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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.

Antonio Thomas and Julieaunna Clark are students at Muskegon Heights Academy high school
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Students in Muskegon Heights are very familiar with uncertainty. They’ve been threatened with school closure many times over the past several years—first because of finances, now because of failing test scores. 

Muskegon Heights Academy high school is one of the 38 schools the state School Reform Office says could close by the end of year if some kind of turnaround plan isn’t put in place.

Graphic of a brain
A Health Blog / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Our experiences shape who we are.

Here at State of Opportunity, we've talked extensively about how Adverse Childhood Experiences—or ACEs—can affect a child throughout their lives. But new research suggests traumatic experiences in adulthood can be just as harmful.

kid holding lunch tray
Tim Lauer / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Children who experience hunger may lag developmentally behind their peers starting as early as kindergarten. That's according to a new study published in the journal Child Development.

Study authors suggest that dealing with hunger in the first five years of life can hurt school performance not only in kindergarten, but for years to come.

Google sign
:D / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The tech industry has a diversity problem.

In 2014, Hispanics made up only 4.4% of the professional-level workforce at the headquarters and local branches of the top 75 Silicon Valley tech firms, according to the Center for American Progress. And blacks made up just 1.9% of these firms.

Google recently released its workplace diversity data, which revealed black employees represent only 2% of the company's workforce, according to NPR. And although the company admits to falling short of its diversity goal, it's taking a step toward changing that with a new campus called Howard University West.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

With award-winning restaurants and lofts going for half-a-million dollars, Detroit's midtown and downtown areas are hot right now. But the view is different out in the neighborhoods.

Baby sitting in box
Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Last year I told you about babies in Finland sleeping in boxes. It's a program Finland's government started in 1938 that provides all expectant moms with a maternity box filled with clothes, bedding, and baby products and accessories, along with a mattress to go in the bottom of the box to create a safe first bed for baby to sleep in.

U.S. Supreme Court
Phil Roeder / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Earlier this week, in an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of bolstering the rights of millions of students with learning disabilities.

The decisions requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards.

Taking a look at the days following, here are five stories about the Supreme Court's ruling you should read to get caught up.

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

Education leaders and policy makers have attempted to improve standardized test scores with strategies like longer school days and smaller class sizes.

But there could be a simpler and more cost-effective solution: school lunches.

flickr/chrisgold CC by-NC

Thousands of young immigrants in Michigan today are living in a state of limbo. 

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to end the Obama administration's deferred action program that allowed these young immigrants to go to school, and work, without fear of deportation. 

classroom desks
alamosbasement / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Got some free time this weekend? Check out these 5 education stories you may have missed this week:

1. Applying for college aid just got harder NPR

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