Michigan Education

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Election 2014
12:01 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Schauer: Education Plan "Top Priority"

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and running mate Lisa Brown announced their education plan Wednesday in Lansing.
Credit Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

The Democrat likely to challenge Gov. Rick Snyder in November says improving public schools would be his top priority in office.

Former Congressman Mark Schauer and his running mate, Lisa Brown, unveiled their education plan Wednesday in Lansing.

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Stateside
4:25 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

An MSU physicist believes he has solved the "black hole information paradox"

A simulated view of a black hole. A real black hole can't be observed.
user Alain r Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:47 pm

Ever since Stephen Hawking came out with his theory about how black holes work, physicists – including Hawking himself – have been wrestling with a "hole" in that theory.

Hawking postulated that if you threw something like a chair into a black hole, given enough time that chair would "dematerialize." It would disappear, leaving no trace of its existence.

But the laws of physics don't allow for things to simply disappear. Things can change, or be altered, but they can't disappear. You can burn a piece of paper, and it's no longer there, but the carbon, water, and other molecules still exist somewhere. Again, it can't simply disappear.

It's called the black hole information paradox.

PBS' Kate Becker quoted Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind in describing Hawking's theory in her post "Do Black Holes Destroy Information?":

As Leonard Susskind wrote in “The Black Hole War,” his 2008 book on the problem of black holes and information loss, “The possibility of hiding information in a vault would hardly be a cause for alarm, but what if when the door was shut, the vault evaporated right in front of your eyes? That’s exactly what Hawking predicted would happen to the black hole.”

The solution?

Now comes a theoretical physicist and computational biologist from Michigan State University who believes he has solved Hawking's black hole information paradox.

Chris Adami joined us today on Stateside. (You can listen to how he explains his theory above.)

Hawking discovered that black holes emit a glow called the “Hawking radiation.” That radiation, Hawking theorized, consumes the black hole and all things in the hole are lost. Poof! Nothing left.

Adami theorizes that a copy of the chair is made before it goes into the black hole.

More on Adami’s solution from MSU:

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Paying for College
3:41 am
Wed April 16, 2014

How One Michigan City Is Sending Kids To College Tuition-Free

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Paying for college presents a tremendous hurdle to many families, from wading through paperwork and navigating financial aid to understanding the long-term implications of college debt.

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Stateside
4:58 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

How effective are online classes for K-12 students in Michigan?

Online learning. Make no mistake about it: It is here and it is growing.

The number of students taking online courses has grown 52% in the past three years. In the 2012-2013 school year, some 55,000 students in Michigan took a virtual course.

A new report from the Michigan Virtual University looks at virtual learning for K-12 students –who’s taking online classes, what kinds of classes and how effective the classes are.

The results are mixed.

Jamey Fitzpatrick is president and CEO of Michigan Virtual University, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Student Teachers
5:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Tougher Teacher Certification Test Sparks Debate

Credit The U.S. Census Bureau

University students who are looking to teach in Michigan will be tested as a step toward teacher certification this Saturday.

The new, more rigorous test has sparked debate. It was first administered in October. The pass rates fell from 82 percent to 26 percent.

Education majors have to pass this exam to become student teachers.

The state superintendent said the change helps put the best teachers in the classroom. He says increasing the required test scores will help with that goal.

There are mixed reviews in northern Michigan.

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Michigan Education
5:01 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Michigan Lawmakers Move Forward On Teacher Evaluation Reform

There could be movement soon on bipartisan legislation that would revamp teacher evaluations in Michigan. A number of groups that did not previously support the bills now say they’re on board.

Education advocates, bill sponsors, and lobbyists have been meeting this week to hammer out changes to the legislation.

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Rugby
9:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Tackling The Blues: Traverse Bay Girls Rugby Team Hopes For Fifth State Championship

Amanda Rabb tackles Rachel Walter during a Traverse Bay Blues practice on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Men's coach Mike Szatkiewicz watches the drill.
Credit Sara Hoover

The Traverse Bay Blues have been the high school state champions for the past four years. The girls rugby team hopes to defend its title when the season kicks off this Saturday, April 5, despite the fact that two-thirds of this year’s team has never played the sport before.

The gym at Traverse City High School is full of rugby players getting ready to head outside for practice. Members of the club team are tying their cleats and putting on thermals and jackets. Head coach Stephanie Kehrer is taking them outside for their first tackling practice.

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Around Michigan & State Government
11:14 am
Fri March 28, 2014

MSU Could Lose State Funding For Offering Labor Courses

Michigan State University could risk losing half-a-million dollars if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.

A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to MSU’s recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.

Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.

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Stateside
4:31 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

University of Michigan student-led group encourages young girls to pursue math and science

FEMMES volunteers.
umich.edu/~femmesum/

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 10:56 am

We recently had a discussion on Stateside that explored the question: Why are there not more women in the STEM and Computer Science programs?

After that program, we got an eye-catching email from University of Michigan student Carrie Johnson. She's in the Chemical Biology Ph.D. program, and she is a part of a student-led group called FEMMES, which stands for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science.

When we heard how these students are reaching out to encourage and inspire other women, including holding free Saturday and after-school programs for girls in 4th through 6th grade, we knew we wanted to share their story with you.

Carrie Johnson and Abigail Garrity, a Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Michigan and co-president of FEMMES, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Stateside
3:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Should teachers be held accountable for the achievement gap?

Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:22 am

You don't have to hunt too far to find critics of our schools, of the way our children are learning, what they're learning and the achievement gap within our classrooms.

There are countless ways, countless statistics that try to measure the problems. Here's just one, centered on the achievement gap. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, on 2007 standardized math exams, white fourth-graders performed better than black fourth-graders in all 46 states where results are available.

And we hear a steady drumbeat of criticism that students here in the U.S. are lagging behind their peers in other countries. When you look at standardized tests, American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math, which puts them behind students in Poland and Slovenia.

How much pressure should we put on individual teachers to fix these problems?

Natalie Davis, Alistair Bomphray, and Martha Curren-Preis are teachers who are all earning their Ph.D.s in education at the University of Michigan. They joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

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