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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.

Rev. Jill Hardt Zundel's church in Detroit provides sanctuary to undocumeted immigrants.
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Eight places of worship in Michigan – in metro Detroit and near Kalamazoo – have officially joined a growing number of churches and synagogues across the country that have agreed to house and protect unauthorized immigrants who fear deportation.

woman working on a computer
X Y / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Wednesday was International Women's Day. It was also "A Day Without a Woman," a protest encouraging participants to skip work or school and avoid spending money to highlight the significant role women play in society.

The global day of protest aimed to accelerate gender parity – especially when it comes to the persistent gender wage gap.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The state says 38 schools with persistently low test scores might not have to close by the end of the year. At least, not yet. These schools now have 60 days to come up with a turnaround plan using what the state calls a "partnership" model. We wanted to know a little bit more about what that partnership strategy might entail, so we took a trip to Dearborn to find out. 

TED Talk stage
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

More than 45 million Americans – nearly 16 million of them children – live below the poverty line.

And poverty isn't just a U.S. issue. It's a global problem, affecting nearly half of the world's population, according to DoSomething.org.

person holding phone
CAFNR / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Research shows when parents are involved and engaged in their kids' education, it improves student achievement. Students earn higher grades and test scores, show improved behavior and miss fewer school days.

But with both kids and parents having increasingly busy lives, getting involved can be easier said than done

graduation cap
Amanda Mar / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday moving the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the Department of Education to the executive office of the White House - a move aimed at possibly sending more funding to HBCUs in the future.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents making arrest in Dearborn.
U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT

Miguel and Angel are brothers and they pretty much disagree on everything: TV shows, music, games, even the way they dress. But that stuff’s all pretty minor compared to the big disagreement they have over where they should go if their mom is deported back to Mexico.

Miguel is 14-years old and a proud mama’s boy. He says he never wants to separate from his mom and will go with her to Mexico even though he’s only visited there once, when he was three.

Big brother Angel, who's 15, says he wants to stay here in the U.S. and finish studying.

woman in cap and gown
Schlüsselbein2007 / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Earning a college degree can create a pathway to a better job, higher wages and overall improved quality of life. Studies show that college graduates earn significantly more money throughout their lifetime people with just a high school degree.

mosaic mural of man reading
takomabibelot / flickr

I read a lot during the week when I'm putting together blog posts. Most of what I read I get to share with you, but there are occasions when I don't have time to get to everything.

Here are a few recommendations I think you'll find interesting, as well as a couple of pieces produced by the State of Opportunity team that are worth revisiting.

1. The mile-high promise, and risk, of school choice

Early Childhood Classroom
Charlie Vinz / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Latino students are, on average, approximately three months behind their white peers in math when they start kindergarten, according to a recent report from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute.

For the report, "Making Math Count More for Young Latino Children," researchers reviewed existing research and analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.

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