Sister Cyril Mooney is renowned for her decades of work to improve education for the impoverished of Calcutta, India. Sister Cyril was initiated into the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Loreto order, in her native Ireland in 1955. She has been affiliated with the Loreto School of Calcutta almost all the years since.
Ask a five year old what they want to be when they grow up and chances are you’ll hear things like a doctor, a teacher, and maybe Batman. Obviously, not many kids grow up to be Batman, but increasingly there are also fewer and fewer growing up to be teachers. Across the country and here in Michigan, the number of students choosing to go into teaching preparation programs is declining.
Two weeks ago, a now infamous sex education class at East Lansing High School unleashed strong reactions among parents and students. The abstinence-based course was conducted by Pregnancy Services of Greater Lansing, an organization that opposes abortion. The class provoked negative comments about the so-called SMART curriculum now in place at East Lansing High School.
For about a week, sex education has been one hot topic in the Lansing area. It began last week when Alice Dreger, an author, college professor and activist, live tweeted from her son’s sex ed class at East Lansing High School. Among the quotes from the instructors, according to Dreger: “Safe sex is kind of a misnomer.” “You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." Dreger and many others on social media blasted the approach for being outdated, unconcerned with credible data and focused on fear and shame.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representative both continue efforts to write the country’s first comprehensive education legislation since "No Child Left Behind" expired back in 2007. Both Republican-led chambers are at work on measures that address various issues: educational accountability, local versus federal authority and school choice among others. The Senate measure is scheduled to go before the Education committee today. U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan is an influential critic of some features of these measures.
Dinosaurs are the focus of the PBS Kids show “Dinosaur Train”. The host is Scott Sampson of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Known as “Dr. Scott” on the show, Scott Sampson is coming to East Lansing for a couple of public events during the MSU Science Festival.
All over Michigan, there are high school students who perform well enough on assessments to attend a four-year university. However, some of them, especially those in low-income and rural districts, do not pursue that path. It's created what some are calling a "college access gap." What sometimes makes the difference is school guidance counseling.
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.