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Test Stress: Weighing Balance of Time, Data, Effort

Comstock Park High School Principal Steve Gough knows too well the stress of cramming more testing into the classroom -- and crowding out valuable instructional time. Comstock Park juniors this year are spending more time on standardized tests due to...

Amid Mounting Pressures, Districts Face Changing Tests and Schedules

Following months of back-and-forth debate from the state concerning Common Core, the national set of educational standards, teachers and administrators now are preparing for a revised version of the old MEAP test to be given this spring. The MEAP was...

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,...

Turning Around a Low-Performing School

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’...

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

 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...

Offering Help Where It’s Needed, School and Home

When Rosalba Cruz was facing eviction from her mobile home because she was behind on rent, her daughter Anahi noticed she was stressing out. The fifth-grader at Alpine Elementary School suggested someone who might help. “There’s a person that speaks Spanish...

Stop the Churn

Another day, another seismic shift in Michigan education. Educators returned from their holiday break to learn, at 10:22 a.m. on a Wednesday, that Michigan had switched its college entrance exam from the ACT to the SAT. Just a handful of...

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...

‘I’ll be Forever Grateful,’ Single Mom Says of Community’s Help

Flossie Bliss has a strong faith in God, but her faith in people has been renewed. The Cedar Springs single mother of four was astonished by the generosity of community members who came to her aid after they read of...

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...

Girls vs. Boys in School: A Growing Gap

While women have overtaken men in college-going rates and college degrees in recent decades, K-12 school girls have outperformed boys for nearly a century, studies say. One of the most comprehensive is “The Rise of Women: The Growing Gender Gap...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Beyond Reading and Writing: School Nurses Serve Main Point of Contact for Many Low-Income...

Editor's Note: The Burden of Poverty: A Backpack of Heartache is a continuing series examining the problems poverty creates for students and their families, plus the schools and strategies that are helping disadvantaged students succeed A student stays home sick because of problems with...
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