10 must-knows in Michigan as the kids head back to school: Parents, you made it through the back to school season! Now that you've bought school supplies, uniforms, backpacks and crossed off all the items on the list your child's teacher sent, it's time to turn your focus to some more global issues. Today marks the beginning of the 2018-19 school year for most of the 1.5 million students enrolled in Michigan schools. And there's lots of new stuff on the horizon, such as new rules for schools regarding the sexual assaults of students, looming penalties for some of the worst-performing schools, a November election where education will be a key topic, and a continued effort to transform the Detroit school district. Detroit Free Press. Continue >>


Teachers, school staff learn how to cope with an active shooter incident: Teachers not only instruct on English and math, they might have to stop someone intent on killing their students. "They have to understand that in these violent events they are the first responders to these events," Calhoun County Sheriff Department Detective Steve Hinkley said. "What they say and what they do and how they act will determine whether people survive these events." Battle Creek Enquirer. Continue >>


• Southgate News Herald: Southgate Community School District staff completed active shooter training before school year


Kent County schools new campaign targets chronic absenteeism: Across Kent County, schools and community partners are delivering a consistent message to students and their parents about school attendance: Strive for Less Than 5! The countywide attendance campaign is for students to miss less than five days of school this year to ensure that fewer students fall behind academically because of chronic absenteeism. MLive. Continue >>


Superintendent admits to spending $25K in school funds on gift cards: Muskegon Heights Superintendent Rane Garcia acknowledged that she spent $25,000 on gift cards for employees, a move state officials say could be a violation of state law. The Michigan Department of Education is aware of the situation and is "considering next steps," said Martin Ackley, director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs in the education department. MLive. Continue >>


Grand Rapids schools dedicating two hours daily to literacy at 14 schools: Every morning Grand Rapids Public Schools is dedicating a two-hour block of time to literacy instruction for students in kindergarten through second grade at 14 schools to improve proficiency in English language arts. The new reading initiative kicked off this morning, the first day of school. GRPS was among six districts returning to class Monday, Aug. 20. MLive. Continue >>


Poll: Likely Michigan voters support giving schools more of this: Nearly 70 percent of Michigan residents who participated in a June poll support a plan that would boost school funding, giving backers of that plan some strong ammunition as they look to influence the November elections. "We need to make school funding an unavoidable issue in the current election cycle and beyond," said Wanda Cook-Robinson, superintendent of Oakland Schools, the intermediate school district for Oakland County. Detroit Free Press. Continue >>


Poll: Most residents want Michigan to change the way it funds schools: Most Michigan residents believe the state’s current method of funding schools is both insufficient and unfair. Those were the findings of a new statewide poll that was conducted in June by the School Finance Research Collaborative, a prominent group of Michigan educators, policymakers, and business leaders that has called for major changes to the way schools are funded. The poll of 600 Michigan residents found that 70 percent believe the state’s schools are underfunded, and 63 percent think they are not funded fairly. Chalkbeat. Continue >>


Some Mich. schools delay start times to help teens sleep, learn: During the school year, Lynn Stannard often hears her teen daughter roaming around her bedroom late at night despite the start of class just hours away. “She got wound up at night. She just couldn’t settle down,” Stannard said of Abby Hutchinson, 14, who attends Berkley High School. “Sometimes I am up in the middle of the night, and she is still up. I tell her to go to bed.” Detroit News. Continue >>


Michigan's 50 largest charter schools, based on fall 2017 enrollment: About 10 percent of Michigan public-school students attended the state's 294 charter schools in fall 2017, according to state data. That's 145,296 full-time-equivalent students, based on data from the Michigan Department of Education and the state's Center for Educational Performance and Information. A disproportionate number of charter students -- 64,049 -- attend school in Wayne County, which has 19 percent of the state's total public school students but 44 percent of the state's charter-school enrollment. MLive. Continue >>


Do children have a right to literacy? Attorneys are testing that question: When Jamarria Hall strode into Osborn High in Detroit his freshman year, the signs of decay were everywhere: buckets in the hallways to catch leaking water, rotting ceiling tiles, vermin that crisscrossed classrooms. In the neglected school, students never got textbooks to take home, and Hall and his classmates went long stretches — sometimes months — with substitute teachers who did little more than supervise students. “It doesn’t seem like a high school,” said Hall, who graduated in 2017. “It seems like a state prison.” Washington Post. Continue >>


