In the News

The Road to Success in a High-Poverty School: It's All About Collaboration, Expectations

"Godwin Heights Public Schools, MI —   In Holly Vostad’s North Godwin Elementary School classroom, kindergarteners sat in circles on the rug, discussing what they planned to write about: A weekend at their father’s. Christmas. Snow. Their favorite things. They soon headed to their desks, pulling out their pencils and got to work on their stories. Even among the students, there’s a lot of collaboration going on at North Godwin."

Turning Around A Low-Performing School

"Godwin Heights Public Schools, MI —  Arelis Diaz realized at a young age that it’s possible for a teacher to impact the life of a vulnerable student forever.

In third grade, the daughter of Dominican immigrants struggled to learn her multiplication tables. Her teacher tracked students’ progress on a chart on the bulletin board with paper rockets. The more the student learned, the higher the rocket rose, but Diaz’s hovered low."

Arellano: Celebrate quality charter schools

"The fact that our state is struggling to provide Michigan children with a high-quality education is no secret. Today Michigan ranks 42nd in the nation in fourth grade math and is one of only six states that has posted an overall loss in student performance in fourth grade reading — an important predictor of students’ future academic success — since 2003."

Snyder: Detroit could be 'template' for education reform

"Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday that the education reforms expected to unfold in Detroit could serve as a template for other communities across Michigan.
First, those reforms have to take shape."

Guest column: Three critical education issues to watch in Michigan in 2015

"Michigan's public education system is in fragile shape. Our leaders have not kept up with leading education states in making the improvements and investments that we need to become a top ten education state. Indeed, we're not even keeping up with mediocre states' student learning levels now. Our students are paying the price."

Teachers 'fed up,' Detroit teachers union chief says

"Anarchist. Radical. Strident.

Steve Conn does not deny the labels given to him by observers of Detroit’s public education landscape.

When he speaks about the state of education in Detroit, his voice is angry. His ideas of erasing the district’s debt and returning control to an elected school board are radical to many. His disruptive antics at public meetings are forever captured on YouTube."

Michigan Governor Names Fourth New Manager for Detroit Schools

"CHICAGO — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan appointed a new emergency manager on Tuesday to oversee the Detroit Public Schools, the fourth such state-assigned manager to lead the struggling system since it was deemed in serious financial trouble in 2009."

Guest column: Teacher evaluation measures would make Michigan a national leader"

By Amber Arellano, Steve Cook, Kathy Hayes, William Mayes, Tim Melton, William Miller, and Wendy Zdeb-Roper

"Few issues in education have brought more Michigan leaders together recently than the need to better support our teachers and school principals. Our leaders have come together to invest in and support the state’s first statewide educator evaluator and support system.

New state exam requires deeper skills

"Students who hope to pass Michigan's new state exam — which will debut in next spring and exist for just a year — will have to do a much better job showing how well they can think critically and solve problems if they want a passing score."

State announces test to replace MEAP

"LANSING — Michigan education officials on Thursday announced details about the new standardized tests public school students across the state will take in spring 2015.

The assessments will be called M-STEP, the Department of Education said. They will replace the 44-year-old Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and will be used until a long-term testing system is found for spring 2016."