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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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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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Law on Takeovers of Underperforming Schools

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld a law that changed how the state intervenes with schools that consistently perform poorly. The court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the constitutionality of a law that shifts the operational control of a poorly-performing school from the elected school board to unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions.

Youngstown, Ohio, argued that the law stripped school boards of its power, according to AP News. The court said the school boards are currently set up in a way that does not require school board to receive any specific power.

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Ohio Schools To Remain Closed Through End of School Year, Governor Announces

Ohio schools will stay closed through the rest of the school year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday.

DeWine originally closed the schools starting at the end of March 16. He then extended the order, which was originally slated to end on April 3, to May 1. On Monday, he announced that schools would stay closed through the end of the school year.

“We’ve flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left — many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn’t be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved,” DeWine said on Twitter. “We have to think about the risk to teachers, students, and our communities.”

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Thales Academy Offers Free Online Coursework for K-5 Students

Thales Academy in Tennessee is offering free online learning coursework to families in the Franklin area to help offset the government-mandated shutdown of schools considering the coronavirus, the academy announced on Wednesday.

“Our mission at Thales Academy has always been to provide the highest quality education at the lowest possible cost for as many children as possible,” said Bob Luddy, founder of Thales Academy, in a statement. “We hope by offering remote learning free of charge that Franklin area families can help their children continue to grow academically during this time and experience our strong Thales Academy curriculum firsthand.”

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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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State Commission Report: State and Local Education Funding for K-12 Exceeded Basic Education Program Requirements by $2.1 Billion in 2017-18

According to a state commission report that studied education funding for fiscal year 2017-2018, the combined state and local government funding exceeded the Basic Education Program (BEP) funding formula by $2.1 billion.

The report, “K-12 Public Education Funding and Services,” was prepared by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) at the request of then Chairman of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee Charles Sargent in April 2018.

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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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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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Parents Attend Thales Academy-Franklin Informational Meeting, Learn About the School’s High Quality, Affordable Education Option

  FRANKLIN, Tennessee – A crowd of about 50 parents,  grandparents, and Tennessee Star Report All-Star panelists came out to hear first hand the announcement from Thales Academy founder Bob Luddy on Tuesday night that Thales Academy-Franklin will open its doors beginning in July of 2020, and will offer Middle…

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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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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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School Districts Push A Return To Busing, Despite Their Own Data Suggesting It Won’t Reduce The ‘Achievement Gap’

Multiple school districts across the country are considering busing-style programs to distribute impoverished students equally, but data suggest that such proposals would not reduce an achievement gap between poor students and their wealthier schoolmates, analyses by the Daily Caller News Foundation and others found.

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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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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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JC Bowman Commentary: Grow Your Own Teachers

Tennessee is a unique state, not only because we have the greatest citizens, but because of our geography.  We border eight states.  That can be an advantage and a disadvantage at times.  When economic times are good, people want to relocate to our state.  When economic times are difficult, it allows residents to move to a neighboring state and pursue more money in their chosen occupation.  In education, we lose teachers to our border states on a regular basis.

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Commentary: The Self-Indulgent Ignorance of Today’s Education Establishment Prospers at the Expense of America’s Children

classroom

The 2020 elections will afford us the chance to pass judgment on the immediate threat to our democracy posed by the intelligence agencies, the Democratic party, and the media in their grab for power through a bastardized impeachment process. But no such opportunity exists for us to deal with the most serious, most fundamental threat to our way of life, namely our thoroughly rotten educational establishment.

The problem has been festering for decades, and keeps getting worse.

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Leading Schools Series: Iowa’s Rocket Manufacturing, a Student-Run Business

Like Cardinal Manufacturing in Strum, Wisconsin, Rocket Manufacturing in Rock Valley, Iowa takes “hands-on learning” to a whole new level. Both programs run actual manufacturing businesses with real clients, providing students with work experience in the trades before they even graduate from high school.

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Commentary: Student Frustration with the Flawed Textbook Market Is Justified

Dozens of student government executives wrote a letter recently urging the Department of Labor to block a merger between two giants of the textbook industry. In May, McGraw-Hill and Cengage announced they would be pursuing a merger. As two of the five major textbook publishers that currently have 80 percent of the market, this merger would form the second-largest textbook publisher in the US.

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FEATURE: Midwest Educators Call for More Career and Technical Education

In July 2018, President Donald Trump signed the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” into law. The bill reauthorized the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides an “increased focus on the academic achievement” of CTE students, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

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A Primer on Collaborative Conferencing

The Tennessee General Assembly was clear in 2011 that they wanted to get politics out of our public schools while supporting teachers’ rights to fight for higher wages and better working conditions. Professional Educators of Tennessee fervently supports the right of educators to discuss working conditions and salary with their employers.

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Fate of Struggling Michigan School District Unclear after State Solvency Plan Rejected

by Scott McClallen   The fate of Benton Harbor High School remains unclear after school district officials last week rejected a state plan to improve poor academic performance and pay down the district’s high debt. The state initially said it had agreed with the school district on a plan to improve…

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Commentary: Government Run Schools Are Bad for Children, So Opt Out

by Lawrence Reed   The evolution of the control of educational institutions from entirely private sources to local government schools and then to control by state departments has culminated with the creation of our federal Department of Education. At all levels, government has increasingly exercised bureaucratic power over education in…

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Tennessee Students Still Struggle After Common Core ‘Rebranded’

  Students attending K-12 public schools in Tennessee are struggling to perform above average on national standardized tests. Partially adopted in 2010 and fully implemented by the 2013-14 school year, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) failed to produce the academic results expected. The Tennessee Department of Education and Governor Bill…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Importance of Mentors for Teachers and Administrators

Our suggestion is to ensure that money is included in the future Basic Education Program (BEP) to allow for mentorship to occur, either by utilizing highly effective retired educators or granting stipends to experienced classroom teachers with a proven track record in classroom management.

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Ohio Middle School Forced to Close After Refined Uranium Found Inside

  Zahn’s Corner Middle School was forced to close early for the summer due to high concentrations of uranium found inside. Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a nuclear plant in Pike County, Ohio, is the only known source of the high levels of uranium and neptunium-237 found in the school and air. The…

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