Education

Betsy DeVos photo
Courtesy photo

This week, Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos faced U.S. Senate confirmation hearings as President Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education.

After Betsy DeVos' Senate confirmation hearing yesterday — all three hours and change — we know a little more about Donald Trump's pick to be the next education secretary.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, DeVos faced questions on a range of issues, from private school vouchers and charter school oversight to guns in schools.

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Republicans and Democrats split over today's Betsy DeVos hearings. Meanwhile, one Capital Region school board leader responds to the Secretary of Education nominee's views.

There hasn't been a more controversial pick for secretary of education, arguably, in recent memory than Donald Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos. The Senate confirmation hearings for the billionaire Republican fundraiser and activist from Michigan start today.

school classroom
Wokandapix / Pixabay

A long-time Michigan advocate of school choice recommends caution over the expansion of education vouchers that would allow taxpayer funds to go to private and religious schools.  

Richard McLellan helped write the state’s 23-year old charter school law.

He says more needs to be learned about the impact of public money on religious schools.

“I think that would lead to more government intrusion on private and religious schools,” he says.

Confirmation hearings of Michigan’s Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education begin Tuesday.

The final few days before President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office will be filled with a flurry of congressional activity, as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for eight more of his Cabinet nominees.

Most are expected to be fairly routine, but a few could be hot-button affairs, including hearings for Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

This time last year, Stephanie Johnson was miserable.

She was in her third year teaching special education at a junior high school in Lindon, Utah, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City.

On the outside it looked like she was doing great. Her classes ran smoothly, students loved her, parents loved her, but like many special education teachers, inside she felt as though she was drowning.

She said she thought about leaving all the time: "I don't know how to describe it, it's just so much work. I just feel like I cannot do it."

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Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, who created the writing system that turns Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet, has died aged 111.

Picture of a violin
Shunichi kouroki / Flickr Creative Commons

In 2013, Lansing School District elementary teachers with specialized arts certifications were laid off due to budget cuts; cuts that were made because the district faced a multi-million dollar deficit.    

Now, four new specialized music teachers have been hired by the district.

 

 


Supreme Court building
Courtesy / flickr/cometstarmoon

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a dispute that advocates describe as the most important case involving public school special education in three decades.

At issue is whether federal law requires public schools to provide more than the bare minimum in special services for children with disabilities. With millions of children qualifying for these services, the court's ruling could have a profound effect.

Betsy DeVos photo
Courtesy photo / Betsy DeVos

The confirmation hearing for Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos has been delayed until next week. But, she’s already working to win support for her nomination and her ideas on school reform.

WKAR PBS logo
WKAR File Photo

We’re celebrating an anniversary here at WKAR and we’re giving you the birthday gift.

 

WKAR-TV turns 63 years old this weekend.  And on Monday, January 16, we’re launching a new project:  “WKAR-PBS Kids 24/7.”


Yvonne Camaal Canul at WKAR radio studio
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

After cutting back on arts programming, Lansing Schools have re-added certified music educators to elementary classrooms.  

District Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul says she hopes to put art specialists back into elementary schools soon.

 

A hand writing on a chalkboard.
Denis Labrecque / Flickr Creative Commons

Michigan is experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers.


Two female students smiling at a Flint school event
Courtesy / MSU College of Education

How can you create positive, lasting transformation in a school district? One way is to offer support to its principals.

This has been a key strategy in the ongoing partnership between Michigan State University and Flint Community Schools. The partnership now heads into its second year with a renewal of a 2.1 million dollar grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.


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