DeVos commitment to Title IX enforcement unclear


Capital News Service

LANSING — The nomination of Michigan’s Betsy DeVos to be U.S. secretary of education has focused new attention on equity issues in public schools.

One of the many jobs schools have is to ensure gender equity through a federal law called Title IX. But Michigan schools’ understanding of their responsibilities under the law varies, and some activists worry that it will get even less attention if DeVos is confirmed.

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in schools at both the state and federal level, according to the Michigan Department of Education. Schools are obligated to protect not only students, but teachers and staff, as well as ensure their programs and curriculum are free of gender bias.

“I can’t see her standing up for Title IX,” Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, said of DeVos. “It’s just not anything I’ve ever seen (in her record) here in Michigan for over 20 years.”

The MEA is one of the state’s major unions for teachers and other school staff.

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Online courses offer students second chance


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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Push on to pump up physical education in schools


Capital News Service

LANSING – A recent federal study echoes concerns by Michigan health professionals that link the lack of time set aside for physical and health education classes in K-8 schools to increasing childhood obesity.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of public schools indicates that while sports opportunities for students have generally increased, the frequency of physical education classes has decreased.

Noting the “federal government’s role in promoting the health and welfare of children,” the study aims to assist congressional consideration of strategies to increase physical activity among students. Continue reading