Michigan Publishes Reopening Guidance for Schools, Allocates $256M

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a set of health and safety guidelines on Tuesday for schools returning to in-person classrooms among the pandemic.

The “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” outlines safety protocols for schools in each stage or reopening and includes information on the proper use of personal protection equipment, disinfecting, spacing in classrooms and identifying symptoms, among other things. Guidance is distinguished by phases and includes both required and recommended protocols.

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Michigan Schools Will Hold In-Person Classes in Fall, Whitmer Announces

Michigan schools will be allowed to reopen and hold in-person classes in the fall, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.

Schools will be required to follow strict safety measures. Whitmer said she plans to release an executive order and a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” on June 30 that will contain the requirements and recommendations for schools. It is currently unclear what those requirements may be.

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GOP Bill Would Withhold Funding from Schools That Don’t Reopen by September

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday meant to incentivize schools to reopen from coronavirus closures by September 5.

Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin introduced the Reopen Our Schools Act Thursday, which would withhold federal funding from schools that don’t open in the fall for in-person learning.

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Michigan Publishes Map of WiFi Hotspots to Increase Accessibility As Residents Continue to Work, Learn At Home

Michigan has released a map of WiFi hotspots available in the state as a way to assist residents who may not have reliable internet access while they continue to work or learn at home during the pandemic.

The WiFi mapping — spearheaded by the Michigan Public Service Commission, Connected Nation Michigan, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and the Department of Education — highlights locations where public internet access is available, such as libraries, public schools and parks. More than 300 locations have already been added to the map, which also includes information about the location and the password used to access the internet there.

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Commentary: The Media-Education-Entertainment-Tech Complex’s Latest Victim

The History Channel premiered a three-part miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant Monday. Produced by the arch-leftist and globalist Leonardo Di Caprio, with commentary by left-wing reparations activist Ta-Nehisi Coates, the show is based on Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography. This is the same Chernow who excoriated President Trump at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and says Alexander Hamilton would have supported Trump’s impeachment.

But I am not interested in revisiting the endless spurious assertions we’re sure to hear from the people who produced what is sure to be another tired, this-is-who-we-are jeremiad pushing progressive liberalism. 

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Michigan Becomes First State to Offer Emergency Food Assistance for Students Through EBT

Michigan has become the first state to gain federal approval for a program that helps families feed students who were previously relying on schools for meals.

Through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program, food assistance benefits will be given to students ages 5 to 18 who would normally be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

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Commentary: We Are All Homeschoolers Now

What does education look like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic?

At the K-12 level, you’ve got problems. At the collegiate level, you’ve got existential problems.

School is out for the year in most locales. More innovative districts are retooling like crazy and trying to do online classes. Parents are looking for cheap or free resources to do the job and keep their kids occupied during our enforced isolation.

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Commentary: Coronavirus Exposes Just How Antiquated and Unworkable the Michigan Education System Really Is

The coronavirus has thrown our entire society in disarray, and no less poignant an example exists than our K-12 public schools. The closure of schools across the country has stopped the normal learning process dead in its tracks.  In a valiant attempt to continue, many districts have sought to leverage long distance learning. Unfortunately, weaknesses in the law, technological infrastructure, and teacher preparation, as well as inequities among students, are barriers to success. For example, the Michigan Department of Education has announced that under the law, virtual learning will not count for funding purposes as “seat time.”

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Judge Warren Commentary: Electronic Learning During the Times of the Coronavirus

With the coronavirus, schools across America are scrambling to put together a hodgepodge of solutions to continue teaching for learning while their buildings are closed.  Many are valiantly attempting to leverage technology to create on-line and virtual learning opportunities. Unfortunately, weaknesses in technological infrastructure, teacher preparation shortfalls, inequities among students, and ill-equipped students and parents are barriers to success.  The information highway has more than one virtual flat tire.

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Whitmer Threatens Removal of Accreditation for Wayne State University

  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Michigan leaders sent a letter to the Wayne State University Board of Governors threatening them with removal of accreditation if it did not adopt a Code of Conduct at its next meeting. The letter comes on the heels of squabbling within the board over…

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Michigan Dems Want to Amend Sex Ed Curricula to Be ‘Inclusive of Same-Sex Relationships’ and ‘Gender Expression’

Michigan House Democrats have introduced a slate of bills to provide what they describe as “much-needed updates to the sexual education curriculum” taught in the state’s public schools.

