University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit, Michigan
Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory, Orchard Lake, Michigan
Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, Michigan
Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, Michigan
Westwood Community School District, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Michigan
The Roeper School, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac, Michigan
Regina High School, Warren, Michigan
Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, Oakland County, Michigan
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Bloomfield Hills Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Comprehensive education at its finest.
Everest Collegiate High School and Academy. Clarkston, Michigan. An Authentic Catholic School of Distinction.
Oakland Christian School, Auburn Hills, Michigan. Oakland Christian School engages students in a rigorous and relevant education
Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Academic foundation for success.
Utica Community Schools, Image the Potential.
Lake Orion Community Schools, Lake Orion, Michigan. Providing an exemplary education for all learners
Shrine Catholic Schools, Royal Oak, Michigan. Faith. Family. Future.
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.
AIM High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aim High is a 6th-12th grade, tuition-based private school that provides an educational alternative
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Franklin Road Christian School, Novi, Michigan. a K-12, coeducational, college-preparatory school with a nondenominational Christian philosophy.
Southfield Christian, Southfield, Michigan. Pursuing Excellence for the Glory of God.
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school

It’s not just Detroit. Across Michigan, ‘active and aggressive’ competition imperils schools

Detroit is not the only district struggling with lower enrollment and other challenges related to competition from charter schools and surrounding districts. On the other side of the state, similar forces led to the Albion school district’s demise. After years of declining enrollment, falling revenue, poor student performance and school closures in the district, the Albion district in western Michigan faced a difficult problem: How to keep the district from dying. The city of Albion had a large number of students, but many of them travelled outside the city to attend school, forcing the Albion Community Schools district to merge with nearby Marshall Public Schools in July 2016. (Chalkbeat)

 

Kent ISD taps former state special education deputy director for study

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The Kent ISD School Board voted unanimously Monday, May 21, for Beth Steenwyk, to conduct an independent, third-party evaluation of special education center-based programs. Steenwyk, former deputy director of the Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), will receive a flat fee of $35,000 for phase one of the study. The study is in response to allegations leveled against Grand Rapids Public Schools of legal, health code and school code violations from parents, educators, and union officials. The district has denied the allegations officials say are unsubstantiated. (MLive)

 

2018 Outstanding Grads: Remarkable students, stories

For 32 years, The News has saluted a group of Michigan’s best and brightest high school students in the spring of their senior year. Partnering with CATCH — Sparky Anderson’s Charity for Children — we call it the Outstanding Graduates program. It is an honor to share the stories of these remarkable young people and to consider that Michigan will benefit from their future endeavors, and the endeavors of so many of their friends and classmates. The top seniors were chosen from a field of outstanding nominees. Public and private high schools in Michigan were invited to nominate students in each of 11 categories. Students were selected on the basis of grades, test scores, honors, community involvement and a demonstrated ability in one of the academic areas. (Detroit News)

 

Michigan schools 'on a race to the bottom.' Is Betsy DeVos to blame?

Almost a quarter century ago, Michigan placed a big bet on school choice to improve K-12 student outcomes. The hope: Competition within the public-education system would force schools to up their game, to everybody's benefit. It hasn't worked out that way. While educational outcomes have improved nationwide, the gains in Michigan have lagged the nation as a whole. The state is falling further behind on test scores, on-time high school graduation rates and getting young adults through college or post-secondary training. "Michigan is on a race to the bottom," said Gary Miron, a Western Michigan University professor in educational evaluation and research. (MLive)

 

More money is needed to boost Michigan student achievement

Inside Michigan's schools, there's a divide. Half the public school students in the state are considered economically disadvantaged. It's a designation that doesn't bode well for their academic outcomes. By fourth-grade, students from middle-class and affluent families are twice as likely as their low-income counterparts to pass the state assessment in reading and math. By high school and college, the disparity only gets worse. The achievement gap between low- and middle-income students has been documented for decades and is arguably the most persistent issue in American education. But despite a host of reforms unrolled in recent years - the expansion of school choice, high-stakes testing, teacher evaluations - Michigan has been unable to close the gap. (MLive)

 

Mona Shores school board to hire next superintendent by 2018-19 start

NORTON SHORES, MI - Mona Shores Public Schools Board of Education is on the hunt for the district's next superintendent. The goal is to name the next leader by the start of the 2018-19 school year. The board voted last week to contract with Michigan Leadership Institute to conduct the nationwide search. "The search is in no way a reflection on Bill O'Brien's performance as our interim superintendent or on the board's confidence in him to lead the district, which remains high," said board President Stan Miller, in a statement. (MLive)

 

A Michigan school devoted to innovation. Here’s why others won’t follow.

