State of Opportunity http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org en Detroit kids go to camp to do things they can't do in the city http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-kids-go-camp-do-things-they-cant-do-city <p>This week on State of Opportunity, we’re going to summer camp!</p><p>I spent this past Monday with about 100&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">elementary school students at <a href="http://detroitk12.org/content/2014/06/19/free-summer-camp-awaits-dps-students/">Camp Burt Shurly</a>, a 250-acre campground near Chelsea. The week-long, overnight camp is run by the Detroit Public School district. Each Sunday a new set of campers arrives by bus. There's tons to do here&nbsp;</span>–<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;everything from boating and swimming to arts and crafts, nature hikes and archery. And because the camp is run by a school district, the campers have to take math and English classes, too, to help combat the <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/term/summer-slide">"summer slide"</a> many kids face.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Camp is paid for with Title 1 funds, so it's free for&nbsp;DPS students, many of whom might not be able to afford camp otherwise.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 632 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Detroit kids go to camp to do things they can't do in the city Teaching students how to switch between Black English and Standard English can help them get ahead http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/teaching-students-how-switch-between-black-english-and-standard-english-can-help-them-get-ahead <p>Last week we did a story about <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/do-we-judge-people-way-they-speak?nopop=1">whether people judge others based on how they speak</a>. (Spoiler alert: Yep, t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hey do.) One African-American high school student we spoke to said he hated how often teachers corrected him when he spoke. "Every time you try to say something they </span>gotta<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> correct every line you say. It's like ... I don't want to talk to you now."</span></p><p>University of Michigan education professor <a href="http://www.soe.umich.edu/people/profile/holly_craig/">Holly Craig </a>says that type of "correctional" teaching style is a sure-fire way to turn African American students off from education, and the results play out time and again in standardized test scores for African-American students.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Across the country, black students consistently <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/race-tale-two-gaps-achievement-and-discipline">lag behind</a> their white peers on standardized tests. Experts have been trying to come up with ways to shrink the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140708/OPINION05/140707003/Michigan-student-test-scores">achievement gap </a>for decades, but it’s still there. Craig and a team of researchers thinks teaching kids how to code switch at an early age can go a long way reducing the gap.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 627 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Teaching students how to switch between Black English and Standard English can help them get ahead Do we judge people on the way they speak? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/do-we-judge-people-way-they-speak <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s not hard to find an example of people being judged because of the way they speak.</span></p><p>Take the <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/148905699/george-zimmerman">George Zimmerman trial</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The primary witness for the prosecution was a young African American woman named Rachel </span>Jeantel<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. She was </span>Trayvon<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Martin’s friend and was on the phone with him the day he died. You can listen to some of her testimony here.</span></p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 621 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Do we judge people on the way they speak? U of M's long-running economic mobility survey to add new generation of kids to the mix http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/u-ms-long-running-economic-mobility-survey-add-new-generation-kids-mix <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We're data geeks here at State of Opportunity. And there's a treasure trove of data (and more to come!) housed at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. </span><a href="http://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/llcs2012.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">has been around since 1968 and is the longest-running household panel survey in the world. We're talking tens of thousands of data points from more than 70,000 individuals over more than four decades.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Researchers have mined PSID data for all kinds of economic mobility studies. My colleague Dustin Dwyer <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/science-economic-mobility-marches-forward">blogged about it back in 2012</a> before he went to a U of M conference where social scientists presented their findings using PSID data across three generations:&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">I've already had a chance to look at some of the papers that will be presented, and there are some tantalizing findings.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/people_details.asp?peopleid=457" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">Jean Yeung</a>&nbsp;of the National University of Singapore and two co-authors from New York University looked at the black-white achievement gap across three generations. They found evidence that discrimination in the grandparent's generation had an impact on children's outcomes decades later.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><span style="display: inline !important; background-color: transparent;">Other papers look at the effects of extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins – to see how they affect economic mobility in other countries. &nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p>And now there's a new generation to add to the mix. All of the children in the original cohort will have reached adulthood by this year, so PSID&nbsp;researchers <a href="http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/research/project-detail/35938">will collect information on this new generation </a>of kids ages 0 to 17.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:37:43 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 611 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org U of M's long-running economic mobility survey to add new generation of kids to the mix Meet an elementary school principal who's part "caretaker, nurturer, manager, teacher, and preacher" http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/meet-elementary-school-principal-whos-part-caretaker-nurturer-manager-teacher-and-preacher <p>There are principals and then there's Diedre Zockheem.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As a journalist I know I'm supposed to be impartial, but I've&nbsp;</span>gotta<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> say that </span>Diedre<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Zockheem<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;really is one of a kind. She's the principal at Myers Elementary, the low-income school featured in our State of Opportunity documentary&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/education-gap-transcript-and-audio"><em style="line-height: 1.5;">The Education Gap</em></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Zockheem has been principal at Myers for eight years. She’s just about the most stable thing this school has going for it. There's an incredibly high teacher turnover rate at Myers, and issues of domestic violence, mental illness, and drug abuse plague the families at her school.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I've interviewed </span>Zockheem<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;dozens of times over the last nine months and every time she tells me some story that reminds me a) how tough these kids have it, and b) </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">how dedicated Zockheem is to helping them.