New partnership, new online focus for student teachers

By CELESTE BOTT

Capital News Service

LANSING – The University of Detroit Mercy is partnering with the Michigan Virtual University to help UDM education students learn to teach online.

Both undergraduate and graduate students can enroll this summer in Advanced Instructional Technology/Teaching in the Virtual Environment. The program, which resembles a student teaching experience, is an introductory course focused on online instruction.

Students will help teach a variety of subjects to high school students in virtual classrooms through the Michigan Virtual University.
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Out-of-state students boost university budgets

By EDITH ZHOU

Capital News Service

LANSING –When the state cuts funding to public higher education, universities generally react by raising tuition. But a second option is to increase the number of out-of-state and international students who pay more to attend.

For example, Michigan State University charges about $12,000 for undergraduate state residents, But out-of-state and international students pay $32,000 – $33,000 each year.

Michigan ranks 9th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled in the state’s 15 public universities, but only 45th in out-of-state enrollment.
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Charter school students learning more, study finds

By CELESTE BOTT

Capital News Service

LANSING – An average Michigan charter school student will learn more in a year than his or her public school peer, according to a new report by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.

The study found that students from Michigan charter schools learn an average of two month’s more of math and reading per academic year.

Twenty-seven percent of the state’s charter school students are from Detroit, and Detroit charter school students gained up to three months’ worth of additional education, it said.
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Push on vocational training would ease curriculum mandate

By CORTNEY ERNDT

Capital News Service

LANSING – A proposal to lower Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements for vocational training students may boost manufacturing careers, some legislators said.

Students who successfully complete one year of vocational training would be able to avoid the mandatory algebra II credit, a credit of science, one credit of the arts, and the online/learning experience requirement.

Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, said, “I really feel that we need to make sure those who have an interest in a vocational skill have an opportunity to learn those skills without being penalized.”
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Tablet computers springing up in more classrooms

By MICHAEL GERSTEIN

Capital News Service

LANSING – How do you keep students interested? Novelty.

As the burgeoning tablet market reaches into the under-tapped field of education, iPads and other tablets are finding a happy home in tech-starved schools across the state. And some teachers say they may have the sought-after solution to the problem of student engagement as their districts appropriate millions of dollars for new technology.

Dozens of schools in Michigan have already purchased iPads for students, and many more are considering the same, according to the Department of Education.

Sturgis High School and Ludington’s Franklin Elementary School bought enough for every student.
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Core curriculum changes deter career training

By CORTNEY ERNDT

Capital News Service

LANSING – High school students are locked into a tougher core curriculum, leading to a drop in vocational program enrollment.

Students have less time to leave their high school building to attend a career tech center program that provides career-oriented courses.

Career tech center enrollment decreased 30 percent the first year the new Michigan Merit Curriculum became effective for the Class of 2011, Michigan Association of School Boards Deputy Director Don Wotruba said.
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Online courses offer students second chance

By ANJANA SCHROEDER

Capital News Service

LANSING – School districts in the northern Lower Peninsula and West Michigan are offering credit recovery programs to allow students to make up classes, work for better grades and stay on the right track to graduate from high school.

The goal is to promote student success, Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan said.

Credit recovery is a way for students, who failed or haven’t finished a course, to take the courses during or after school to catch up and prepare for high school graduation.
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Community colleges, manufacturers team up to fill middle-skill jobs

By YANJIE WANG

Capital News Service

LANSING– With the state’s manufacturing industry facing a talent crisis, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the Michigan Community College Association are collaborating to meet the demand for middle-skill workers.

As technology advances, a lot of jobs require people with the right skills, said Delaney McKinley, director of human resource policy for the Manufacturers Association.

And the shortage could get worse as the workforce ages and skilled workers retire, according to the association.
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Support grows for more preschool education

By CELESTE BOTT

Capital News Service

LANSING – A $130 million initiative for pre-kindergarten education is in the early stages of development, according to the Department of Education.

The initiative calls for more funding for the Great Start Readiness Program, which provides state aid to public school districts and charter schools for pre-K programs.

Through Great Start Readiness, intermediate school districts receive grants to provide preschool education for 4-year-old children from low-income families.
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Bill would replace national school standards with local ones

By YANJIE WANG

Capital News Service

LANSING– Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, has introduced a bill to throw out a new national set of standards for K-12 education adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010.

His bill would replace those standards with local ones.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of standards in English-language arts and mathematics, were developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The national standards aim to give K-12 schoo children the knowledge and skills they need for colleges and careers, and outline expectations for students at each grade level.
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