GRAND RAPIDS – If you want to understand why Michigan K-12 education reform moves at a glacial pace, a good place to start is Kent Innovation High School. The school, which attracts students from across Kent County, looks more like a business center at a nice hotel than a high school. There are workstations in airy common areas, each with plugs for laptops and display screens for presentations. Classrooms have glass walls, where multiple courses are integrated into one classroom – English with social studies, algebra II with physics. It’s not unusual to see a student walking with an open laptop between classes, carrying on a conversation with a sick classmate who is attending through a livestream. (Bridge)

 

Help wanted: Teacher shortage hits Michigan's schools

Myron Clark knows the challenges facing Detroit's teachers. Student performance in the city ranked dead last in the nation when compared with other, large urban districts. School buildings have been plagued by vermin, mold and other problems. And this year, class sizes - in some instances -  swelled as the district struggled to fill hundreds of vacant teaching positions. But where others see obstacles, Clark - a long-term substitute at the district who's working to become a certified teacher - sees opportunity. A graduate of Detroit Public Schools, Clark feels a strong bond with the city and its children. He sees himself as a mentor, someone who can help students cultivate passion and curiosity. "That really drives me," said Clark, 44. "It keeps me going. Seeing people improve through education." (MLive)

 

A day in the life of a Michigan teacher

Meet Amber Keathley. She is 38.  Lives in Jackson County with her husband and two sons. She also is one of Michigan's 100,000 public school teachers. Teachers are the state's largest profession, and also one of the most influential. While test scores largely reflect students' family income, experts say that schools' very best strategy for success is ensuring every child has an effective teacher. MLive is exploring Michigan education this month as part of a several-month series on what Michigan leaders need to do to create a better future.  To gain more insight into Michigan schools, MLive spent the day with Keathley, a second-grade teacher in Jackson County's Northwest school district. (MLive)

 

A teachable moment for Michigan’s schools

Opinion: The passing of Brian Whiston, Michigan’s superintendent of public instruction, at the youthful age of 56 is reason to give pause. Michigan has lost an advocate for children and quality public education. At a time of hyper partisanship condolences and accolades for Whiston poured in from both sides of the political aisle. Education in Michigan is at a critical juncture, and steady and bold leadership focused on teaching and learning is vital now more than ever. (Detroit News)

 

Grand Rapids schools superintendent contract extended

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - This week, the Grand Rapids School Board approved extending Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal's contract through June 30, 2021. Hired in 2012, Neal's contract was set to expire June 30, 2019. In March, she was given a rating of highly effective by the school board. The contract amendment did not include a raise. Neal currently earns a base salary of $199,980. Last year, she received the same 1 percent increase given to all non-teacher's union staff. The new contract does call for her to receive an increase of five vacation days from 32 to 37. She also gets an increase of $55 in sick leave payout upon termination from $45 to $100 for the first 125 days of leave. For anytime above 125 days, the increase is $40 from $60 to $100. (MLive)

 

How business leaders can help schools

Opinion: Of all of the big ideas for improving the sorry state of education in Michigan, the one that holds the most promise is finding the smartest and most dedicated people to stand at the front of classrooms. Great schools start with great teachers. If a school has a mediocre faculty, it’ll turn out mediocre students, no matter how much accountability, testing, curriculum changes and other structural reforms are imposed. Great teachers, though, are getting harder to find, and to keep. The profession is out of favor with college students, who are chasing degrees they believe will bring them more money and a more glamorous work life. (Detroit News)

 

State Superintendent Brian Whiston dies after battle with cancer

State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who was on medical leave battling pancreatic cancer, died Monday evening, according to the Michigan Department of Education. He was 56. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Brian," State Board of Education Co-Presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile said in a statement. "Brian was a wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others. He was always focused on doing what is best for the children of Michigan. The vision he set forth to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years will endure." Whiston, who announced his cancer diagnosis in January, was appointed state superintendent in 2015. He previously served as superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools, a position he held since 2008. He also spent 11 years as director of government and community services for the Oakland County Intermediate School District. (MLive)

Related stories:

> Chalkbeat: Michigan school Superintendent Brian Whiston who helped keep threatened schools open dies at 56

