state of opportunity http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org en What can parents do to help close the achievement gap? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/what-can-parents-do-help-close-achievement-gap <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thousands of children across Michigan will start kindergarten next week, and the truth is many of them won't be prepared to learn. For many low-income children, this will be their first time in a classroom, so they're playing catch-up from the start. Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:37:46 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 659 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org What can parents do to help close the achievement gap? In a Michigan classroom, immigrants learn about English and acceptance http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-classroom-immigrants-learn-about-english-and-acceptance <p>The federal government is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/lawyers-fear-speedy-deportations-harm-minors-110715">still trying to find temporary shelter </a>for the thousands of children who have fled from Central America, often by themselves. Some of them are met by protesters shouting the children&nbsp;are not welcome in this country.</p><p>But in Ann Arbor, <a href="http://msp.soe.umich.edu/">a summer school program for English Language Learners</a> is trying to give immigrant kids the opposite message; that they are valuable members of the community with something to teach.&nbsp;</p><p>Unfortunately for the kids, they have to go to summer school to get this message. For many kids, possibly these<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;10 kids included, summer school is the worst. These students, who range in age from 10 to 14 years-old, are&nbsp;stuck inside a classroom at Scarlett Middle School while the sun shines&nbsp;through the windows. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But this summer program is just one of many things these young people&nbsp;willing to do to succeed in school, and in this country. They’re all here because English is not their first language and they want to improve. They all have different goals. Some&nbsp;want to work on spoken language, others are working on writing English, still others on reading it. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">All of these students bring different skills and life experiences into the classroom. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Some&nbsp;are recent immigrants or refugees, others&nbsp;have been here a while. They are from places as different as Syria, China and&nbsp;Costa Rica.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Public schools <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/types.php">are required to offer educational opportunities</a> for students who don’t speak English as a first language. This summer class is one offering and the school district, in partnership with the University of Michigan, is trying to inspire these young people. <a href="http://www.soe.umich.edu/people/profile/khasnabis_debi/">Debi Khasnabis</a>&nbsp;helped design this curriculum. She says she’s trying to make summer school better- through being a place where students&nbsp;can find some value in whatever it was that brought them to this class and what also led to them needing to learn English.</p><p>Khasnabis wants them to realize that their experience as immigrants means they bring resilience and skills to the table.</p><p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:09:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 657 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org In a Michigan classroom, immigrants learn about English and acceptance 11 years before Ferguson, there was outrage in Benton Harbor. Have things changed? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/11-years-ferguson-there-was-outrage-benton-harbor-have-things-changed <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s not a new story:</span></p><p>A young black man dies after an encounter with police.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">A community takes to the streets to demand answers. Their protest turns violent, and the national media takes notice.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When calm is restored, there are promises. This time will be different. This time things will change.</span></p><p>That was the scene 11 years ago in Benton Harbor, a scene not unlike today in Ferguson, Missouri.</p><p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:24:00 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 656 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org 11 years before Ferguson, there was outrage in Benton Harbor. Have things changed? Which schools are Michigan's most innovative? You tell us http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/which-schools-are-michigans-most-innovative-you-tell-us <p>Making the social media rounds today is some news that the American Academy of Pediatrics <a href="http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Let-Them-Sleep-AAP-Recommends-Delaying-Start-Times-of-Middle-and-High-Schools-to-Combat-Teen-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx">now recommends</a> school should start later for teenagers. The AAP&nbsp;says an 8:30 a.m. start time, at least, would be ideal for teenage brains. That's a good hour later than most high schools around the state begin their first classes.</p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:55:42 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 655 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Which schools are Michigan's most innovative? You tell us Here's what we know (and what we don't know) about the use of force by police in America http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/heres-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-know-about-use-force-police-america <p>Before <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MikeBrown?src=hash">Mike Brown</a>, before <a href="http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/st-louis-police-release-video-calls-city-shooting">Kajieme Powell</a>. Before <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=eric+garner&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;oq=eric+garner&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2599j0j4&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;es_sm=0&amp;ie=UTF-8">Eric Garner</a>. Before <a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=john+crawford&amp;safe=off&amp;tbm=nws">John Crawford</a>. Before <a href="http://ktla.com/2014/08/19/protesters-to-call-for-justice-for-ezell-ford-omar-abrego-in-south-l-a-march/">Ezell Ford</a>. Before <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=%22sean+bell%22&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;oq=%22sean+bell%22&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2250j0j9&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;es_sm=0&amp;ie=UTF-8">Sean