found the "Grow Detroit's Young Talent" program also boosts participants' academic performance.

The program gives Detroit youth a variety of summer employment opportunities including child care, counseling younger peers, volunteering with seniors, and clerical work.

Carrie Gabella / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The ideal ratio of students to school counselors is 250-to-1.

The ratio in Michigan high schools these days? About 500-to-1. In some schools, it's around 750-to-1.

That shortage is hurting kids as they try to navigate the process of applying for and getting into some kind of post-secondary education.

United States Department of Education / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

It's called the nation's report card: a benchmark test measuring math and reading proficiency.

When it comes to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Michigan students unfortunately have nothing to brag about.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The union representing non-tenure track faculty at the University of Michigan has postponed a two-day strike that was supposed to start Monday.

The Lecturers Employee Organization (LEO) and U of M officials spent the weekend in contract talks. The talks are scheduled to continue this week.

Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Eastern Michigan University's controversial plan to cut four sports teams to save money will actually end up costing money, according to EMU accounting professor Howard Bunsis.

Eastern says dropping wrestling, softball, tennis and men's swimming will save nearly $2.4 million a year, and the cuts are necessary because of budget constraints.

But Bunsis says EMU crunched the numbers wrong.  He says for one thing, EMU didn't include the loss of tuition revenue from athletes who will no longer attend the university.  

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

Members of the Lecturers' Employee Organization (LEO) at the University of Michigan are prepared to strike on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses unless major progress is made at the bargaining table by this Sunday.

LEO's Union Council will make the final decision on strike action after reviewing the progress of negotiation on Sunday.

The strike would be limited to Monday and Tuesday next week. 

school bus
Shinichi Sugiyama / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

One of the key proposals in Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City address last month was a new busing system that would serve both district and charter schools. 

The announcement brought to mind Detroit's fraught history with school busing. The city's schools –  along with nearly every urban school system in the country – are still living with the legacy of the 1974 Supreme Court decision on busing in the case of Milliken v. Bradley.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

If a third-grader scores poorly on standardized math and reading tests, there may be more to the problem than just the school. That's according to an eye-opening new study

The study found that students who have likely suffered abuse and neglect will then struggle in school.

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