Education news briefing for Friday, January 18, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Is Michigan ready for a ‘grand bargain’ to improve its struggling education system? A new political dynamic in Lansing has put Michigan in a position to potentially see the kind of education transformation that helped catapult Massachusetts to its status as the top-performing state in the nation, says a former U.S. Secretary of Education. That bit of optimism from John King, who served as education secretary from 2016 to 2017 and is now the president and CEO of The Education Trust, came after nearly three hours of sobering discussion during an event Wednesday about the need to address inequities in education in Michigan. Several times, King used the term “grand bargain” to describe what Michigan needs. It’s a term many Detroiters will remember from the Detroit bankruptcy and the deal that was a key part of getting the city out of bankruptcy. Chalkbeat

 

Michigan

 

Six systems in 7 years and Michigan students still lag. Now comes A to F. As superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools, Paul Soma has more than 9,500 students spread over 300 square miles. He worries about getting them to school in the winter. He worries about paying for the gas that gets them there. He worries about disparities in funding between his district and wealthier school systems, and the gap in test scores between rich and poor students. One thing he doesn’t worry about: Michigan’s latest school accountability system. The system, ranking schools with letter grades from A to F, was passed by the Legislature in December and is scheduled to go into effect next school year. Bridge

 

Metro Detroit

 

Lake Orion HS students give up phones and Cell Out for Soldiers: This Friday, for one day kids at one of metro Detroit's biggest high schools will give up their cell phones. They disconnect so that our troops can stay connected. If service men and women can give up their phones for weeks and months at a time while they serve our country, we can do it for one day," says Lori Hogan, Lake Orion High School Leadership Advisor. "Our soldiers sometimes go weeks and months without hearing from their loved ones, so for us to do that just for one day as an ode to them really does mean a lot to everyone here," says senior Jason Donoven. Fox2

 

How Corletta Vaughn got elected to Detroit’s school board — and what she wants to get done: Between her decades in the pulpit of a Detroit church, her work as an author, and a stint on reality TV, Corletta Vaughn is no stranger to the spotlight. Her latest role, though, is a new one. When the Detroit school board meets Tuesday night, Vaughn will be the newest face on stage at Renaissance High School. Elected in November to a four-year term — her first time winning a public vote — Vaughn now has a chance to shape the education of roughly 50,000 children in Detroit, and she knows exactly how she wants to do it. Chalkbeat

 

College and university

 

Satish Udpa named Michigan State interim president, replacing Engler: Michigan State University's board named Satish Udpa, the school's executive vice president for administrative services, as its new interim president on Thursday, replacing John Engler.Engler resigned Wednesday, hours after the board scheduled a special Thursday morning meeting to fire him.  In his resignation letter, Engler had said he would resign next Wednesday but the board on Thursday accepted his resignation effective immediately. The move to accept Engler's resignation and name Udpa interim president was unanimous by the seven board member present. Trustee Melanie Foster, an Engler supporter, was not at the meeting. Detroit Free Press

 

National

 

A second chance on the other side of the world: Standing at the kitchen counter, Michael Blackwood sliced a plantain the way his mother used to in Jamaica. As it browned in the pan, the sizzle of oil and sweet aroma mingled with the laughter of his two boys playing in the living room, drawing his wife from the bedroom on an unhurried Saturday morning. For Blackwood, the scene of domestic comfort — in a roomy high-rise not far from the beach and near a good school — resembled the easier life he hoped for when he gave his valedictory speech back in 2006. Boston Globe

 

Betsy DeVos’ bet on boot camps: As Americans look to build the skills they need for the fast-changing job market, a new type of education provider has swept onto the scene: the coding boot camp, an intensive, short-term training program for students trying to land high-tech jobs. Although they still account for a tiny share of American higher education, they’re growing fast; last year the camps graduated 20,000 students, 20 percent up from the previous year. As more workers sign up, the camps are drawing attention from policymakers as an efficient, job-focused alternative to a costly and complicated higher-education system. Politico

 

Principals Are Taking Over Teaching in L.A. While Staff Is on Strike: The last time Los Angeles teachers went on strike 30 years ago, Gary Garcia was a young, newly married teacher on the picket line demanding higher salaries. This week, Garcia, now the principal of John Marshall High School, was playing a different role, running a school building while the teachers joined thousands of their colleagues on strike over demands for smaller class sizes, additional school counselors, nurses and librarians, and higher wages. Education Week

 

 

Education news briefing for Thursday, January 17, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

'John Engler's Reign of Terror Is Over,' Says Michigan State Trustee as Board Prepares to Meet: Michigan State University's Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday morning to discuss interim president John M. Engler's future there, according to Detroit Free Press. The meeting agenda was posted this morning on the trustees' website. Earlier this week board members condemned Engler's suggestion to The Detroit News that sexual-abuse survivors are "enjoying" the "spotlight." The comment sparked renewed calls for the board to fire him. "John Engler's reign of terror is over," Brian Mosallam, a Michigan State board member, told the Free Press. "Michigan State University will be returned to its people." Chronicle of Higher Education

 

Michigan

 

