State gets “fair” rating — or worse — in environmental survey

By MARIE ORTTENBURGER
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Michigan public is dissatisfied with state government’s handling of environmental issues. That’s what the latest State of the State Survey finds. The telephone survey of more than 1,000 Michigan residents explored how they feel state and local government officials are doing on the environment and asked them to rate officials as “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.”
State government is responsible for regulating air and water quality, parks, hunting and fishing, wildlife, land development and alternative energy, among other environmental  topics. The largest group of residents surveyed (42 percent) rated Gov. Rick Snyder as “poor” in carrying out environmental responsibilities, and 32 percent rated him “fair.” Only 2 percent gave him an excellent rating for his efforts on environmental matters. State agencies and the Legislature generally received “fair” ratings for their roles in environmental regulation.

Holt schools meeting state standards, facing achievement gap

By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

At the October Board of Education meeting, Holt Curriculum Director Ruth Riddle reported that six schools in the district have a significant achievement gap. Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Education released a top-to-bottom ranking of schools in the state. The list is based on data collected through the 2013-2014 MEAP tests. Within that list, schools can receive one of three designations: reward, focus or priority. Reward schools are the top 5 percent of schools in the ranking, priority schools are the bottom 5 percent of schools, and focus schools are the 10 percent of schools that have a significant gap in achievement between the highest and lowest scoring students.