Education

Current State #148 | August 29, 2013

Aug 29, 2013

Today on Current State: August's biggest's stories in review; Chicago-based "Wavelength" trains Lansing teachers using humor; 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice; Michigan railroads; and a film commentary on End of the World films. 

  

For over 30 years, a unique troupe of American performers has taken to stages across America—and around the world—targeting a particular audience.

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in Michigan

Aug 27, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

In two weeks, Michigan legislators will begin hearings on how to improve teacher evaluations in the state.  They’ll consider a new plan submitted recently by the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness.  That's an independent body created by Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature two years ago after the passage of teacher tenure reform in Michigan.

Kitchen Chemistry, Part 1

Aug 26, 2013

This is the first in a series of articles on kitchen activities for kids.

The easiest way to introduce science concepts to children is to answer their questions with “let’s find out” instead of giving them the information they are seeking. Children are naturally curious, with lots of questions about what is happening in the world around them.

Most home kitchens hold the tools to dozens of fun experiments to expand the imagination of the children in your life. Here are three fun experiments to try at home!

Vinegar Volcanoes

The Purpose of Play

Aug 13, 2013

Childhood educator Maria Montessori said, “Play is a child’s work,” basing her entire philosophy about preschool education and caring for children around this concept.

In today’s world of full-day Kindergarten, and increased academic expectations for children, parents may wonder, is play still as relevant and important as it once was?

The Case for Play

Helping Children through Grief and Loss

Jul 29, 2013

During times of grief and loss it is hard to understand what feelings and thoughts children may experience.  If the loss is significant it may be hard for adults to focus specifically on children because they are trying to cope with their own emotions.

Support growing for strengthening preschool education

Jul 16, 2013
Wikimedia commons

Governor Rick Snyder recently excited bipartisan backers of stronger early childhood education with his approval of a new state budget.  The budget seeks to increase early childhood funding for next year by $65 million.

Tanya Wright, assistant professor of education at Michigan State University and Kelly Mix, an MSU early childhood learning specialist, discuss what's needed to educate young children in the state.

Matching and Sorting!

Jul 9, 2013

Adults “match and sort” every time we do laundry. Children start learning this process during infancy, when they begin to notice which sounds they make bring an adult running to them (sounds that aren’t so effective).

The Purpose of Play

Jun 20, 2013

Childhood educator Maria Montessori said, “Play is a child’s work,” basing her entire philosophy about preschool education and caring for children around this concept.

Flickr

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.

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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.”

WKAR File Photo

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.

Courtesy of Michigan Governor Rick Snyer

Today is the final day of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.  Michigan education and the economy have dominated the sessions.  

From the island, Gov. Rick Snyder shares his thoughts on the issues discussed at the annual gathering.

Flickr

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.

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