> Detroit Free Press: State Superintendent of Schools Brian Whiston dies

> Detroit News: State Superintendent Brian Whiston dies at 56

 

3 Michigan high schools rank in top 100 in nation

Three Michigan high schools were ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report in its 2018 edition of best high schools, and the International Academy of Macomb was ranked the top magnet school in the nation. Magnet high schools are public high schools that typically attract the most talented students in a region using an application process that usually involves test scores and grade-point averages, according to U.S. News. In national rankings issued annually by the media company, the International Academy of Macomb, part of Chippewa Valley Schools in Clinton Township, ranked seventh; the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, which is run by Oakland Schools, ranked 30th; and Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti, operated by the Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium, ranked 41st. (Detroit News)

 

Voters pass taxes for Hudsonville schools, 3 other Ottawa districts

HUDSONVILLE, MI - Voters on Tuesday, May 8, passed two proposals for Hudsonville Public Schools to renew its operating millage and a sinking fund tax for repairs, security and technology upgrades. The school district's operating millage expired in 2017. The measure passed by 1,968 to 720 votes. The district will levy approximately $4.4 million this year for the people, programs and services to support students. Only non-homestead properties -- second homes, rental properties and businesses - pay the operating millage of 18 mills, not primary residences. (MLive)

 

Godfrey-Lee Schools tax passes for repairs, technology, security

WYOMING, MI - Godfrey-Lee Public Schools voters Tuesday, May 8, approved a 3-mill sinking fund tax to tackle safety and security, energy and technology needs. The measure passed with 126 to 73 votes. The 3 mills will be collected for 10 years, 2019 to 2028, and generate approximately $315,000 the first year. Two mills would go toward maintenance, energy and safety and security with 1-mill slated for technology. The previous levy, 1.9976-mill, approved in 2009 is expiring this year. The average home value for a residence in the district is $67,169. A homeowner with a homestead exemption currently paying $67 per year will see an increase of $34 for a total of $101. (MLive)

 

Voters pass 2 Kent City Community Schools tax proposals

KENT CITY, MI - Kent City Community Schools voters Tuesday, May 8, passed tax proposals to renew the district's 18-mill operating millage and a 1-mill sinking fund for repairs and renovations. Only non-homestead properties -- second homes, rental properties and businesses - pay the operating millage of 18 mills, not primary residences. The measure passed in Kent County with 346 to 160 votes and will generate $3.4 million for the district in 2019. The request was for operating millage to be renewed by 17.9766 mills for four years, 2019 to 2022, and increased by .0234 mill for same period to provide a total of 18-mills for operations. (MLive)

 

BCPS, Harper Creek voters OK school millage renewals, sinking fund

Battle Creek-area voters said yes Tuesday to non-homestead millage renewals for Battle Creek Public Schools and Harper Creek Community Schools. They also OK'd a sinking fund for Battle Creek schools. According to unofficial election results, BCPS voters renewed the 18-mill non-homestead operating millage they passed six years ago, 1110-447. They also renewed a 2-mill building and site sinking fund proposal they approved in 2013, 1089-459. Voters agreed to increase the duration of both measures to 10 years. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

 

Flint police refuse to comment after accidental discharge at Fowlerville wrestling meet

Flint police Chief Timothy Johnson refused to comment Wednesday after an off-duty Flint police officer accidentally discharged his off-duty firearm while watching a wrestling meet at Fowlerville High School on Saturday, May 5. He would not identify the officer or say whether the officer is on duty or facing an internal investigation. The incident happened around 12:40 p.m. while the off-duty officer was standing on the gym floor, Fowlerville Police Chief John Tyler said. (Livingston County Daily Press & Argus)

 

Clerks exploring alternatives to school polling places

Sometime in the future, polling places may be moved from Port Huron Area Schools. But should anything change, it will not affect the Aug. 7 election. School administrators are exploring the change due to concerns over student safety. "Right now, it's just a preliminary discussion," said Keely Baribeau, the district's spokeswoman. "In August, everything is going to be as is." (Port Huron Times Herald)

 

FIRST World Robotics: Kalamazoo, Clarkston teams share world win

Hours before the final match of the world robotics competition for high school students, one thing was clear: Michigan would dominate. And they did. Saturday evening at Cobo Center in Detroit, the winning alliance of robotics teams was crowned, and it included two Michigan teams. The winning teams: Team 2767, StrykeForce, Kalamazoo. They were the captain of their alliance and were part of the winning alliance at the world championships in 2017. Team 27, Team RUSH, Clarkston. Team 2708, Lake Effect Robotics, Kingston, Ontario. Team 4027, Centre County 4-H Robotics, State College, Pa. The 2018 FIRST Robotics World Championship brought 700 teams to Detroit to compete in four divisions, with the biggest one being the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition for high school students. It brought 15,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 40 countries, as well as 640 robots. (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Innovative designs we spotted at kids' robotics championship in Detroit