Concerned with state A-F grading system, Vitti says he’ll lobby for Detroit to keep its own plan: Detroit school district leaders will lobby state leaders to allow for a Detroit-only letter grading system to hold district and charter schools in the city accountable. But if that isn’t successful, the district plans to create its own system. This plan, announced Tuesday night by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, comes almost a month after lame-duck lawmakers in the Michigan Legislature passed a controversial A-F letter grading system for the whole state. A Detroit-only system would gives schools far more credit for improvement in test scores than the statewide system does, and it would account for an issue — poverty — that disproportionately affects city schools. Chalkbeat

 

Metro Detroit

 

After community pressure, Romeo Community Schools turn MLK Day into school holiday: It was community activism that would have made Martin Luther King Jr. himself proud. For the first time since the 2014-15 school year, Romeo Community Schools students and school staff will have Martin Luther Day Jr. Day off as a school holiday next week, Jan. 21. The day was scheduled to be a school day for the district until community activists pressured the Board of Education to return it to a holiday, in conjunction with the federal holiday established in 1983.Activists began talks with the district in December 2017. Macomb Daily

 

Pontiac schools to hold monthly listening sessions for parents, community: The Pontiac School Board will be holding a community listening session this Thursday, Jan. 17. It’s a new monthly event, hosted by the board’s Community Engagement Committee, offering parents and community members the chance to share ideas, ask questions and network. “Our schools are stronger and our students are better supported when the community is engaged in our district,” Mike McGuinness, school board trustee and chair of the committee said. Oakland Press

 

College and university

 

The ‘Moneyball’ solution for higher education: On a blistering hot June day, Georgia State University incoming freshman Jaila Heathman found herself feted inside the football stadium by cheerleaders, football coach Shawn Elliott, grilled chicken sandwiches and the booming sound of “Uptown Funk.” The academic year wouldn’t start for two months, and Heathman wasn’t a handpicked athletic recruit or an academic star. In fact, she was someone who Georgia State’s computer system decided was just a bit underprepared for college. Politico

 

National

 

The Los Angeles Teachers Strike Puts Charter Schools Under The Microscope: Tuesday, on the second day of the Los Angeles teachers strike, tens of thousands of educators protested in front of the California Charter Schools Association building at a rally so crowded that participants were standing shoulder to shoulder. Among the crowd of protesters were teachers from Accelerated Charter Schools, who started their own strike Tuesday morning, along with members of the United Teachers Los Angeles union. Huffington Post

  • Education Week: Charter School Teachers in Los Angeles Are Now Striking as Well

 

‘Intensive’ Parenting Is Now the Norm in America: Supervised, enriching playtime. Frequent conversations about thoughts and feelings. Patient, well-reasoned explanations of household rules. And extracurriculars. Lots and lots of extracurriculars. These are the oft-stereotyped hallmarks of a parenting style that has been common in upper-middle-class households for at least a generation. But according to a recent survey, this child-rearing philosophy now has a much broader appeal, one that holds across race and class. The survey, which polled roughly 3,600 parents of children ages 8 to 10 who were demographically and economically representative of the national population, found evidence that hands-on parenting is not just what the well-off practice—it’s what everyone aspires to. Atlantic

 

 

Education news briefing for Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Business owners, educators have outsized influence in new Michigan Legislature: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders eager to boost Michigan’s economy, roads and schools are likely to get an earful from new members of the House and Senate. Lansing welcomed 46 new Representatives to the 110-member House last week. Change was even more dramatic in the Senate, with 30 of 38 members new to the chamber, with seven entirely new to legislating. That’s a nearly 80 percent turnover in the Senate — the largest legislative turnover in the country. Two professional groups certain to wield influence have backgrounds in business and education. The Legislature now has at least 42 members with experience as business owners, most of them Republican. And 22 legislators come from teaching or other education jobs (13 Democrats, nine Republicans). Bridge

 

Michigan

 

Michigan lawmakers have ignored inequities in education for too long: Opinion, This winter, Michiganders will mark two years since unacceptable conditions in Detroit public schools were widely exposed in heartbreaking detail in a court filing: students expected to learn in crumbling buildings and freezing conditions, among vermin infestations, not to mention a shortage of classroom teachers, books and engaging curricula. As we stated on our recently-filed brief supporting the right of Detroit students to learn, “[t]he problem in Detroit’s school district is not the children. The problem is Detroit’s schools.” Grave inequities between schools in Detroit and surrounding communities are a bleak indictment; they must no longer be ignored. Detroit News

 

Grand Rapids school board launching national superintendent search: The Grand Rapids school board voted 8 to 1 Monday, January 14 to conduct a national search for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Teresa Weatherall Neal. “What we want to continue to reinforce is that we really want the community to be part of this process and to know that we will be transparent throughout it,’’ said school board president Kristian Grant, following the special board meeting and work session. Neal’s retirement is effective July 1. During the Tuesday, Jan. 22 school board meeting, Grant said the board will identify the selection criteria for the next superintendent, base salary range, and search timeline. MLive

 

Metro Detroit

 