Lax home schooling laws in Michigan can mean trouble for abused kids, advocacy group says: As the Child Protective Services complaints began to pile up, Sarah Conde decided she was done with public schools, according to court records. The 28-year-old Lansing woman took her five young children out of school and began to home-school them instead, her husband, Yenier Conde, told CPS investigators as the court pondered whether to take their children away. The children had no access to teachers, counselors or anyone else who would be a mandatory reporter of child abuse. Lansing State Journal. Continue >>


See enrollment trend in your Michigan school district: Michigan public school enrollment is continuing to inch down, the result of a declining birth rate. The Michigan Department of Education counted 1,436,447 full-time-equivalent public school students in fall 2017, according to its final, audited numbers. That's a drop of 6 percent since fall 2009. The fall 2017 count was down about 6,500 compared to the previous year. Full-time-equivalent enrollment-- which adjusts the numbers to account for part-time students -- is a critical number for Michigan school districts and charter schools, which are funded based on its FTE count. MLive. Continue >>


Innovation Academy and Little Learners ready to move in to former Southeast Elementary: The first day of school is just around the corner. In Howell, preparations are well underway for an influx of both high school students and preschoolers at the former Southeast Elementary. “The standard line is we aren’t ready yet, but if I look at the calendar, I don’t need to be ready yet,” laughed Kari Naghtin, elementary administrative support coordinator. Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. Continue >>


Michigan’s governor’s race will be Whitmer vs. Schuette. Here’s where they stand on education: Former state Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Bill Schuette will face off in November in the race to become Michigan’s next governor. The Associated Press called both races before 10 p.m. Tuesday as Whitmer coasted past two opponents in the Democratic primary and Schuette easily topped the four-candidate Republican field. The winner of the general election on November 6 will likely have an enormous impact on education across the state in coming years. Chalkbeat. Continue >>


'Minimally effective' superintendent finally gets improvement plan: It took a "very, very long time," but Muskegon Public Schools' superintendent is now on a plan of assistance after his job performance was rated "minimally effective" five months ago. The school board voted 6-0 to approve the plan during a meeting on Tuesday, July 24. The document includes five goals in the areas of governance and board relations, community relations, staff relations, and business and finance. MLive. Continue >>


GRPS board votes to transfer countywide special ed programs: The Grand Rapids Board of Education voted 7 to 1 on Monday, Aug. 6, to transfer operation of the center-based special education programs to the Kent ISD next year. The programs serve students from all 20 Kent ISD districts, who have cognitive and physical impairments and autism spectrum disorder that exceed the capacity of their local districts. The transfer will be effective July 1, 2019. MLive. Continue >>


On the issues: How Michigan governor hopefuls plan to improve K-12 education: Michigan schools often struggle to earn a passing grade, but candidates running to be the state’s next governor regularly tout plans to improve student performance and educational outcomes. Michigan students made modest gains on last year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress standardized test, yet the state’s scores remained well below national averages. For a fifth straight time, Detroit students scored the lowest among big-city districts in math and reading. Detroit News. Continue >>


In Jackson, school choice bring new reality: students as fickle customers: From his home, Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal can watch buses from three neighboring school districts roll past, picking up students going to classes someplace other than their home district. Nine districts border Jackson Public Schools, and they, along with charter schools, siphon off 40 percent of the mid-Michigan city’s school-age children. “I don’t begrudge them (the other districts), they’re in business like we are,” Beal said. “My job is not to cry over the students who choose to leave, but to provide a good education for those who stay.” Bridge. Continue >>


For Michigan’s 3- and 4-year-olds with special needs, ‘it’s hard’ to find a place to learn: Nicole and Shaun Maloy want their son, Alexander, 3, (sitting on his dad's lap) to have the same access to education as his five siblings. When he was younger, he was in a program called Early On that works with babies and toddlers who have special needs. When he’s older, he’ll be in a kindergarten program where teachers will be required by law to make sure he gets what he needs. Chalkbeat. Continue >>


Compare size of tax base in Michigan school districts, cities and townships: Ann Arbor is Michigan's fifth-largest city, but it has the largest tax base of any Michigan city or township. Detroit ranks second, according to data collected by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The current total taxable value of Ann Arbor property is $5.5 billion compared to $4.6 billion for Detroit. What that means for Ann Arbor and Detroit taxpayers: A 1-mill tax levy in Ann Arbor generates more money than a 1 mill in Detroit, which has five times the population. MLive. Continue >>


