Public education in Michigan will have new leadership this summer. Last week, the state board of education voted 7 to 1 to hire Dearborn schools chief Brian Whiston as the next State Superintendent. He will replace Mike Flanagan, who will retire in June after 10 years at the helm of the Michigan Department of Education. Whiston’s appointment is pending formal approval from the state board, which is expected soon.
Say the word “hack” or “hacker” and the impression you create is likely a negative one. Organizers of Spartahack are quick to point out their hacking event is about building and creating websites, apps, anything that’s connected to the digital world. It takes place beginning this Friday evening here at Michigan State University. Spartahack is expected to attract about 300 participants.
Enrollment in adult education in Michigan has dropped by nearly half since 2001. State funding in adult ed has fallen a whopping 88-percent since the mid 90’s. Those are among the noteworthy findings in a new report that urges reinvestment in adult education.
Last weekend in Brighton, Michigan, an opponent of a proposed charter school in that community was arrested. His infraction was his refusal to leave an “invitation only” meeting involving charter school supporters. Michigan charter schools receive public funding amounting to nearly $1-billion a year and are subject to oversight by the Michigan Department of Education. Glenn Ikens insists that as a Brighton resident and a taxpayer, it entitles him to attend such meetings.
Another TEDx event is on tap tonight in East Lansing. For tonight's TEDxMSU, MSU students have played a lead role in organizing the storytelling event, and many of the speakers are also scheduled to be students. It’s at 6 p.m. in the Cobb Great Hall of MSU’s Wharton Center.
For more than three decades, Lansing area elementary public schools have broadened student’s worlds by teaming with adults from around the globe. The greater Lansing area has a huge international community, with more than 100 countries represented on the MSU campus alone. Many of those people want to improve their English skills, and for many different reasons.
The Oscars will be handed out next Sunday night. This is the 87th year for the Academy Awards. The subtle nuances of film make for an entertaining past time. But the cinema is also a serious course of study for many people. Now, Michigan State University has created a new Bachelor of Arts program in film studies.
Madelyn Armstrong (left) and Chloe Hypes are among a group of students from Stockbridge High School who spent 24 hours in a submersible chamber in Key Largo, Florida. They spoke with students back in Stockbridge via Skype.
Back in October, we told you on this program about a team of students at Stockbridge High School in rural Ingham County who build robots. The Stockbridge students build underwater robots that search for downed World War Two aircraft in the South Pacific. Now, some of the kids are off on another expedition where it’s considerably warmer than it is here.
American agriculture is graying. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in the U.S. is now 58. Around a third are already over 65. That begs the question of what happens when those farmers retire? With fewer young people considering careers in agriculture, experts are worried about the future of food production here in the U.S. That’s why the most recent Farm Bill is setting aside more money to train and support fledgling farmers.
Early childhood education is really important. Years of research has shown that a quality pre-school can have a big impact on a child’s learning later on. And it’s especially important for kids of color or from low-income backgrounds. But for years, Michigan was leaving behind tens of thousands of its most vulnerable kids.
What makes the difference between a successful and a struggling student? Research suggests one of the most important factors is the quality of that student’s teachers. And a big part of having effective teachers in the classroom is making sure they’re prepared before they get there. In 2013, as part of an effort to do just that, Michigan toughened teacher certification tests, but a recent Bridge Magazine article found that a majority of aspiring teachers failed the new exam.
Educators in schools all over Michigan will take a head count of their students next month to determine their slice of the state funding pie. Michigan currently spends more than $7,000 each year per student. A new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan suggests lawmakers should alter its per pupil allocation system to reflect the reality of steady declines in enrollments.
Michigan law requires that high school juniors are offered a free exam and free exam prep to determine college readiness. Next year, that exam will change. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will take the place of the ACT, which has been used since 2007.
