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Issues in Education

State’s new letter-grade system for schools gets mixed reviews

New legislation means Michigan schools will receive grades in several categories, but no overall grade...

One Size Just Does Not Fit All

Nobody needs to tell a parent every child is different. All bring different gifts to the party, and no two are alike in their interests, their physical and mental development, their aptitude and abilities. Our state pounds the same square peg...

Building a Talent Supply Chain

West Michigan rebounded from the 2007-09 recession by exceeding job growth in the nation as a whole by 500 percent.  To continue that trend, business and education must work hand-in-hand to help students get a better understanding of the...

In the Spirit of the Season

Thanks to our legislators who, in the spirit of the season and in a display of statesmanship, came together to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would mend our highways and add much needed revenues and stability to our...
Seventeen Kentwood Public Schools elementary students made up the first iLEAD cohort

‘If I Can Do it, You Can Do It’

Dressed in red, resemblant of flaming hot sauce, Bowen Elementary fifth-grader Yoe Shi Yar played David Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant who founded Huy Fong Foods, Inc. "I was born in 1945 in Soc Trang, Vietnam. I am 72 years old....

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)...

Talking About Sexuality Is Rarely Easy

There is a huge gap in what students with special needs know about human sexuality and what to do if they face a related situation or even a conversation, said an author and parent speaking to educators at Kent...

Journaling, Imaginations Make Waves of Summertime Learning

Dante Botello may never have entertained the notion of caring for a pet monkey had it not been for his Spanish Elementary teacher, who drove to his house this summer with a stack of books and two lawn chairs...

Schools Spend Big to Tighten Security: ‘We Live in a Different World’

Lyza Hockemeyer says she generally feels pretty safe at Northview High School. But when she hears about bomb threats that have been made to other area schools, or incidents like the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School,...

‘A Chance to Have a Meaningful Life’

Dutton Elementary School second-grader Daniel Donaldson uses pictures and words on his talker to say what he needs to say. "The device gives me the chance to participate with the rest of the class and share the things I'm...

Student Braves ‘Train of Death’ to Come to U.S., Go to School

Kenia's story of her journey to the U.S. comes through the fuzzy lens of a child's memory. She's uncertain how long she traveled or even how old she was, but some things she recalls vividly: fear, thirst, hunger and...

Third Grade Reading and Reality

Just in time for the holidays, there are a new group of action figures fighting for Michigan’s third graders.  We’re not yet sure what mom and dad think about these new heroes, who are fighting for literacy at grade...

A Clean Sweep: Voters in Seven Kent Districts Approve Funding Requests

Tuesday was a good day for schools and students in Kent ISD, as voters approved tax proposals in all seven districts that requested them. Residents supported requests ranging from $3.6 million to $76.1 million in Caledonia, Comstock Park, East...

Don’t Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes

MEMO to Legislators FROM: Registered Voters RE: Our Vote on Proposal 1 DATE: May 5, 2015 SUBJECT: Don't Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes Many of you are now trying to figure out what we -- the voters -- said in our votes on...

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...

Nonprofit Helps Students Boost Test Scores, Confidence Through Free Private Tutoring

Townline Elementary School fourth-grader Kadyn Toris has made huge gains in reading since he began receiving private tutoring at Streams of Hope. Since second grade, Kadyn has attended a total of six 12-week sessions inside the food pantry at the...
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