Allendale, Hamilton, others schools urge voters to support tax renewals: Allendale schools is asking voters on the Aug. 7, primary ballot to renew its 18 mills of non-homestead millage, plus an additional 3 mills to safeguard against potential reductions. Only non-homestead properties - second homes, rental properties and businesses - pay the district operating millage of 18 mills, not primary residences. Allendale schools would lose $4.3 million per year beginning July 19, if the millage fails. MLive. Continue >>


Michigan is in the midst of a literacy crisis: Opinion. It has been well documented that Michigan’s students have a literacy problem. Bridge magazine has written about $80 million in funding aimed at increasing early reading scores, but scores went down. In fact, scores in almost every school district across the state have dropped. Nell Duke, a professor at the University of Michigan and Tanya Wright, a professor at Michigan State University, have conducted extensive research that identifies a frightening trend in Michigan; our state is in the midst of a literacy crisis. Bridge. Continue >>



Okemos residents fighting to reopen neighborhood school see glimmer of hope: A grassroots campaign to reopen former Wardcliff Elementary School is getting some traction. It shows that posting yard signs, writing letters and speaking up at public meetings can make a difference. A Wardcliff neighborhood resident, Gail Richmond, was added to a facilities study committee and vacant classrooms at Wardcliff will be considered as a short-term option to ease overcrowding in the Okemos Public Schools, said Catherine Ash, interim superintendent. Lansing State Journal. Continue >>


Schools can ban guns, Michigan Supreme Court rules: Michigan schools can ban guns on their property, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday, upholding policies that Ann Arbor and Clio districts have defended as common-sense safety measures designed to prevent disruptions. In a split decision, majority justices said that while the Michigan Legislature has the authority to pre-empt school districts from adopting gun bans, it “has not done so here.” Justice Bridget McCormack, a Democratic-nominated jurist and lead author on the majority opinion, called the closely watched Ann Arbor and Clio cases “straightforward." Detroit News. Continue reading >>



Where they stand: Michigan candidates for governor on K-12 education: Perhaps no issue is as important to Michigan’s future as education, yet few issues draw such a wide variety of proposals from candidates running to be the next governor. Michigan is in the bottom third of states in academic achievement. Michigan fourth-graders rank 35th in reading in the latest National Assessment of Academic Progress, often called “the nation’s report card.”  The state is 37th in percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Bridge. Continue reading >>


Ypsilanti Schools hopes to maintain 'momentum' after Edmondson resigns: Benjamin Edmondson has submitted his resignation as superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools, and he's not sure what comes next. After three years as superintendent, Edmondson is the longest-running leader of the young district, which formed in the 2013-14 school year from the consolidation of Willow Run and Ypsilanti public schools. MLive. Continue reading >>


Holland schools, Davenport University partner on early college: Beginning the 2018-19 school year, Holland Public Schools will partner with Davenport University for students to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree through early college. "At Davenport, we want to get students to where the world is going,'' said Greg Foster, Davenport's Holland campus director. "We want them in degree programs that will lead to career success. Through Davenport's dedicated courses of study, these students will have the ability to explore pathways leading to careers in business, health and technology.'' MLive. Continue reading >>


Charter schools have done more harm than good in Michigan: Opinion. Why is it that every time I chat with a charter school cheerleader and issues of policy (such as privatization, school choice, competition, school closings, vouchers, teacher tenure, funding, regulations, testing) come up, they are unable to muster a defense of those policies? Instead, they respond with something like, “We probably agree on more than we disagree. Let’s take the snobbery out of our discourse. I doubt combativeness does much to help conversation, let alone students.” Bridge. Continue reading >>


Mona Shores names next school superintendent: The Mona Shores Board of Education named its choice for the district's next superintendent. Bill O'Brien Jr., who has served as interim superintendent since December, will take the top job at Mona Shores Public Schools, pending contract negotiations. "Mr. O'Brien's calm, stable leadership, his focus on collaboration and continuous improvement, and his passion for kids and for Mona Shores will serve the district well," said Board President Stan Miller, in a statement. MLive. Continue reading >>



University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit, Michigan
Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy, Brighton, Michigan
Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac, 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
St. Catherine of Siena Academy, Wixom, Michigan
Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Regina High School, Warren, Michigan
Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, Oakland County, 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.
Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Loyola High School, Detroit, Michigan.
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.
West Bloomfield School District: Educating Students to be Their Best IN and FOR the World!
Livonia Public Schools, Livonia, Michigan. Purpose, Passion, Pride
Lindamood-Bell Academy, Birmingham and Ann Arbor, Michigan
AIM High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aim High is a 6th-12th grade, tuition-based private school that provides an educational alternative
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.