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New Education Report Highlights Need for Adult Post-Secondary Education Programs, Whitmer Says

A new report from the Lumina Foundation shows that Michigan’s post-secondary attainment rate has grown from 45 percent to 45.5 percent from 2017 to 2018, an improvement that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says highlights the need for increased educational programs.

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Trump Praises Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act During State of the Union Address

President Trump voiced support during his State of the Union Address earlier this week for the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would create a $5 billion annual tax credit for donations to state-based, locally-controlled scholarships. The act aims at giving one million children the opportunity to attend their school of choice.

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Commentary: Ninety Three Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education

In just a couple of weeks, 50 boys with learning disabilities will take to a stage in Vermont, one after the other, to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. It’s a daring experiment undertaken each February at the Greenwood School and its population of boys who’ve struggled in public schools. Diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia, and executive function impairments, Greenwood’s boys stand before an auditorium full of people (and once even a Ken Burns documentary crew) to recite powerful words many adults would struggle to retain.

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Michigan Governor Declares February Career and Technical Education Month

February is now considered Career and Technical Education Month, according to an announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday. Whitmer’s office said the month is meant to encourage students to explore programs that teach skills that are “high-demand, high skill, high-wage career opportunities.”

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Minnesota ‘Teacher of the Year’ Kneels During Anthem, Skipped Meeting with Trump

Minnesota’s 2019 “Teacher of the Year” took a knee during the national anthem when she and her fellow honorees were being recognized at Monday night’s college football championship game.

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Commentary: ‘We’ Should Not Regulate Homeschooling

The desire to control other people’s ideas and behaviors, particularly when they challenge widely-held beliefs and customs, is one of human nature’s most nefarious tendencies. Socrates was sentenced to death for stepping out of line; Galileo almost was. But such extreme examples are outnumbered by the many more common, pernicious acts of trying to control people by limiting their individual freedom and autonomy. Sometimes these acts target individuals who dare to be different, but often they target entire groups who simply live differently. On both the political right and left, efforts to control others emerge in different flavors of limiting freedom—often with “safety” as the rationale. Whether it’s calls for Muslim registries or homeschool registries, fear of freedom is the common denominator.

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Whitmer, Rice File Brief Supporting Challenge to Funding Law for Nonpublic Schools

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice filed a brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday supporting a challenge to a law prohibiting the funding of nonpublic schools, except in the case of transportation.

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Rockford Bus Driver Named Michigan’s 2019 Education Support Staff Professional of the Year

A Rockford bus driver has been named Michigan’s Education Support Staff Professional of the Year for 2019 as part of the Michigan Department of Education’s ongoing effort to highlight individuals who go above and beyond for their schools.

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Percentage of Students in CTE Classes Sees Little Growth, Even As Completion Rate Rises

The number of Michigan students completing career and technical education programs has increased by more than 75 percent over the last four years, even as the percentage of students in CTE classes has stayed roughly the same, according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Education released this week.

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Republicans Call On Whitmer to Restore Funding for Mental Health Program for Students, Pure Michigan Campaign

Several Republican Michigan representatives are calling for restored funding in the state budget for initiatives vetoed by the governor, including the Pure Michigan campaign and programs designed to help students with mental health issues and special needs.

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Dip in Test Scores Correlates with Enactment of Common Core

Fourth and eighth grade students in the U.S. again showed no to little improvement in their average reading and mathematics scores, according to a report released this week, a decrease that correlates with the enactment of the Common Core.

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NAEP Report: Michigan Fourth Graders and Eighth Graders See Dip in Test Scores, Despite Improvement in Test Rank

Despite showing moderate improvements in national rankings, Michigan’s average reading and mathematics scores for fourth and eighth graders have continued to fluctuate around the national average, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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The Star News Digital Media Statement of Principles on K-12 Education

Star News Digital Media is a Nashville-based company that owns and operates five online news sites–The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star, The Minnesota Sun, The Michigan Star, and Battleground State News–and publishes textbooks for secondary school students.

Our reporting on K-12 education is based on our philosophical perspective, which is reflected in our statement of principles.

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Michigan to Host Campus Sexual Assault Summit, Whitmer to Give Keynote

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) will host the fifth annual Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit, according to an announcement today from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former First Lady Sue Snyder. The governor will be giving the morning keynote address at the event.

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