Education

Education, schools, and learning

U.S. Department of Education

Last week I did a story about credit recovery and one high school's use of the online, after-school program to keep students at risk of failing "recover" credits to stay on track for graduation. But there's just one catch: we know next to nothing about these credit recovery programs.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

We do a lot of stories about what’s not working in education, but today we’re going to flip the script and talk about a school that’s doing really well, especially for students of color and economically disadvantaged students. It’s a rural school called Brimley Elementary in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

LBJ Library photo by Robert Knudsen

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stood in the White House Rose Garden to announce a new program that would change the lives of millions of America's children. At the time, he called it "Project Head Start." 

"I believe that this is one of the most constructive, and one of the most sensible, and also one of the most exciting programs that this nation has ever undertaken," Johnson said of Head Start that morning. 

In the half-century since the announcement, millions of kids, and families, have received services through Head Start. The current annual cost of the program is nearing $10 billion. And yet there's huge disagreement even today about what Head Start has accomplished, or even should accomplish as its mission.

Andrea Claire Maio

  

It’s high school graduation season, and there’s lots to celebrate. Michigan’s four-year graduation rate is 79%, the highest it’s been in years.

But for students of color and students from low-income families, the rate is significantly lower. To bring those numbers up, some schools let students at risk of failing “recover” credits to stay on track for graduation. But are those methods as rigorous as they should be?


Alan / flickr

High school graduations are about a month away. Orders for caps and gowns have been made, and party planning is well under way for many families. Around 10 percent of senior students in Michigan won't make it to that milestone this year, however, because they drop out of school.

Mark Stosberg / flickr

I will be so happy when I don't have to start a story about college with what feels like this obligatory fact: Going to college makes climbing up that economic ladder a lot more likely.

Andrea Claire Maio

Our latest State of Opportunity documentary, Mister Knight's Neighborhood, introduced us to two students at Cody High School: 15-year-old Kaylan and 16-year-old Kevin. Both students are on the brink, and trying to make it to graduation.

 

But one is having a much harder time.

Andrea Claire Maio

Cody High School is on Detroit’s west side, in a neighborhood that struggles with blight, drugs and gangs.

As Cody football coach Jimmie Knight says, "everybody wants to be out the neighborhood ... but more people still stuck here than ever."

So how do you get out? Well, first you have to graduate high school. For students who are on the brink, that’s where Knight comes in. He grew up in the Cody neighborhood, and moved back several years ago to help kids from the neighborhood graduate and find a way out.

Andrea Claire Maio

Mister Knight's Neighborhood: Coach Knight from Apiary Projects on Vimeo.

Today marks the premier of Jennifer Guerra's documentary, Mister Knight's Neighborhood. Listen to it on air at 3:o0 p.m. and 10:00 p.m or listen to it here.

Cody High School is on Detroit’s west side, in a neighborhood that struggles with blight, drugs and gangs.

KNIGHT: Everybody wants to be out the neighborhood, everybody do. But more people still stuck here than ever.

So how do you get out? Well, first you have to graduate high school. For students who are on the brink, that’s where this guy comes in. His name is Jimmie Knight:

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