After a count day decline, officials say enrollment begins to rebound in Detroit’s district: After a year in which the Detroit school district saw its first enrollment gain in years, the fall count for 2018 was down slightly. But district officials said they’ve gained hundreds of students since that count was taken. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the district has gained a net 1,000 students since Oct. 3, the official fall count day. On that day, the district recorded 49,686 students. That was down about 1 percent from the fall count in 2017, when the district recorded 50,130 students, according to data provided by the Michigan Department of Education. Overall in schools across the city — including charter school districts — enrollment was down 2 percent. Charter districts can include one school or multiple schools. Chalkbeat

 

College and university

 

Early college admissions by the numbers: For many colleges, early applications are becoming the new normal. At the University of Virginia, most applications arrive by Nov. 1 for the first round of freshman admissions. There were about 25,000 early hopefuls for the public flagship university’s Class of 2023, up 17 percent from the previous year. They will learn this month whether they got in. Those who applied in the second round, ahead of the regular Jan. 1 deadline, will receive decisions by the end of March. Everyone admitted has until May 1 to decide whether to enroll. Washington Post

 

National

 

The Unique Racial Dynamics of the L.A. Teachers' Strike: In a highly anticipated move that for key organizers has been years in the making, more than 30,000 educators on Monday kicked off a strike that’s put regular K–12 classes on hiatus in the country’s second-largest public-school district. A whopping 98 percent of L.A. teachers, who because of stalled negotiations with the district have been working without a contract for more than a year, voted to authorize the strike. They are demanding smaller class sizes and more funding for support staff such as counselors and nurses. Atlantic

 

 

Education news briefing for Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

It's Not Just That Racial Bullying Jumped in Schools After the 2016 Election. It's Where It Did: The highly polarizing 2016 presidential campaign blitzed the swing state of Virginia. And in the year that followed, a new study in the journal Educational Researcher suggests, school bullying problems likewise split along political lines. In 2017, 18 percent more middle school students reported they had been bullied in communities around the state that voted for Republican Donald Trump for president, compared to those communities that had favored Democrat Hillary Clinton. In particular, race-based bullying rates were 9 percent higher in the GOP-favoring localities versus those in Democrat-leaning ones. Education Week

 

Michigan

 

Law Requires Public Schools To Report Bullying, Not All Do: A tiny Southwest Michigan school district with just 288 students reported 454 incidents of bullying in a recent school year. About 140 miles to the east, the state’s largest school district has 50,210 students, and it reported only five incidents. The Michigan Department of Education recently released its report on the number of bullying incidents in 2017-18, and it shows a tremendous disparity in what is being reported around the state. It was the second year that the state has tracked information on bullying, which school districts are required to submit to the department under a bill that became law in 2014. Capitol Confidential

 

Metro Detroit

 

Workshops in Farmington Public Schools to explore race, equality issues: The Farmington Public Schools will host a series of workshops aimed at bringing the community together entitled “Community Dialogues.” The workshop series will examine privilege, prejudice, bias, and “isms”. The goal of the series is to understand different perspectives and how individual and collective experiences shape thoughts and actions. Each session will be interactive with video and dialogue opportunities. Sessions will be presented as a series, however, each session is stand alone and you do not have to attend all of them to benefit. Registration is not necessary. Oakland Press

 

College and university

 

Higher education moon shot remains stuck in lower orbit: When President Barack Obama stood before a friendly and enthusiastic crowd at Macomb Community College near Detroit 10 years ago, the goals he set out were historic. Within a decade, he said on that day in 2009, community colleges such as Macomb would collectively boost their number of graduates by 5 million. That would help return the United States to first in the world in the proportion of its population with the credentials needed to sustain an economy increasingly dependent on highly educated workers. Washington Post

 

The Government Shutdown Is Reaching Historic Territory. Here’s What That Means for Higher Ed. The University of Arizona has a grim message for professors on its website: If the partial government shutdown stretches on, the impact on research and science will only grow. New funding? Don’t count on it. Payment on existing grants? On pause. Peer-review of pending grant applications? Postponed. On Friday the 21-day shutdown was tied for the longest in U.S. history, and it appeared poised to break the record as elected officials adjourned for the weekend early in the afternoon. Chronicle of Higher Education

 

No Penalty for Western Governors: The U.S. Department of Education on Friday released a long-awaited response to an inspector general audit, which found that one the country’s largest online universities had run afoul of federal standards. The department’s Office of Inspector General found in 2017 that Western Governors University, which enrolls more than 83,000 students, failed to meet federal requirements for the interaction between faculty members and students. The audit said WGU should pay back $713 million in federal student aid. The Trump administration wasn’t expected to carry out the IG’s recommendations. Inside Higher Ed

 

National

 

Los Angeles teachers set to strike in nation’s second-largest system: Teachers in Los Angeles, home to the nation’s second-largest school system, are set to strike Monday as their union battles with the school system to reverse years of cuts that have left classrooms overcrowded and schools deprived of nurses, counselors and librarians. The strike will draw about 30,000 unionized teachers out of classrooms and will affect more than 600,000 schoolchildren across the sprawling district, which encompasses 710 square miles and includes more than 600 K-12 schools, making it larger than many state systems. Washington Post

 

 