> Detroit Free Press: FIRST Championship: Wacky, 'weird' costumes, high fives and wild crowds

> Detroit Free Press: FIRST Robotics World Championship: How Oscoda beat the odds to compete

> Detroit News: Thousands roar, support robotics competition in Detroit

 

Michigan high school will require freshmen to bring their own laptops

SALINE, MI - Every freshman at Saline High School will be required to bring a laptop with them to school every day, starting this fall. Saline Area Schools, located in Washtenaw County, recently announced the "Bring Your Own Device" program, prompting questions from parents about cybersecurity and the cost of devices. Eventually, all high school students will be expected to bring their own devices for use in class. As area school districts look for more ways to incorporate technology into classrooms, some have turned to voters to support bonds to fund expensive equipment. Others make do by providing shared devices, and some schools have adopted Bring Your Own Device programs that rely on families to provide computers for each student. (MLive)

 

Want to improve literacy in Michigan? Restore school librarians

Opinion: The Education Trust-Midwest report “2018 State of Michigan Report: Top Ten for Education: Not By Chance” provides a set of recommendations to improve education and literacy in Michigan. There is one significant recommendation missing from this report:  Michigan must support effective school libraries staffed by certified school librarians to improve literacy. There are multiple studies in over 20 states including Michigan which show that access to school libraries with a full-time certified teaching school librarian improves student achievement, regardless of socio-economic or educational levels of the community.  In fact, at-risk students benefit proportionally more from the presence of a full-time certified school librarian. (Bridge)

 

Michigan can't give state aid to private schools, judge orders

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan judge on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional state laws that reimburse private schools for the cost of fire drills, inspections and other state requirements. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens said the 2016 and 2017 budget laws violate the state constitution's ban regarding direct or indirect aid to non-public schools. It was a victory for public school groups that challenged $5 million in appropriations spread over two years. The Republican-backed spending has been frozen during the lawsuit. Stephens rejected the state's argument that the funds are not for educational purposes but rather health, safety and welfare purposes. (MLive)

Related story:

> Detroit Free Press: Judge: Public money for private schools violates Michigan constitution

 

Michigan school safety bills begin first hearings

Lansing – Early versions of Michigan’s first school safety reforms since the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting steer toward campus security and away from gun laws, but the size and application of the new funds remains uncertain. Lawmakers agree school security funding has been a long-neglected priority, especially in Michigan’s most cash-strapped districts. The Senate last week unanimously approved an extra $18.6 million for school safety initiatives this fiscal year, to be spent on grants for physical building enhancements and safety assessments, a new “panic button” smartphone app system and a $650,000 expansion of the attorney general’s OK2SAY confidential tip line. The House decided to earmark $25 million for school safety in next year’s budget. (Detroit News)

 

Summer learning loss program for Grand Rapids kids gets $600K grant

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Grand Rapids Public Schools and the Grand Rapids Children's Museum received a $600,000 grant to combat summer learning loss from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, officials say. The funds will support a partnership to provide preschool children with a summer enrichment program. The program includes exploratory learning, play, discovery, social and emotional learning, and development of classroom skills. Summer break is when students of all ages have an opportunity to relax, but it's also a time when summer learning loss can occur. This is called the "summer slide,'' and occurs when children and adolescents do not engage in educational activities during the summer months. (MLive)

 

Once at rock bottom, this Northern Michigan elementary now produces stars

CADILLAC – By almost any indicator, the students at Kenwood Elementary in Cadillac should be poor readers. Almost three in four Kenwood students are economically disadvantaged, in a state that ranks 44th in the nation in low-income fourth-grade reading skills. More than nine in 10 students at the school are white; Michigan’s poor, white students rank a dismal 49th in fourth-grade reading, ahead of only Alaska. Yet Kenwood’s low-income students are reading all-stars, meeting Michigan’s fourth-grade reading standards at double the rate of poor students elsewhere in the state. That’s quite a record for a school that, just four years ago, was one of the worst-performing in Michigan as measured by the Michigan Department of Education. (Bridge)