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Issues in Education

Why Are Kids Hurting & What Can We Do?

While school counselors do their best to help students struggling with mental-health problems, some need more intensive professional help. Lately, agencies providing that help have stepped up capacity to meet an increasing need. At Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services,...

Let’s review center-based special education programs, say superintendents

A study will bring in an outside consultant to evaluate whether GRPS center-based programs are providing best practices compared with other districts in Michigan and beyond...

Students help refugee peers adjust to life, schools in the U.S.

Students from a handful of area high schools are making an impact at two West Michigan organizations tasked with helping refugee students and their families succeed...

Brain Games: Focusing on Memory to Reduce Effects of Poverty

Second-grade teacher Patrick Sokol is working to close gaps in achievement seen in students raised in poverty, and he's zeroing in on helping students develop "working memory." In his West Elementary classroom on a Friday morning, Sokol drew a mixing...

Is Ranking 39th Acceptable? Effects from Snyder Tax Cuts

One tough nerd rolled to the governor’s office in January 2011 and later that year the Legislature handed him a huge victory at the expense of those who voted him into office -- a $1.7 billion tax cut for...

Third-grade Reading Legislation Could Hold Back Thousands

Brown Elementary School students discussed the actions of a boasting rabbit and patient tortoise in Gayle Corey’s third-grade class as they considered characters, setting, problem and solution in Aesop’s classic fable. Then Corey challenged them to write a summary. “Go back,...

Muslim Teacher Hopes to Plant ‘Seed of Understanding’

The Monday after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Sairah Ahmed went to teach her history classes at Cedar Springs High School with a heavy heart. Like her, the two terrorists were Muslim, but she felt no connection whatsoever to...

Understanding what the fuss is all about: A primer on the M-STEP

The new school year coincides with the release of the last school year’s state assessment data (2017-18) — the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP)...

Typical Teen Stuff or Serious Mental Health Issue?

For a while now, high school English teacher Sheri Gilreath-Watts has been teaching from Judith Guest's novel "Ordinary People," about a suicidal boy home from a mental institution. "I'm hoping to connect my students to the emotional distress that can...

Two programs become one, to help infants and toddlers

The Ken-O-Sha Home Community program will fit hand-in-glove with Kent ISD’s Early On program when Grand Rapids Public Schools transfers its special education center programs to Kent ISD this summer, leaders say. Both programs serve children with impairments from birth to 3 years old...

Poverty Persists Out in the Country, Out of Sight

Nine-year-old Marisol is doing handstands and 16-year-old Rocio makes a peanut butter sandwich as their mother describes her dreams for them. “I want them to be self-sufficient,” Flossie Bliss says of her daughters, who also include Gloria, 13, and Stephanie,...

The Lost Decade

Now he tells us. In an extraordinarily introspective interview with The Bridge online magazine, state superintendent Mike Flanagan recently acknowledged Michigan was “10 years behind” high performing states such as Massachusetts and Minnesota in education achievement gains. Lost decades have typically...

Couldn’t Be More Wrong

You've gotta hand it to President Trump. He just keeps smashing conventional belief. And, in some instances, universally accepted research. The president's budget blueprint vaporized the one principle that is universally accepted in education: An effective teacher is the best...

Beyond Teen Nation, Students Battle Bullying Every Day

Walking down a hallway of Kenowa Hills High School, Karley Lynn Mead said not everyone sees the bullying that sometimes goes on in her school. She does. As part of a student group called Knights Lights, she tries to stop...

Keeping the ‘Monster’ Out and Students in Class

Truancy and chronic absenteeism have been described by educators as "the monster at the door." Kent ISD school districts are trying to ensure the monster stays out with new attendance rules this year. Students with higher absenteeism perform lower in...

Secretary DeVos should be as transparent as local superintendents in budget decisions

This guest commentary is submitted by Michael Paskewicz, former superintendent of Northview Public Schools...
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