Education, schools, and learning

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The number of kids in foster care is on the rise, according to a recently released report.

Last year, there were 415,129 kids in care nationwide. That's over 14,000 more kids than the year before.  

COD Newsroom / Flickr Creative Commons

The Center for Michigan’s latest report on improving career navigation and college affordability has received a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Student debt is an issue that is on a lot of people's minds; from the university admissions office, to the family dinner table and even on the presidential campaign trail.

Four in five Michigan residents say that improving college affordability isn't just a suggestion, but an urgent priority for the state.

Brittany Bartkowiak / Michigan Radio

The sun is beaming down on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus on what is likely one of the last summer days of the season. The open space in front of the library is full of students and professors rushing to grab lunch before their next class.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

"I need to find a decomposer."

Bryce Gidley is learning about ecological communities. It just so happens he’s surrounded, immersed really, in long hallway full of ecological communities on display. He’s on the third floor of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, standing in front of a wetlands display, about 50 steps away from his new classroom.

Photo via CMU Facebook

In the wave of data about higher education that the White House released last weekend, one fact emerges that was already painfully clear: The “haves” in higher education have quite a lot; the "have-nots" struggle mightily.

President Obama had been talking for some time now about creating a Consumer Reports-style college ratings system. On Saturday, the president unveiled his much-anticipated College Scorecard.

"You'll be able to see how much each school's graduates earn, how much debt they graduate with, and what percentage of a school's students can pay back their loans," the president said in his weekly address.

flickr user Amanda Mar

Brookings just released a new analysis that presents our most detailed information yet on the student loan crisis. 

Researchers were able to look at information in the National Student Loan Data System, compiling results from a sample of four million borrowers. 

We already know that student debt has exploded in recent years, and now totals more than $1 trillion nationwide. What the new analysis shows is who is behind that debt. And it turns out, the huge growth in student debt hasn't been driven by your average 18-year-old university student. It's been driven by what the report calls "non-traditional borrowers."

Adam Allington / Michigan Radio

Democrats on the presidential campaign trail are pitching their college affordability plans to voters. And they’re (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley) largely united in their calls for debt-free higher education.

Waseem Sarwar / Flickr public domain

You know you are a Michigander when your social media feed floods with first day of school pictures the day after Labor Day. In fact I think I’ll go ahead and offer that idea up for free to the marketing whiz kids over at the Pure Michigan campaign.

This story by The New Yorker's Jelani Cobb is great not only because it expertly chronicles the demise of what was once an academically excellent school in Queens, NY, but also because Cobb takes a deeper look at what really happens to a community when a school closes. Schools are so much more than just a place to learn. For many kids who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, school can also be a place to network; a place to help launch the students out of their current situations. Take the school away and what do you have left? One less opportunity for an at-risk youth to network their way out of poverty.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Imagine for a moment you’re a high school student. You’ve spent the last several months doing everything you can to raise money for the biggest trip of your life. You’re going to France.

But also: You’ve never been on a long-distance flight.