WUOMFM

Education

Education, schools, and learning

flickr user JD Hancock/CC by 2.0

There have been lots and lots of studies on whether additional funding for schools really leads to better outcomes for kids. And, for a long time, some of the conclusions of those studies were a bit mixed.

But in the past year or so, a few new studies have made the case that money does matter for student outcomes. And one study in particular uses Michigan’s Proposal A as the proof.

softball player
Ian Sane / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Participating in school sports is a great way for children to stay healthy. But the benefits go far beyond that. Kids who participate in sports have higher academic achievement, lower dropout rates and they develop skills like decision making, communication, team work and time management.

school bus covered in snow
ThoseGuys119 / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Most of us here in Michigan started our week digging out from the first widespread snowstorm of the season. And many kids across the state enjoyed their first snow day of the school year.

For some families, a snow day means an extra day of rest. But unexpected days off aren't always a cause for celebration for low-income families, whose resources are already stretched. 

Dr. Seuss Books
EvelynGiggles / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Earlier this week I told you about school districts that are hiring virtual teachers to fix teacher shortages.

Not having enough teachers to fill classrooms can have a big impact on schools and the students who attend them - especially high-poverty and high-minority schools.

flickr user Shiyang Huang

I met Jamie Rykse a couple months ago, to talk about juvenile justice reform in Michigan. When she was 17, she was convicted of home invasion and sent to serve four years in adult prison.

This week, I met up with her again to talk about what happened after she got out of prison, how she started helping out at Heartside Ministry, a place she’d gotten help when she was homeless.

three kids using a laptop
Lucélia Ribeiro / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

America needs teachers. The country is facing its first major teacher shortage since the 1990s, according to The Washington Post.

people in graduation caps and gowns
Will Folsom / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Nationwide, each school guidance counselor is responsible, on average, for about 500 students. Their job includes providing students with academic skills support and helping with goal setting and academic and career plans.

And the help students receive can have a major impact on their lives even after high school graduation, according to a recent analysis by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Researchers analyzed data from a longitudinal study that follows 23,000 students who started 9th grade in 2009.

Girl reading book
Personal Creations / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0 / www.personalcreations.com

I love reading paper books. The process of perusing bookstore and library shelves. The feeling of turning pages and the way they smell.

A few years ago, my husband bought me a Nook from Barnes and Noble so I could download e-books and have them at my fingertips. But I must admit that after a few uses, it now sits unused on my nightstand.

Why? Because reading books in print gives me an experience reading e-books doesn't.

And I'm not alone. Over half of kids ages 6 to 17 prefer to read in print, according to a recent report from Scholastic.

Kid hanging upside down at playground
Virginia State Parks / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

By the time they are just 18 months old, kids from low-income families and those from higher-income families display significant differences in their vocabularies.

Studies suggest that by age three, poor children hear roughly 30 million fewer words than their affluent peers. It's a disparity that researchers in the early 1990s coined the "word gap."

rows of desks in classroom facing chalkboard
User neoproton / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There are more than 90,000 kids in Michigan schools whose primary language is not English.

The number of these English language learners has grown 45 % in the past 5 years, according to data from the state of Michigan.

That has districts, and the state, scrambling to train teachers to help these kids learn.

Pages