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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.

A picture of Law Elementary, one of 38 schools in Michigan slated for possible closure.
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

You may have heard that the state is planning to close as many as 38 schools by this summer, the bulk of which are in Detroit. That’s a big deal for a whole lot of families, and so far, the state isn’t giving them much guidance about what to do. So let’s walk through where things stand.

boy doing homework
PacificLegalFoundation / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There are more than 1.3 million homeless students in the United States - a number that has nearly doubled in the last decade.

Stack of money
Pictures of Money / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

State funding for higher education in the U.S. is showing continued growth overall. That's according to the results of the latest Grapevine survey, an annual compilation of data on state fiscal support for higher education.

State funding rose by 3.4% across the U.S. from the 2015-16 to 2016-17 fiscal years. James Palmer is a professor of higher education at Illinois State University and Grapevine Editor.

three girls on stage in flapper costumes
Courtesy of 4th Wall Theatre Company

Did you ever dream of seeing your name on a Broadway marquee as a kid?

If so, you probably have some fond memories of memorizing lines and making costumes for school plays. But for kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities, finding a spotlight isn’t always easy.

.sarahwynne. / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Do you remember what it was like being a teenager? You had to deal with hormone and body changes. It felt like no one understood you and you may have had trouble understanding your own feelings.

Being a teenager can be tough. But it can be even harder when a child is dealing with depression.

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

From a new U.S. education secretary to conversations about school closures, it has been a busy week in education news. As we head into the weekend, let's take a look at some stories you may have missed.

1. Betsy DeVos Confirmed As Education Secretary

Person typing on laptop
Ministerio TIC Colombia / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Federal Communications Commission is telling nine network service providers they won't be able to participate in a federal program designed to provide internet services to low-income consumers - at least for now.

Betsy Devos was confirmed as U.S. Education Secretary on Feb. 7, 2017.
BetsyDeVos.com

Michigan's own Betsy DeVos is now the most powerful education official in the nation. So what does that mean for Michigan? Let's start our story in Detroit, where DeVos played a big role in pushing for more school choice in the district.

Girl eating peach
Bruce Tuten / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

If you follow State of Opportunity regularly, then you know we've talked quite a bit about food deserts – places where fresh fruits and vegetables are in short supply.

baby laying down reading
Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As the week winds down, many of us are looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. I thought I'd share some recommended reading – and listening – for you to check out if you have some free time this weekend:

1. How Segregated Schools Built Segregated Cities

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