Education

Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

Flickr - Brian Hart

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.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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