</span></p><p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 606 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Meet an elementary school principal who's part "caretaker, nurturer, manager, teacher, and preacher" Michigan makes strides to improve dropout rate data http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-makes-strides-improve-dropout-rate-data <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our colleague </span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/people/jake-neher" style="line-height: 1.5;">Jake Neher&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">with the Michigan Public Radio Network filed a story today on high school dropout rate data.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Turns out Michigan used to be really bad at calculating the dropout rate.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Neher says a 2006 state audit found the Center for Education Performance and Information (CEPI) was "not providing reliable data on high school dropouts." But Neher says CEPI has stepped up its game, thanks i</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">n large part to a new system that "tracks students through their school careers." Lawmakers also passed legislation to allow the state to "access school records that are critical for calculating graduation and dropout rates."</span></p><p> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 12:12:45 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 601 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Michigan makes strides to improve dropout rate data A Detroit diversion program gives teen offenders a second chance at a clean record http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-diversion-program-gives-teen-offenders-second-chance-clean-record <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This is a story about second chances.</span></p><p>When a teen commits a crime it goes on their permanent record, which can lead to all kinds of disadvantages down the road. When they go to apply for a job, for example, they’ll have to admit they broke the law. But a diversion program out of Wayne County gives some <a href="http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/youthcases_youthcourts.authcheckdam.pdf">low-level, first-time offenders</a> a way to admit their guilt and keep their record clean at the same time.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Let’s meet the defendant</span></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chloe (not her real name)&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">was with her friend at </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">J.C. Penney</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Her friend stole a bunch of stuff while they were there; Chloe stole a $30 bracelet. They both got caught before they could run out of the store.</span></p><p>Since&nbsp;shoplifting is a misdemeanor and because this is Chloe’s first ever run-in with the law, she’s decided to take her case to Teen Court.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">This particular teen court is affiliated with the Detroit Public School district. But there are dozens of teen courts around the state and more than 1,000 across the country.</span></p><p>In order for teen court to work, the defendant has to admit up front that she broke the law. Then it’s up to a group of high school students – a literal jury of her peers – to come up with an appropriate sentence.</p><p>"Hopefully they teach me something and hopefully they learn from my mistakes and stuff" says Chloe. "And I hope I leave there feeling relieved that I finally got to talk about it."</p><p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 596 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org A Detroit diversion program gives teen offenders a second chance at a clean record A Catholic high school in Detroit requires students to hold down a job as part of their homework http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/catholic-high-school-detroit-requires-students-hold-down-job-part-their-homework <p>School is almost over for the year, and <a href="http://www.detroitcristorey.org/">one Detroit high school </a>has lots to celebrate. The entire graduating class has been accepted to college. Nearly all of the students live in poverty, and most of them are the first in their family to go to college. So what's the secret to their success?&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">The school that works – literally.</strong></p><p>Four days a week, Idalis Longoria does what pretty much all high school juniors do: She goes to school, takes notes in class, and hangs out with her friends in the cafeteria during lunchtime.</p><p>But on the fifth day of the week, <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Longoria trades in her Catholic school uniform for a pair of light-blue scrubs and makes her way around the birthing floor for her “rounds” at St. Mary’s Hospital near Detroit.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Believe it or not, her hospital rounds are her homework. See, Longoria, who’s 17 years old, goes to Cristo Rey. It’s a college prep catholic high school in Detroit, <a href="http://www.cristoreynetwork.org/">one of 25 around the country</a>. The Cristo Rey schools are specifically for low-income kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford private school. The vast majority of students are either Hispanic, like Longoria, or black.</span></p><p>Here’s how it works: One day a week, beginning freshman year, the students go to work for a white-collar company – a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;law firm, say, or the information technology department at Chrysler. The company, in turn, agrees to pay most of the student’s school tuition.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 21 May 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 588 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org A Catholic high school in Detroit requires students to hold down a job as part of their homework How one teen escaped gang life and lived to tell about it http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/how-one-teen-escaped-gang-life-and-lived-tell-about-it <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gang life is a reality for a lot of kids who live in poor neighborhoods. There are parts of Detroit, for example, where gangs run the blocks. Here's the story of one 17-year old's experience in and out of a gang. &nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">How it all began</strong></p><p>Alberto was just eight years old when he witnessed his first gang fight; it broke out on the sidewalk in front of his house. Just a few years later and Alberto himself was in a gang. He said it started out pretty innocently, just some friends hanging out, fooling around. "But then," explains Alberto, "<span style="line-height: 1.5;">it starts getting more serious. Oh this guy is fighting our home boy, let’s go help him out. You’re like, ok, he’s my friend, he’s been there for me, let me go do the same thing for him. Then you fight, you make new enemies. And it just progresses after a while."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I caught up with Alberto at an after-school program where a lot of former gang members hang out. When he first started telling me about his time in a gang, the first thing I wanted to know was: How violent did it get?&nbsp;</span></p><p>"I had about three friends killed, one or two family members shot at," says Alberto. There were constant shoot outs in front of his house, too. "I&nbsp;grew up with a lot of violence around, so [I'm] hoping that my brothers don’t go thru the same thing as me is a big hope for me."</p><p> Wed, 07 May 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 581 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org How one teen escaped gang life and lived to tell about it From Kalamazoo, two artists full of Promise http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-two-artists-full-promise <p>Since it began, <a href="http://www.upjohninst.org/sites/default/files/promise/trends.pdf">2,828 students</a> in Kalamazoo have used the <a href="https://www.kalamazoopromise.com/">Kalamazoo Promise</a> scholarship to help pay for college.&nbsp;</p><p>This is the story of two of those students.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/roy.almaguer.7?fref=ts">Rogelio Almaguer</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/PandaCushing">Raul Ortiz</a> are both the first in their families to attend college. The two friends are now students at <a href="https://www.kcad.edu/">Kendall College of Art and Design</a> in Grand Rapids. They're using the Kalamazoo Promise to pursue not just a career, but a passion.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 578 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org From Kalamazoo, two artists full of Promise