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Issues in Education

‘Everyone Struggles with Something’

When it was bad, it was really bad, Jared Walejewski said. “I was so lonely,” the Rockford High School senior recalled of his depression as a freshman, when he’d sit for hours in his basement in front of a computer....

Nick Minnema – special and driven, for all the right reasons

The Forest Hills Transition Center student and athlete competed this month at the Special Olympics World Games half a world away – in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city of Abu Dhabi, as well as the UAE’s largest city, Dubai...

Migrant Students a Part of County’s Poverty Picture

In Kent City Community Schools, where some 53 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the usual problems of poverty persist. But the issues are heightened because of the district’s significant migrant worker population working in northern...

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Please, don’t take money from our children to pour concrete. Fixing Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure is one of Michigan’s most vexing problems. Governor Snyder’s legislative liaison Dick Posthumus recently told the MIRS News Service increased revenue for road repair “is...

Thank You!

Kent County voters on May 2 turned out to the polls and expressed confidence in their schools by approving a ballot proposal that will provide crucial support to all 20 districts in Kent ISD. The enhancement millage will yield...

Among Top 10 Grads, Girls Top Boys (Again)

Soon after arriving at Harvard University this fall, Kanon Dean realized he was going to have to buckle down big-time in order to hack it at the prestigious Ivy League school. But having graduated as valedictorian from Lowell High...

‘The Culture Has Changed’

After being placed on a list of low-achieving schools in 2010, the district's high school swung into action. Now, some of its practices are being studied as models of improvements for other districts. From its lowest point in the 14th...

Making it right to be real

Thornapple Kellogg High School recently kicked off a series of assemblies building on the Making it Cool to be Kind program...

Welcoming Our Newest, Most Vulnerable Students, Families

Tula Khadka remembers what it was like all too well. Arriving in West Michigan from Nepal in 2013, he didn’t know much English or the ways of his new country. He struggled to learn both in his freshman year...

Great Teachers Make a Lasting Difference, Studies Show

The old adage that having one great teacher can make a big difference in a student’s life is true, research shows – especially for a student struggling with poverty. Not surprisingly, having more than one great teacher can make an...

Watch this Movie, Please.

One of the enduring principles of comedy is juxtaposition. Take, for example, this joke from actress Sara Silverman: "When I was 14, I started dating my father's best friend. It was weird." "But not as weird as my father having a best...

Coalition launches new vision for education

Business leaders, school management organizations, teacher and school staff associations and philanthropic groups are joining forces to make public education the cornerstone of Michigan’s continued economic recovery...

New State Schools Chief Aims to Put Michigan in Top Tier

If Michigan is to become a top 10 education state within 10 years, its students need to spend less time taking tests and more time taking college courses. Those were among the reform ideas new State Superintendent Brian Whiston brought...

Statewide reading decline: how some high-poverty schools buck the trend

Principals in Wyoming and Grand Rapids identified how to use data to improve instruction, build teacher leaders and zero in on reading instruction practices

‘They Learn by Music’

A drum beat echoes down the halls of Sparta's Appleview Elementary. The source: a boisterous bunch of musicians keeping a beat and dancing to the rhythm. Students with cognitive impairments from across the district are stepping in line with Artists Creating...

Giving back as others gave to them

Three sisters, refugees from Rwanda, devote their Monday evenings to volunteering at the Learning Café, an education center in Grand Rapids that serves refugee children...
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