Education news briefing for Monday, January 14, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Backlash Is Fierce for Michigan State President, Who Said Abuse Survivors Are ‘Enjoying’ the ‘Spotlight’: John M. Engler, the interim president of Michigan State University, is under fire for saying in an interview on Friday that sexual-abuse survivors are “enjoying” the “spotlight” that they’ve drawn since they went public with stories of being sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor at the university. “There are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight,” Engler, a former Republican governor, told The Detroit News’s editorial board. Chronicle of Higher Education

 

Michigan

 

State funding recognition of K-12 mental health issues, advocates say: Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation designating $31.3 million for School Mental Health and Support Services within the K-12 budget. Advocates for children say years of lobbying and advocacy finally paid off in December. School leaders say every year they try to meet the growing needs of students with mental, emotional or behavioral disorders with limited resources. MLive

 

Metro Detroit

 

Unpaid bonuses leave former Detroit charter school teachers steaming. But who’s on the hook? No one denies that 19 former Voyageur Academy teachers qualified for bonuses last year. No one denies that one teacher earned $5,000 last year after her students made unusually rapid academic gains, or that her colleagues earned bonuses as high as $9,750. But months after a total of $58,500 in bonuses were supposed to be paid out, teachers who left the school this spring haven’t seen a cent. There’s little agreement on who, if anyone, should pay them. Chalkbeat

 

College and university

 

Worries Grow About Outsourcing of College Degrees: Dozens of colleges, including many with widely known brands, outsource parts of degree programs to other institutions or private companies. Under federal rules, colleges can offer degree programs in which up to 50 percent of instruction is outsourced, including through unaccredited entities. A proposal from the Education Department would remove that cap entirely, potentially allowing colleges to completely outsource curriculum and instruction for degree programs. That possibility is alarming consumer advocates who worry it will give low-quality operators backdoor access to federal student aid money. Inside Higher Ed

 

National

 

All Eyes Are on Los Angeles as 30,000 Teachers Prepare to Strike: Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers are planning to take to the picket lines on Monday in a major clash with the nation’s second-largest school district. The lead up to the strike has been messy, with last-minute postponements, a series of legal battles, and tensions between the teachers’ union and the district at an all-time high. A final bargaining session Friday did not yield results, and union leaders have declared an impasse. The strike would be the first major teacher labor action of 2019, following a remarkable year of statewide protests and walkouts. Education Week

 

It’s a really bad way to fund schools — but Texas may adopt it anyway: For years many public school districts have been begging states for more funding, strapped for cash to provide basic resources for students and teachers. Last year’s teachers strikes in Republican-led states underscored the funding problem, with educators demanding not only pay raises but also more money for schools — and school funding was the key education issue in the November 2018 midterm elections. Washington Post

 

 

Education news briefing for Friday-Sunday, January 11-13, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Could Michigan’s new A-F law cost the state federal funding? Michigan’s education department leaders will meet with the state’s top attorneys next week to sort out whether a new school accountability law violates federal rules. If implemented, the new mandate, which requires the state department to issue A-F letter grades to schools, could cost Michigan some federal funding, education leaders say. “That’s the ultimate risk, if you violate federal law,” Martin Ackley, the director of the office of public and government affairs at the Michigan Department of Education, said during a meeting Tuesday. Chalkbeat

 

Michigan

 

62 Michigan high schools participating in teen safe driving program: More than 60 Michigan high schools are joining a program to make driving safer for teens. Strive For a Safer Drive (S4SD), a public-private partnership between Ford Driving Skills for Life and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), seeks to reduce traffic crashes, the leading cause of death for teens. “Inexperience and risk-taking behavior are factors that increase the crash risk for young drivers,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “This campaign aims to increase safety and raise awareness about teen driving in a way that teens can relate to and better understand.” ClickOnDetroit

 

Metro Detroit

 

Lawrence Tech opens 'Tech Hub' at West Bloomfield HS: Lawrence Technological University and West Bloomfield High School celebrated the opening of a “Tech Hub” space in the high school on Orchard Lake Road Thursday. The university and high school have a history of close to 10 years of collaboration in several capacities, including dual-enrollment classes, internships, summer training sessions for West Bloomfield High School teachers, and special program for West Bloomfield students interested in engineering. LTU

 

'She is the definition of teacher:' West Bloomfield teacher recognized by Board of Education: Jennifer Graham, first grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary, was recognized with a Star Certificate at the latest West Bloomfield Board of Education meeting. The members of the Board of Education formally thanked Graham for her service to the community and her students. Graham joined the district in 2008 as a guest teacher, and she was hired full-time in August 2009 at Green Elementary. During her time in the district, she has taught first and third grades and worked at Green, Doherty, and now, Roosevelt Elementary. Oakland Press

 

College and university

 

Millions of College Students Are Going Hungry: As the costs of college have climbed, some students have gone hungry. When they’ve voiced frustration, they’ve often been ridiculed: “Ramen is cheap,” or “Just eat cereal.” But the blight of food insecurity among college students is real, and a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, highlights the breadth of those affected. There are potentially millions of students at risk of being food insecure, which means they do not have access to nutritious, affordable food, the report says. Atlantic

 

Education Dept. steps up to help students stymied by financial aid application requirements: The U.S. Education Department will make it easier for families to provide proof of their income, clearing the way for some of the neediest college students to gain access to federal loans and grants. The announcement arrives as ongoing disruptions at the Internal Revenue Service are hindering some students from verifying information on their financial aid applications, which could prevent them from enrolling in the spring semester or following academic year. Washington Post