Bell</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Before&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=ramarley%20graham&amp;safe=off" style="line-height: 1.5;">Ramarley&nbsp;Graham</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Before </span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-declares-mistrial-aiyana-stanley-jones-case" style="line-height: 1.5;">Aiyana Stanley-Jones</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malice_Green" style="line-height: 1.5;">Malice Green</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120924/NEWS01/309240117/Officers-in-troubled-police-department-deny-assault-as-ad-executive-sues-Detroit" style="line-height: 1.5;">Keenan Ellsberry</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Before <a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=derek%20copp&amp;safe=off">Derek Copp</a>. Before even <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Amadou_Diallo">Amadou&nbsp;Diallo</a>, <a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C1CHXU_enUS596US596&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=rodney%20king&amp;safe=off">Rodney King</a>,&nbsp;or any of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States">other names you might have heard.</a><br /><br />Before any of these people were shot, or beaten or choked by police, citizens have questioned the use of force by police officers in America.&nbsp;</span></p><p>We know that the ability to use force when necessary is central to the role of a public police officer. But who keeps track of when and why police officers use force?<br /><br />It turns out, it's incredibly difficult for average citizens to find out. Police departments don't report how often they use force. Most of what we learn comes from<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.policemisconduct.net/" style="line-height: 1.5;">the extreme cases that make the news</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For a more representative picture, we have to rely on the work of outside researchers.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:00:19 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 654 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Here's what we know (and what we don't know) about the use of force by police in America One way to avoid tears on the first day of kindergarten http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/one-way-avoid-tears-first-day-kindergarten <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A little before 9 a.m. Monday, it’s time to clean up the morning work in the </span><a href="http://firststepskent.org/early-learning-communities/kindercamp/">KinderCamp</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> classroom at </span>MLK<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Leadership Academy in Grand Rapids.</span></p><p>The free, week-long program is happening at four schools in low-income neighborhoods around Grand Rapids.</p><p>At MLK, nine children showed up on the first day.&nbsp; The idea of KinderCamp is to ease kids into the experience of entering kindergarten.</p><p>Sitting on a blue carpet, kindergarten teacher Tina Watson leads a discussion with her KinderCampers.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Can you say, expectations?" she asks them.</span></p><p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:24:53 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 653 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org One way to avoid tears on the first day of kindergarten Former foster care youth says system "makes you feel disposable" http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/former-foster-care-youth-says-system-makes-you-feel-disposable <p>"It kind of makes you feel disposable, and that’s not a good feeling at all."&nbsp;</p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:30:41 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 652 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Former foster care youth says system "makes you feel disposable" More questions than answers about the racial imbalance in Michigan's schools http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/more-questions-answers-about-racial-imbalance-michigans-schools <p>The death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and the resulting&nbsp;chaos in Ferguson, Missouri is&nbsp;an extreme example of the long tail of a racial power imbalance.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:33:17 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 651 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org More questions than answers about the racial imbalance in Michigan's schools "Rich Hill" is the most watchable movie I've seen about poverty http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/rich-hill-most-watchable-movie-ive-seen-about-poverty <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We don't do a lot of movie reviews at State of Opportunity. In fact, we've only&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/movie-review-short-term-12" style="line-height: 1.5;">ever done one</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What makes the documentary&nbsp;</span><em><a href="http://www.richhillfilm.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Rich Hill</a></em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;worth watching is also what makes it rare and worth talking or writing about.</span></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:20:35 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 650 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org "Rich Hill" is the most watchable movie I've seen about poverty Offering a place to call home when home isn't an option http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/offering-place-call-home-when-home-isnt-option <p>Rosslyn<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Bliss leads the way across a boardwalk on a five-acre piece of land on the north side of Grand Rapids to a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;one-story light-brown building. This building is an emergency shelter for kids who’ve been removed from their home by the state.&nbsp;</span></p><p>"We serve ... medically fragile children, we serve children with developmental disabilities, whatever they're struggling with, whatever child comes to our door, whatever their current state is, we take care of them," says Bliss.&nbsp;</p><p>This campus is run by D.A.&nbsp;Blodgett - St. John's in Grand Rapids.</p><p>This building is exclusively for kids who’ve been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect and have nowhere else to go.</p><p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:21:00 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 648 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Offering a place to call home when home isn't an option