state of opportunity http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org en Muskegon Heights schools were in trouble. Then the district made history. Twice. http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-schools-were-trouble-then-district-made-history-twice <div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><p>There are a lot of school districts in trouble in Michigan.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/cutting-business-equipment-tax-will-mean-cuts-local-governments-and-higher-real-estate-taxes">Forty-five districts</a> are in a deficit. Five districts are <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/treasury/0,4679,7-121-1751_51556_64472-201116--,00.html">currently subject to state oversight</a> under Michigan's emergency manager law. Two school districts completely ran out of money last year, <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/buena-vista-inkster-school-districts-be-dissolved">and dissolved.&nbsp;</a></p><p>Today, in a State of Opportunity documentary, we bring you the story of how one troubled school district survived.&nbsp;</p><p>Two years ago Muskegon Heights made history by becoming the first school district in Michigan to convert entirely to a charter district and turn the operation of its schools over to a for-profit company. It had never happened before in Michigan, or, as far as we've been able to determine, anywhere else in America.&nbsp;</p><p>But this spring, Muskegon Heights schools were in trouble again. Just two years into a five-year contract, its management company walked away from the district. And, once again, leaders in the community had to work with the state to find a plan to keep the district's doors open.&nbsp;</p><p>This, ultimately, is the story of how they succeeded, at least for now. And what lessons we might take for the other school districts in Michigan that are facing financial problems.&nbsp;</p></div><p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:20:02 +0000 Dustin Dwyer & Lindsey Smith & Lucy Perkins 634 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights schools were in trouble. Then the district made history. Twice. 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 How does Michigan stack up when it comes to child well-being? Are you sure you want to know? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/how-does-michigan-stack-when-it-comes-child-well-being-are-you-sure-you-want-know <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Annie E. Casey Foundation</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;looks at statistics that should tell us something about how kids are faring across the country and in Michigan.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The foundation looks at things like poverty, teen pregnancy and health insurance coverage to name a few.</span></p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:43:01 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 631 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org How does Michigan stack up when it comes to child well-being? Are you sure you want to know? Getting rid of a juvenile record is now easier in Michigan, but you should still probably read this http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/getting-rid-juvenile-record-now-easier-michigan-you-should-still-probably-read <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Having a juvenile record can </span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/young-offenders-say-database-marks-them-scarlet-letter" style="line-height: 1.5;">crush the job prospects of a young person</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> exactly the same way having a </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">criminal</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> record does.</span></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:01:49 +0000 Sarah Alvarez & Lucy Perkins 630 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Getting rid of a juvenile record is now easier in Michigan, but you should still probably read this The Boggs School's message to kids is, 'I'm so glad you're here' http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/boggs-schools-message-kids-im-so-glad-youre-here <p></p><p>Over the last year, Zak Rosen and Andrea Claire&nbsp;Maio have been following students and educators at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School.&nbsp;</p><p>Maio<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;and Rosen have done pieces in the series about&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/order-classroom-new-school-works-craft-meaningful-discipline-policy-works" style="line-height: 1.5;">control in the classroom</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, two young students at the Boggs School who are&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/helping-kids-boggs-school-step-their-best-selves" style="line-height: 1.5;">best friends</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and about making school&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/making-school-more-human" style="line-height: 1.5;">more human</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p><p>For the series' last piece, Maio focused on the Principal of the Boggs School, Julia Putnam -- a cornerstone of the school.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/100701840" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/100701840">Julia</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/andreaclairemaio">andrea claire maio</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Putnam met Grace Lee Boggs, the school's namesake, when Putnam was 16 years old.</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Lucy Perkins 629 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org The Boggs School's message to kids is, 'I'm so glad you're here' Some thoughts on race and speech from Michigan Radio's Jennifer White http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/some-thoughts-race-and-speech-michigan-radios-jennifer-white <p>We've recently dedicated a fair amount of time on State of Opportunity talking about&nbsp;<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/do-we-judge-people-way-they-speak">voices and bias</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/why-teaching-kindergartners-how-code-switch-could-be-good-thing">code switching</a>, so I thought it'd be cool to check in with&nbsp;<a href="http://michiganradio.org/people/jennifer-white">Jenn&nbsp;Whit</a>e about what it's like to be one of the few minority voices on public radio. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 628 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org 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 Read nice things about Detroit http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/read-nice-things-about-detroit <p>Today is a big day in the bankruptcy proceedings for the city of Detroit.</p><p>Votes are due from creditors on whether to approve the city's restructuring plan. The Detroit Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140711/NEWS01/307100034/Detroit-bankruptcy-vote-pensions-Detroit-Institute-of-Arts">reports</a> the results of those votes should be made public in about 10 days.&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime, you can expect plenty of think-pieces reflecting on the anniversary of the bankruptcy filing, and what it all means.&nbsp;</p><p>Aaron Foley, of Gawker Media, officially fired the starting pistol yesterday, with <a href="http://detroit.jalopnik.com/whats-detroit-like-a-year-after-the-bankruptcy-1602907194">a piece</a> that began:&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p class="first-text" data-textannotation-id="73fa3c42eb2d8f609bae5a8334cf7a8e" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.25rem; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; text-rendering: optimizelegibility; word-break: break-word; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Get ready, folks! It's time for another progress report on America's most forlorn and depressed city, now even deeper in the throes of bankruptcy than ever before.</p><p data-textannotation-id="66ce04794a29f195c21e039128467b38" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.25rem; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; text-rendering: optimizelegibility; word-break: break-word; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);"><span style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; display: inline !important; background-color: transparent;">July 18&nbsp;</span><a href="http://jalopnik.com/detroit-just-filed-for-largest-municipal-bankruptcy-in-829461482/+aaronfoley" sl-processed="1" style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(65, 127, 185); display: inline !important; background-color: transparent;" target="_blank" x-inset="1">marks the day</a><span style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;Detroit filed for bankruptcy, which means you'll likely be inundated with one-year anniversaries on the topic in the next week. The&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent;">Freep's</em><span style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;going to do it. The&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent;">News&nbsp;</em><span style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; background-color: transparent;">is going to do it. Rumor has it you're going to read about it in&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent;">The New York Times&nbsp;</em><span style="font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; background-color: transparent;">Sunday magazine this weekend. So we decided to get our analysis out a little early.</span></p></blockquote><p data-textannotation-id="66ce04794a29f195c21e039128467b38" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.25rem; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.6; text-rendering: optimizelegibility; word-break: break-word; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Foley's take is worth a read, if for no other reason than that he actually lives in Detroit, which is often not the case with other journalists writing about the city (<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/?p=13296">ahem</a>).</p><p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:38:42 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 625 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Read nice things about Detroit 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? A Michigan library lives the "it takes a village" idea http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-library-lives-it-takes-village-idea <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I’m here all day,” eleven year old Charlie told me proudly.</span></p><p>Charlie and dozens of other kids have set up camp in the youth section of the Michigan Avenue branch of the Ypsilanti District Library. The space, a self-contained set of rooms down one flight of stairs just to the right of the main entrance of the library, challenges the idea of a library as a quiet and orderly place.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 622 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org A Michigan library lives the "it takes a village" idea