 

National

 

Amid Court Battles, Los Angeles Teachers' Union Postpones Strike: The Los Angeles teachers' union has pushed back its strike date four days, to Monday, Jan. 14. Los Angeles teachers have been gearing up for a strike over a salary increase, class-size reductions, and more support staff for months, with plans to walk out of the classroom on Jan 10. But the last-minute change comes as United Teachers Los Angeles is fighting the Los Angeles Unified school district in court about whether the union provided the legally required notice of its intent to strike. The court had not made a decision by midday Wednesday, but the union decided to voluntarily postpone the strike date. Education Week

 

 

Education news briefing for Thursday, January 10, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Grand Rapids hires MASB to assist with superintendent search: The Grand Rapids Board of Education voted unanimously Monday, Jan. 7 to hire the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) to help it conduct a search for a new superintendent. Hired in 2012, Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal is retiring effective July 1, 2019. The board hopes to complete the process of finding the district’s next leader by April. “We’re going to be really methodical about this process,’’ said newly elected board president Kristian Grant. MLive

 

Michigan

 

Mission: READ! aims to help kids develop a reading habit, improve proficiency: A new initiative designed to help young students develop a daily reading habit to improve their reading proficiency called “Mission: READ!” launched Monday, Jan. 7. The mission of the partnership between the four Kent County library systems, Kent Intermediate School District, and the Literacy Center of West Michigan is to help beginning readers – kindergarten through third grade – read at grade level and advance to fourth grade. MLive

 

Ann Arbor Schools buys property to prevent proposed daycare from opening: Ann Arbor Public Schools is purchasing property adjacent to Clague Middle School where a private child care center was expected to open. The Ann Arbor School Board voted 5-1 on Dec. 19 to purchase the property for $850,000. The money will come from the district’s sinking fund, which by law must be spent on building and facility upgrades such as purchasing property. The sinking fund is supported by a special property tax passed by district voters in May 2017. MLive

 

Metro Detroit

 

Head Start grants will boost training, teacher recruitment: An infusion of grants is coming at just the right time for four Head Start agencies in Detroit that this month must begin re-competing for federal cash they’re in danger of losing. The Head Start Innovation Fund — operated by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan — on Tuesday announced the grants totaling $1.1 million. In addition to helping provide professional development for the agencies that are in jeopardy, the money will also help improve teacher recruitment and retention for programs in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Chalkbeat

 

Rochester High School teacher fired over alleged inappropriate conduct: A Rochester High School teacher has been fired amid an accusation of inappropriate conduct with students, district officials said. Administrators were alerted Tuesday about the alleged incident involving the staffer during after-school hours, Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner said in a notice to parents. The teacher, who has not been named, was terminated immediately after an internal investigation, according to the letter. Detroit News

 

College and university

 

Professors Worry About the Cost of Textbooks, but Free Alternatives Pose Their Own Problems: When it comes to textbooks, faculty members have a lot of feelings. Many of them negative. But their thoughts on digital coursework and openly licensed materials aren't any less conflicted. These opinions, found in "Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018," a survey of more than 4,000 faculty members and department chairs released Wednesday, paint a complex picture of a fast-changing landscape, one in which instructors and students have more options about course materials than ever before, yet the best path forward remains unclear. Chronicle of Higher Education

 

Tax Law's Effects on Colleges Unfolding: When President Trump at the end of 2017 signed a Republican-backed tax-reform package into law that included significant changes for colleges and universities, higher ed leaders were left waiting for answers. They wondered about rules for calculating a new tax on endowments. They sought guidance regarding a tax on parking and transportation benefits for employees. Questions circulated about a new tax on highly compensated nonprofit employees that had drawn criticism while the tax law was still being drafted. Inside Higher Ed

 

National

 

Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending: School systems are taking steps to make sure children of federal workers have lunch provided at school. Day-care centers in federal buildings remain closed, forcing parents to scramble for alternatives. And a small kindergarten operating out of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History may have to close for the year if the government isn’t reopened soon. As week four approaches, the partial federal government shutdown is affecting children and their families across the Washington region, home to an estimated 283,000 federal workers. Washington Post

 

The Kids Are Right: School Is Boring: The most meaningful learning happens outside school. Take a moment to think about that statement. It does not mean that meaningful learning is not happening inside schools. Or that all learning that occurs outside schools is meaningful. But there is a growing argument that the most powerful, relevant learning for today's students is happening when they connect with the rapidly changing world beyond the school walls... Education Week

 

 

Education news briefing for Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Meet the top administrators working behind the scenes to improve the Detroit district: Halfway through Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s second year on the job, the leader of Michigan’s largest school district has a lot on his plate — from curriculum changes to crumbling campuses. As 2019 gets underway, Vitti won’t be facing those challenges alone: he’ll be relying on the 11 people who report to him directly. That group — Vitti’s cabinet — has changed substantially since the summer of 2017, when we published a list of his top advisers. Several top officials have left, while others who held interim positions were replaced by permanent candidates. Chalkbeat

 

Michigan

 

