Last week, Bridge Magazine highlighted a study conducted by The Education Trust, a Washington D.C.-based education research and policy group, showing Michigan had one of the worst rates in the country for enrollment in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes among low income and minority students. Enrollment in these higher level classes during high school greatly increases a student’s chances for success in college.
Former state schools superintendent Tom Watkins says some of Michigan's 800 school districts would lose $10,000 for each dropout or transfer student. Still, those school districts haven't taken subsequent actions to minimize the revenue loss.
The number of Michigan school districts facing serious financial challenges continues to grow. On Thursday, state schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan reported there are 55 districts across the state operating in the red. That’s up by six since the start of the year.
Flanagan updates the state legislature quarterly on school finances. He commented that the situation requires “more resources.”
Bills to change graduation requirements for Michigan’s high school students have cleared the state House.
Critics of the Michigan Merit Curriculum say it doesn’t offer students enough flexibility.
The bills would loosen math, foreign language, and physical education requirements. Supporters say they would also make it easier for students to design graduation plans tailored to their individual goals.
Bill sponsor Ed McBroom says the changes would promote careers in high-demand skilled trades.
The Michigan economy and education are at the heart of discussions at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Current State's host Mark Bashore caught up with one key participant -- the president of the State Board of Education, John Austin.
A key piece of the 2014 Michigan budget moved forward yesterday. The Republican-held majority of the state Senate passed a spending plan covering Michigan's public schools, community colleges and universities.
A few thousand supporters of early childhood education are gathering at the State Capitol today.
Participants in the annual "Star Power" rally will encourage state lawmakers to approve a proposed $130 million increase to the state budget for families-in-need who want to participate in Michigan’s Great Start Readiness Program. Currently, the program can afford assistance for only about half of those eligible statewide.
Administrators, staff and students of one of Lansing’s newest charter schools got some bad news yesterday. The Learn, Live, Lead Academy, launched by local banking executive and former Lansing Community College President Paula Cunningham, was told its contract was being revoked. “L3,” as it’s called, is nearing the end of its first year of operations.
Recently, the Lansing school district announced that it will cut as many as 87 teachers in an effort to address the district’s budget deficit. Many of the teachers expected to be laid off are certified to teach art, music and physical education to elementary school students. The district says it's not eliminating its arts and physical education programs, but “redesigning” them, using existing teachers and outside programming as a substitute.
Last Thursday, the Lansing School District and the city teachers’ union reached a new five-year contract agreement. The deal cuts 87 full-time equivalent positions in art, music and physical education classes. On Friday we spoke with school board president Guillermo Lopez. He assured us that those particular curricula would continue in Lansing schools, but that the method of providing that instruction is going to be restructured. After Mr. Lopez’s interview aired, Current State’s Kevin Lavery caught up with Patti Seidl, the president of the Lansing Schools Education Association, to hear the union’s perspective on the deal.
Today on Current State: contracts for Lansing teachers; a look at the new Financial Empowerment Center; East Lansing high school's theater fundraiser; Michigan's 20-20 plan and reform options; sports check-in; Lansing's historic Albert Kahn building.
Democratic State Representative Sam Singh of East Lansing sits on the House appropriations committee and education appropriation subcommittees. We welcome the first-termer back to Current State to get his thoughts on what’s happening at the state capitol, including a last-minute bill that would make major cuts to universities that do not meet the new union contract rules.
Today on Current State: Gay marriage in Michigan; a debate on the merits of "Common Core" education; MSU men's basketball with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode; the new realities of the publishing world; Ann Arbor teen named to inagural Carnegie Hall youth orchestra; MSU hockey playoffs; Interlochen Radio at Elderly Instruments this weekend.
Since 2010, Michigan and most other states have been moving toward what are called "Common Core" state standards. It’s a movement that aims to create consistent learning goals for school kids across the United States.
Today on Current State: The latest setback to the Lansing casino deal; Michigan ACLU on "Right to Work" lawsuit; the "Michigan 2020" plan; Neighbors in Action featuring All Saints Episcopal Church; folk legend Janis Ian; and MSU students and staff in Beijing.
Each Wednesday on our Neighbors in Action segment, we feature a person or an organization that is working to make our community a better place. This is a listener-generated segment, meaning that each week, the person or organization we highlight will be nominated by you.
Today on Current State:Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero on the state of the city, a breakdown of the Center for Michigan's education report, and farewell tributes to WKAR's Earle Robinson and Lansing City Council gadfly John Pollard.
Tens of thousands of Michigan State University students are a few days into the new academic year.
At the university's engineering school, administrators contend with one of MSU's highest transfer and dropout rates. But they're hoping a program that combines class work with non-curricular activities will help more students stick with the major.
Tens of thousands of school teachers are preparing to make their way back to Michigan classrooms. A growing number of them are adding something new to their skill sets. Advocates of “formative assessment” say it’s important to continually track whether students are learning material—not just at test time.
Lansing Public School students return to class on September 4 and many will be looking at significant changes. A system-wide reorganization plan alters how students are grouped together in an effort to boost academic performance in the face of low test scores and declining enrollment.
Michigan will change how it grades schools and teachers when students return to classrooms this fall. The state Department of Education has a waiver from federal rules that will let Michigan try some new things.