State of Opportunity

Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

State of Opportunity is a special project produced by Michigan Radio with major financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The project features documentary reports, first-person storytelling, youth journalists, an online portal, and Michigan Radio’s Public Insight Network.

The goal is to expose the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.

What determines how long we live? Is it our lifestyle choices?

What we eat. Whether we exercise. If we go to the doctor regularly. Whether we smoke or use drugs.

a urine sample.
publik15 / flickr

Zero. That's how many welfare recipients have tested positive for banned drugs since Michigan started drug testing welfare beneficiaries, according to The Guardian.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation in December 2014, and the one-year pilot program began last fall.

Tires litter the lawn in front of an abandoned house on Detroit's west side
Andrea Claire Maio / Apiary Projects

I went to a workshop last month called "Why in the D?," which was put on by students at Cody’s Academy of Public Leadership. The point of the day was not to talk about schools; it was to talk about something much closer to home: where they live and the outsize role their neighborhoods have on their lives. 

Apartment building
Paul Sableman / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Obama administration proposed new rules last week that would help poor families afford to live in more expensive neighborhoods.

Dad and Baby
J.K. Califf / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Yesterday was Father's Day, and whether you're a biological, foster, an adoptive father, stepdad, grandfather, or father figure, we hope you had a great one.

The definition of fatherhood is changing. Dads are breaking out of the boxes of disciplinarian, breadwinner, and masculine role model.

Kids and teacher
U.S. Department of Education / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

State of Opportunity has reported on the importance of early childhood education time and time again.

jail cells
miss_millions / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its annual Civil Rights Data Collection. And for the first time it includes information about the days and hours of educational programs at juvenile justice facilities.

School Lunch
DC Central Kitchen / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Hi, State of Opportunity fans. This is going to be a pretty quick blog post, since I just want to revisit something I talked about a while back.

It's that time of year again. Children across the country are gearing up for summer break.

Young boy doing homework
Eric Cuthbert / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School districts get a certain amount of money from the state based on the number at-risk students they have.

The money goes towards resources that help schools meet the greater challenges of educating these students. Things like professional development for teachers, improving curriculum, enhancing parental involvement, and providing other activities tied to raising student achievement.

Allison Meier / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, the U.S. Department of Education released its 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) results. The CRDC is an annual survey of all public schools and school districts in the country. The new data reflect more than 95,000 public schools and more than 50 million students.

The survey measures student access to courses, programs, instructional and other staff, and resources — as well as school climate factors, such as student discipline and bullying and harassment — that impact education equity and opportunity for students.