Michigan Faces Many Educational Challenges In 2019: The Michigan State Board of Education holds its first meeting of the year Tuesday in Lansing. The board will begin its 2019 inaugural meeting by swearing in its two newest members, Judy Pritchett and Tiffany Tilley.  Afterwards, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to deliver a few remarks. Whitmer is likely to talk about the new school accountability law that former governor Rick Snyder signed less than two weeks ago.  The Michigan Department of Education is asking state Attorney General Dana Nessel to review the measure for any potential conflict with federal law. Michigan’s law would give schools an A-F grade in five academic performance areas. WKAR

 

Metro Detroit

 

Proposed settlement with McPhail, Detroit charter school in flux: After reaching a court settlement with a Detroit charter school over the firing of former Detroit City Councilwoman Sharon McPhail, an attorney for McPhail said Monday that lawyers for the charter school are now refusing to sign the agreement. Elliott S. Hall, the attorney for McPhail, said settlement talks have been ongoing since mid-October with Detroit Community Schools, just days after the school terminated McPhail for allegedly refusing to obtain the proper state certification to be superintendent there. Detroit News

 

College and university

 

DeVos moves to boost college online learning while reducing regulatory oversight: The U.S. Education Department issued proposals Monday that could extend federal student aid dollars to a wider variety of higher-education providers, a move that some say could spur innovation and others worry could attract predatory actors. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has bemoaned what counts as a college course worthy of federal loans and grants. She has also challenged the accreditation system that stands between schools and billions of dollars in financial aid, questioning whether the Education Department’s accreditation rules work to the detriment of innovation and students. Washington Post

 

National

 

Despite Last-Minute Negotiations, Los Angeles Teacher Strike Is Still On: The Los Angeles teachers' union and school district spent hours at the bargaining table on Monday to avert an impending strike. But the contract negotiations yielded few results, and a teacher strike is still scheduled for Jan 10. "We were surprised today that the district came in with so little to offer, so unless something changes pretty significantly, there will be a strike in the city of Los Angeles," said United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl in a news conference Monday evening. Education Week

 

 

Education news briefing for Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Car repairs and rent checks: a bold plan to keep Michigan students in college: Returning to college at an age when others were watching their children get diplomas was tough for Sherrie Graham. Not the classes, though coursework in the nursing associate’s degree program at St. Clair County Community College was hard. The toughest part of college took place miles from campus in a tiny apartment two years ago, when the 51-year-old put down her textbooks and looked at her checkbook. “I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent,” Graham recalled. Bridge

 

Michigan

 

A Third Of New School Hires Choose 2017 Reform’s Traditional Pension Option: Two-thirds of school employees hired since Feb. 1, 2018, have chosen to enroll in a 401(k) account with substantial employer contributions rather than a traditional defined benefit pension with greater employee cost-sharing provisions. The either-or option was part of an overhaul to the school retirement system that lawmakers enacted in 2017. Among other things, the reform made the 401(k) defined contribution option the default pick for new employees. When the new system was adopted, pension officials and fiscal analysts acknowledged they could not predict how many new employees would choose either option. Capitol Confidential

 

Metro Detroit

 

Teachers have some of the toughest jobs. How can we better support them in Detroit? It's that time of year when parents give their kids' teachers a gift of appreciation for the hard and important work they do. A gift card or hand soap is fine, but what Detroit teachers really want from parents and their community is respect for their professionalism, more funding for supplies, and a willingness to advocate for larger issues that affect their ability to do their jobs. modelD

 

Food education is hands-on at early childhood centers in Detroit and beyond: The children at A&W Daycare, just east of the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit, get their hands dirty harvesting tomatoes, kale, asparagus, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and more in two onsite gardens. "We want the children to learn how things grow, and let them know everything we eat is growable," says Al Macki, who has worked as the daycare's handyman for 23 years, alongside his wife Ameera, the center's owner. On any given day, you might see them seed, plant or water food later served for breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the center. modelD

 

College and university

 

For-Profit vs. Public Beauty Schools? On at least one occasion, a for-profit cosmetology college used a state law to stop a community college from creating a new program that would compete with it. But higher education experts said such incidents are rare. A recent article in The New York Times revealed that the Iowa Cosmetology School Association and La’ James International College, which owns six beauty schools in the state, in 2005 sued Iowa Central Community College to stop the public two-year institution from starting a cosmetology program. Inside Higher Ed

 

Teaching the Students We Have, Not the Students We Wish We Had: Commentary. Today’s college students are radically different from the students occupying college classrooms even a decade ago. The expansion of education that propelled widespread positive change through American communities in the 20th century has reached beyond high school, and more people than ever before understand the importance of postsecondary education in all its forms. For broader participation to lead to positive outcomes — for example, the completion of degrees without huge debt burdens — students must have good experiences in the classroom. Chronicle of Higher Education

 

Early applications surge at prestigious colleges. So does early heartache. Kate and Henry Sosland, twins from the District, were eager for a head start in the race to get into their top-choice colleges. So they applied in October, more than two months ahead of the regular deadline, in hopes of winning early admission. She went for Barnard College, he for Washington University in St. Louis, joining a surge of others nationwide using the same gambit in hopes of gaining an edge. For many college-bound seniors, the trend has lengthened and intensified the stress of what was already an angst-laden quest. Washington Post

