Education

Flickr - biologycorner

Changes may be in store for special education students and teachers in Michigan. Lately, the Michigan Department of Education has been getting public comment on a host of proposed rules changes that govern special education. They include giving local school districts more authority over special education staffing and changes in how Michigan evaluates special education students, and then how they customize students' individual education plans, labeled IEP's. 

Flickr

Last Friday, the state released the results of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, better known as the MEAP. The statewide tests were administered to Michigan students in grades 3-9 last fall for the final time, as the state will move to an online assessment, which is likely to be more aligned with the Common Core standards in the spring of 2015.

Sarah Lenhoff, the director of policy and research for the Education Trust – Midwest, breaks down some of the numbers and outlines how the new test will work. 

March 16, 1-3:30pm | Enjoy children's activities, storytelling, and meet your favorite storybook characters: Curious George, Splat the Cat, Library Mouse, Ladybug Girl and Froggy.

http://www.hpsk12.net/schools

In the Holt School District, students, families and other stakeholders have been embroiled in a debate over changes in the district.  Recently, a dispute over a district reinvention plan has intensified.  Opponents of the plan now threaten to replace members of the Holt school board, which approved it.

Flickr - controltheweb

Michigan’s failing schools will be expanding future turnaround efforts by collaborating with various partners, not just the state’s Education Achievement Authority.

Flickr - Ocean Networks Canada

Despite all those studies that show America’s education system lagging further behind in the world, it turns out all is not lost when it comes our collective knowledge about science and technology.

A portion of a big national survey released late last week measured the public perceptions of science and technology and compared the data to similar studies around the world.  The results show that while Americans, like much of the rest of the world, still have some basic things to learn, there is a keen interest in the latest scientific and technological discoveries.

Flickr - Thomas Favre-Bulle

Michigan legislators could vote this week on a controversial proposal that would expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority.  That’s the state-run district comprised of 15 of the most challenged schools in the state, all in Detroit.

EAA administrators, Gov. Rick Snyder and other supporters say the initiative, now in its second year, is beginning to turn those schools around. They say test scores are rising due to a student-centric teaching model, a longer school year, and grouping students by ability instead of age.

Courtesy of 075.housedems.com

In 2011, the state created a school reform district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, to turn around the state’s lowest ranking schools. In its first year in operation during the 2012-13 school year, the EAA took control of 15 priority schools in Detroit. The results have been mixed at best, as the EAA has been plagued with declining enrollment, insufficient funding, and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsafe conditions.

Neighbors in Action: Haslett Robotics Team

Feb 12, 2014
Courtesy of the Haslett Robotics Club

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Haslett Robotics Club, which uses robotics to engage youth in the Haslett school district and surrounding areas in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Flickr - SFA Union City

Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recommended another increase in government spending on early childhood education in the state.

E=MC: Teaching science through Hip Hop

Jan 20, 2014
http://chrisemdin.com/

 

How do you make science fun and approachable for youth? One theory is to use hip hop. The project Science Genius BATTLES (Bring Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science) attempts to do that.

The battles are the brainchild of Dr. Christopher Emdin and Wu Tang Clan member GZA.

E=MC: Teaching science through Hip Hop

Jan 17, 2014
http://chrisemdin.com/

How do you make science fun and approachable for youth? One theory is to use hip hop. The project Science Genius BATTLES (Bring Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science) attempts to do that.

Failure:lab invites public to explore mistakes

Jan 13, 2014
Flickr - Rob Bowman

Imagine going up on stage and sharing  your greatest failure with the world. Many people would hesitate to tell such personal stories, but that’s what the creators of the event Failure:Lab are asking people to do.

http://gophouse.org/

With just a few days left in the 2013 legislative session, the Michigan House is working its way through a cluster of controversial proposals. One package of bills calls for significant education reforms, including a plan to hold back Michigan third graders who aren’t reading at that level.  Another would impose a letter grading system on school districts statewide. Another addresses the regulation of so-called “issue ads.”

GED test going digital, aligning with Common Core

Dec 2, 2013
flickr/Theen Moy

Tens of millions of American adults have not graduated from high school.  Every year, thousands of these non-graduates take “general educational development” tests – the GED – to be considered proficient at the level of a graduate.  

Every 10 years the GED test is updated to meet with current educational standards.  Time is running out for individuals planning to earn their GED before the new test is put into place this January.  

Courtesy/Abbie Newton

One sophomore at Michigan State University spent the last two weeks in Peru on an expedition through rainforests and mountains, with the organization Impossible 2 Possible.

http://071.housedems.com/

The Michigan House Education Committee is looking over a controversial proposal that could hold back thousands of the state’s young learners. A measure introduced last week would require third-graders to repeat that year if they did not score “proficient” on the MEAP standardized test.

Nation eyes 'flipped school' pioneer in Michigan

Oct 30, 2013
http://www.flippedhighschool.com/

Clintondale High School, about nine miles north of Detroit, is attracting widespread attention for overhauling its approach to teaching.

MEA responds to Right-to-Work complaints

Oct 29, 2013
http://www.mea.org/

  

 Michigan’s new right-to-work law triggered a dispute last week.  The conservative Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a complaint with the state over what it claims is harassment by the Michigan Education Association toward a member.  

www.kettering.edu

There's an interesting public-private partnership happening in Flint. Kettering University, the private science and engineering school, has been taking a more active role in the community.

Flickr - never-nervous

Last spring, in response to a budget deficit, the Lansing Public School District laid off 87 teachers who were certified to teach art, music and physical education in its elementary schools.

Current State #171 | October 3, 2013

Oct 3, 2013

Today on Current State: count day for public schools; Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps; Voices of Experience with Frank Kelley, Part II; and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's second MasterWorks concert.

Count Day crucial for public school funding

Oct 3, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

 

School districts across the state of Michigan are doing their arithmetic this week.  Yesterday was the bi-annual “Count Day”.  Districts count the number of students attending school each February and October in order to determine their share of per-pupil state funding.

Anthony Cepak / WKAR

It was great to see so many fans and families at WKAR PBS Kids Day this past Sunday when Daniel Tiger, Martha the Dog and Curious George visited the Capital Area District Library for a free day of activities.

Rough Play, Joyful Chaos

Sep 23, 2013

This is another in a series of articles for families from Michigan State University Extension.

Would you like to engage your child in a type of play that supports a broad range of physical development skills, language skills and social skills?  Try giving her a chance for rough play. 

Sometimes called rough-and-tumble play or horseplay, rough play used to be looked down on as the “bad boy” of play for young children.  But, researchers are finding that this type of very physical interaction between children can be very beneficial as well as enjoyable.

MSU board candidate reacts to Penn saga

Sep 10, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Melanie Foster has served on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees on two separate occasions.  Last week, the former business owner announced she wants to serve again.

 

We spoke with Foster about her candidacy and her reaction to the recent removal of MSU professor William Penn.

 

Kitchen Chemistry, Part 2

Sep 9, 2013

This is the second in a series of Kitchen Chemistry articles with activities you can do with your child at home.

Plant a Seed

Supplies Required: Beans, paper towel, zippered plastic bag, water

Directions: Place damp paper towel in zippered plastic bag, add beans along the side. Zip shut and tape to a window in a sunny spot. Observe!

Free Fun for Families!

Sep 4, 2013

WKAR PBS Kids Day | Sunday, Sept. 22, 1-4 p.m. | Capital Area District Library in Downtown Lansing

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.

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