Sexual assault on college campuses garnered unprecedented attention in 2014, both around the country and here in East Lansing. Last January, President Obama formed a White House task force aimed at improving prevention of and response to rape and sexual assault at colleges and universities. In May, the U.S. Education Department released a list of 55 schools being investigated for their handling of sexual assault cases. Michigan State University was one of those schools.
Many in Michigan’s charter school community are crying foul over a recent report that criticizes the state’s charter school authorizers. Authorizers of charter schools are educational institutions, often colleges, whose responsibility is to ensure oversight, accountability and adequate performance.
Movements to revitalize Native American languages have been popping up across the U.S. in recent years. Tribes from Massachusetts to California are using federal funds to help preserve their native tongues. The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has developed Cherokee language versions of Google, Wikipedia, and even Facebook.
The Michigan legislature won’t be back to work until December 2, when lawmakers return for a three-week lame duck session. In the meantime, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been thinking about what it believes should be the state’s next major investment strategy.
For many students, the sight of their school bus rolling into their neighborhood each morning conjures up a flurry of emotions, and not all of them are positive. But a new project being unveiled today in Lansing hopes to re-make the image of the bus as a key part of the educational experience. This bus is a much more modern, high-tech creation. In fact, it’s called the Tech Transport Bus.
Raina Miller (right) is one of more than 100 cadets now attending the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy. After suffering bouts of anxiety and depression, Raina voluntarily entered the academy. Her mother, Robyn, is a retired military police officer.
Two months into the traditional school year, Michigan students are already thinking about Thanksgiving break. That includes students who are taking a less conventional route through their studies. Right now, more than 100 teenagers from communities across the state are participating in the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy, a program sponsored by the Michigan National Guard.
The number of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM fields has been steadily increasing over the past decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that growth to accelerate in the next decade, with an additional 9-million STEM related jobs opening up by 2022, and the shifting realities of the job market are shaping the nation’s education policy.
The trees are starting to look very stark in Michigan these days as autumn digs in. Many “snowbirds” are thinking about escaping to more pleasant climates, including a team of young engineers from rural Stockbridge in Ingham County. Stockbridge High School has a robotics team which for the past three years has traveled to the tropical island of Palau to use their machines to search for lost history.
Education officials in Michigan are crunching the numbers this month, following the statewide student “Count Day” back on October 1. The bi-annual count determines the state’s per pupil funding allocation. Obviously, it’s in every school district’s best interest to turn out as many students as possible on that single day. But teachers and administrators across the state continue to struggle to fund mandatory programs. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of rhetoric on the campaign trail about school funding. But what story does the data show?
From expanding charter schools to implementing high-stakes teacher evaluations, states across the country are testing out new reforms to improve student outcomes. Many of those states are seeing results, but Michigan isn’t one of them. It’s scores on national assessments have flatlined, and in some areas, fallen below the national average.
According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 40-percent of adults with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression received no treatment in the previous year. This comes at an enormous cost to the sufferers and their families, as well as to society at large, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Federal funding for scientific research, in everything from energy to biomedical science, has flatlined in recent years. Some scientists worry that means the U.S. will fall behind other countries in scientific and technological advancements. But it also means an increasing share of the nation’s research is done by industry.
The 3-million member National Education Association has a new president, and she was in East Lansing yesterday. Lily Eskelsen Garcia took office on September 1st. Her trip to East Lansing was devoted to pushing for not only organized labor, but also for making higher education affordable.
Higher education has long been seen as a ticket out of poverty for low-income students. And in today’s competitive work environment, a college degree is more important than ever for securing a place in the middle class. The number of low-income students enrolling at four year schools has grown around 20-percent over the past several decades. But while more of those kids are making it to college, graduating is still a struggle.
The downtown Lansing branch of the Capital Area District Library opened 50 years ago. To celebrate, there’s a 50th birthday event Sunday afternoon at 1:30. You’ll be able to meet with staffers past and present, learn about its architecture, and see what’s been changed over the years if you haven’t been there in a while.