 

National

 

Federal judge rejects L.A. school district’s bid to stop teachers from striking: With the clock ticking on a strike by teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, a federal judge rejected a bid by Superintendent Austin Beutner’s administration to limit or stop the labor action from happening as scheduled this Thursday. Attorneys for the nation’s second-largest school district went to court Thursday, telling U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew that students with special needs would be denied education services that are guaranteed to them under U.S. law. Washington Post

 

How Parents and Educators Can Team Up on Special Education: As its name suggests, the Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood was founded with the goal of fully embracing students with disabilities and their families. You can see that philosophy at work when you walk through the door—literally. Unlike many schools, "the Henderson" doesn't require parents to drop off their children at the school entrance. Usually schools make that request so they can efficiently get the kids to their classrooms. Education Week

 

 

Education news briefing for Monday, January 7, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

Michigan’s A-to-F school ratings on ice until attorney general weighs in: The fight over grading Michigan schools on an A-to-F scale apparently isn’t over yet. The Michigan Department of Education says it will hold off on implementing the new accountability system because of concerns that parts of the system may violate federal law, according to Martin Ackley, director of policy and governmental affairs for MDE. Ackley told Bridge on Thursday the department plans to ask newly elected Attorney General Dana Nessel for a legal review of the policy, passed by the GOP in the waning days of December’s lame duck session and signed into law by outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder last week. Bridge

 

Michigan

 

See Grand Rapids theme schools, career academy choices: Grand Rapids Public Schools is holding its annual School Choice Expo & Winter Carnival Jan. 15 for current and interested parents to learn more about the district's school choices. Those choices include new and expanded theme schools and career academies, known as Centers of Innovation.  Curriculum is customized and there are unique academic offerings. The deadline to apply for one of the 12 theme school programs or five career academies is Jan. 31.  See what each has to offer. MLive

 

Metro Detroit

 

How social justice and engineering will shape a new Detroit high school at Marygrove: Imagine this: A high school where students design a system to create equitable voting districts that don’t silence the voices of some residents. Or a high school where students learn to test water for contaminants like lead. Or a high school that finds a way to help Parkinson’s patients with shaky hands accurately measure a cup of liquid. These are just some examples of how a focus on social justice and engineering might shape Detroit’s newest elite high school, which is set to open next year on the campus of Marygrove College. Chalkbeat

 

'Hamilton' producer's 'thrilling' $1M gift to immerse Detroit kids in theater: It was a perfectly ordinary day three weeks ago when Rick Sperling walked into Detroit's Mosaic Youth Theatre, which he founded in 1992. His new executive director, Stefanie Worth, pulled him into her office, saying, "There's something I have to tell you." Nothing could have prepared Sperling, 52, for the coming bombshell. Oak Park native Jeffrey Seller, the legendary producer of Broadway's "Hamilton," was giving Mosaic $1 million. Detroit News

 

Utica Schools' theatre students earn scholarships: Utica Community Schools students earned approximately $750,000 in scholarship offers and more than 80 top awards at the Michigan Thespian Festival. Nearly 100 theatre students from Eisenhower, Henry Ford II, Stevenson and Utica high schools attended the annual festival in Grand Rapids, Dec. 13-15. Approximately 1,400 students from across Michigan attended the festival. Students had the opportunity to attend professional workshops, meet with college representatives, view performances and compete in events that were judged by college and industry professionals. Macomb Daily

 

College and university

 

Agreement waives nearly $13.9 million of debt for Michigan students: Career Education Corp., a for-profit college based in Schaumburg, Ill., has vowed to repair its recruiting and enrollment practices and dismiss nearly $13.9 million in student debt owed by 5,584 Michigan students. A total of 179,529 students across the nation who attended CEC schools will receive about $493.7 million in debt relief as part of the agreement between the for-profit college and Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with attorneys general from 47 other states. Crain’s Detroit Business

 

‘Culture of Indifference’ and ‘Institutional Protection’ at Michigan State Stymied Investigation of Larry Nassar: Michigan State University’s handling of the case of Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor now serving at least a 60-year sentence for his sexual abuse of hundreds of women and girls, was “a failure of people, not policy,” says a report released on Friday by the Michigan attorney general’s office. The report, issued by William Forsyth, a retired prosecutor who was appointed independent special counsel by the attorney general, criticizes Michigan State for what it called “a culture of indifference” to sexual assault and for stonewalling “the very investigation it pledged to support.” Chronicle of Higher Education

 

National

 

Florida commission on Parkland school shooting cites major mistakes by officials, recommends arming teachers: A Florida commission investigating the February shooting deaths of 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school said in a starkly worded report that security at public schools must be improved and recommended arming teachers and spending more on mental health programs. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission — established by the Florida legislature after the Parkland shooting, with members appointed by state leaders — this week offered a detailed timeline of the shootings and was highly critical of Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies who did not enter the building. Washington Post

 

Trump administration considers rollback of anti-discrimination rules: The Trump administration is considering a far-reaching rollback of civil rights law that would dilute federal rules against discrimination in education, housing and other aspects of American life, people familiar with the discussions said. A recent internal Justice Department memo directed senior civil rights officials to examine how decades-old “disparate impact” regulations might be changed or removed in their areas of expertise, and what the impact might be, according to people familiar with the matter. Similar action is being considered at the Education Department and is underway at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Washington Post

 

 

 

Education news briefing for Friday-Sunday, January 4-6, 2019.

