Education, schools, and learning

jar of change
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Nearly 10 years after the recession, school funding is still way down in some states. That's according to a new report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

According to the report, 35 states provided less overall state funding per student in the 2014 school year than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold. In 27 states, local funding per student fell over the same period.

Scantron Test Form
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For decades, grading students - from A to F - has been a standard method of measuring and communicating their skill, understanding, and mastery.

But could our current system of tying students' knowledge to grades actually be doing more harm to students than good? An increasing number of educators and researchers think so.

Educator Chris Crouch wrote for The Huffington Post:

Girl in lab
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Only 16 % of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.

Even when students pursue a college degree in a STEM-related field, only about half end up working in a related career.

Young boy doing homework
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When a student is identified as gifted, they are often given access to resources to help them flourish. Things like accelerated classes, individualized learning plans, and academically rigorous instruction.

But critics of gifted and talented programs argue that they reinforce race and class opportunity gaps. That may be because students of color are underrepresented in gifted programs relative to white students.

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If you plan on sending your kid to full-time day care or preschool, you better start saving.

That's because the average cost of child care in the U.S. now tops the average cost of in-state college tuition, according to a new report from the think tank New America.

Preschoolers at a table
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Research shows black students receive harsher discipline than their white counterparts. They are more likely to be suspended and expelled from school, putting them at higher risk of falling into the school-to-prison pipeline.

Piggy Bank
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I know, I know. School just started and here we are already talking about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA application period used to start January 1. But for the 2017-2018 academic year, it launches three months sooner on October 1, 2016. 

Here are some things you need to know if you decide to sit down at the computer this weekend to start your application:

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The White House released a summary last week detailing why trauma-informed schools are essential to student success.

Specifically, it focused on the educational barriers girls face when they’ve survived traumatic experiences like abuse, neglect and homelessness, and the need to rethink discipline policies to provide them with support.

Mom and kids
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Finishing college and obtaining a degree is challenging. Debt, work and other responsibilities often stand in the way. The path to college graduation can be particularly difficult for students who also have kids.

Nearly 5 million college students are parents of dependent children, according to the Institute of Women's Policy Research (IWPR). That's 26% of all college undergraduates.

And almost half of them are single mothers, 89% of whom are low-income.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

How many kids are in a typical classroom in Michigan?

That’s a tough question to answer. And believe me, we’ve tried

But a new report from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan gives a clearer picture of class sizes in Michigan’s public schools.