Michigan Education

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Year-Round School
5:40 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Northern Michigan School District Could Switch To Year-Round Calendar

Credit Baldwin Community Schools

Summer vacation would be cut in half for students in Baldwin under a proposal for year-round school. Other breaks would be longer, however, amounting to the same number school days in a year.

Baldwin Community Schools could make the switch next fall.

Superintendent Stiles Simmons says kids forget too much over the summer, especially math.

“That’s what we found here in Baldwin,” he says. “Our students are losing well over a month of knowledge and skills in the area of math due to the summer vacation.”

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Affirmative Action
5:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Affirmative Action Ban

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Lee Bollinger, a former president at the University of Michigan, about Tuesday's ruling. Bollinger was president during two earlier landmark affirmative action cases.

Affirmative Action
10:30 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to reporters after arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court in October. He's with XIV Foundation CEO Jennifer Gratz, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the justices said the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.

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Detroit
11:45 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Detroit "Grand Bargain," EAA On To-Do List At State Capitol

The state Senate returns this week after three weeks away from Lansing.

Lawmakers have some high-profile issues to address between now and June. That’s when the Legislature breaks for two months in the summer.

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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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