 

Must reads

 

School can be challenging for students with reading issues, but Lindamood-Bell Academy can help: Numerous studies have shown that students with dyslexia are often susceptible to falling behind their peers in academic skills. And it’s no wonder. It’s hard to keep up and get excited about learning when reading is labored and slow. Extra help at school doesn’t always get to the root of reading issues. For example, students might get tutoring in reading and spelling rules and learn techniques for sounding out words. While these activities have value, they do not address the cause of a student’s problem. Despite having extensive phonics instruction, dyslexic students often struggle to become fluent readers. StudentandEducator

 

Michigan

 

Kent, Ottawa schools get share of $3M for robotics: More than two dozen traditional school districts, charters, and private schools in Kent and Ottawa counties are receiving a share of $3 million in grants to start or expand robotics programs. The grants, announced by the Michigan Department of Education, adds to the more than $12 million investment Michigan has made in robotics since 2014 to build up programs statewide. The programs have students learning about applications of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) through building robots for competitions. MLive

 

Hudsonville planning for more growth in student enrollment: With new neighborhoods being built or planned in its school communities, the Hudsonville School District is preparing for more growth in student enrollment. The district of now nearly 7,000 students plans to begin a conversation with its families in January about which construction options they’d support in a school improvement bond to accommodate future growth. “The nice thing about our growth is that it has been very consistent, steady growth that has allowed us plan,’’ said new Superintendent Douglas VanderJagt. MLive

 

Metro Detroit

 

Some Detroit teachers have seen massive raises in the last year. They’re just a ‘first step.’ After more than 15 years of teaching in Philadelphia and Detroit, Leslie Piper thought she’d seen everything. Then she got a $26,000 raise. She’d gotten married and moved to Detroit from Philadelphia in 2015, only to find that her salary was stuck at the same level as teachers with only two years in the classroom. The district’s contract with teachers did not recognize the experience that new arrivals brought with them. When that changed earlier this year, Piper’s salary jumped to $67,223, the top rate for teachers with master’s degrees. Chalkbeat

 

School safety was threatened in 2018; Oakland County districts took steps to address threats: On Valentine’s Day 2018, a former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with an AR-15 and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. Three months later, another mass shooting occurred at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, leaving 10 people dead and 13 wounded. These incidents, and others over the past two decades, including in Newtown, Connecticut; Littleton, Colorado and other locations, have terrorized students, parents and school administrators around the country and in Oakland County. Oakland Press

 

College and university

 

Which boxes to check? College hopefuls weigh race, identity and affirmative action. Sabria Kazmi’s background defies easy classification. She has grandparents from Tennessee, Iraq and two countries in South Asia. So when the 18-year-old filled out her college application, she puzzled over what boxes to check. The task is all the more sensitive this year amid the mounting debate over the role of race and ethnicity in admissions. First, Kazmi came to white. Check. Then Asian. Check. Followed by Middle Eastern and Pakistani. Check, check. She found a blank space to write in her Bangladeshi roots. Washington Post

 

More DREAMs come true in California: How tuition waivers opened doors for undocumented students: California decided to crack open the door to higher education a little more for undocumented students through the California DREAM Act. In a new study of the impact of this 2013 policy, education researcher Samantha Astudillo and I discovered that it helped put undocumented students on equal footing with students who are U.S. citizens in terms of how many credits they take each semester. Salon

 

National

 

Trump administration considers rollback of anti-discrimination rules: The Trump administration is considering a far-reaching rollback of civil rights law that would dilute federal rules against discrimination in education, housing and other aspects of American life, people familiar with the discussions said. A recent internal Justice Department memo directed senior civil rights officials to examine how decades-old “disparate impact” regulations might be changed or removed in their areas of expertise, and what the impact might be, according to people familiar with the matter. Similar action is being considered at the Education Department and is underway at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Washington Post

 

Trauma Is The Norm For Many New Orleans Kids. This School Was Made For Them. This year, the kids learned papier mâché. Their creations line the walls of the art and electives room. In the adjacent hallway, bright blue plywood covers the spots where students punched or kicked holes in the drywall as they passed between classes. This is the middle school campus for the New Orleans Center for Resilience, a nonprofit K–8 school with two locations in the city. The 27 kids enrolled in the center’s program have some of the most extreme behavior needs in the city, often stemming from trauma or mental illness. Huffington Post

 

L.A. school district hires hundreds of substitutes to prepare for major teachers strike: With teachers vowing to strike on Jan. 10 if a new contract is not reached with the Los Angeles Unified School District, officials are taking steps to keep schools open, including hiring hundreds of nonunion substitute teachers to fill in for educators walking picket lines. Superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker, said the district, which is the country’s second largest, with more than 640,000 students, was hiring about 400 substitutes to keep schools open. The Los Angeles Daily News quoted him as saying: Washington Post

 

 

 

 

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
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
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, 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.
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
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan