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U of Michigan after-school program delivers STEM skills to Detroit students

Education Dive – Pat Donachie

“Higher ed institutions and universities are increasingly considering K-12 career and technical education, particularly in STEM fields, a worthy investment to try and create experienced students engaged in career tracks that will likely see a growing gap between open positions and qualified applicants. Earlier this year, the University of Texas at San Antonio announced a partnership with the local school district, as well as local tech companies, to build a new high school focused on coding, cybersecurity and business skills.”(more)

GM partners with 4 groups to boost STEM education

The Detroit News – Melissa Burden

“General Motors Co. has partnered with four new organizations as part of its emerging corporate giving plan that includes a focus on encouraging young people to explore science, technology, engineering and math related professions. The Detroit automaker said Wednesday that it has established new partnerships with Code.org, Black Girls Code, Institute of Play and Digital Promise. GM says with Code.org, it will help train 1,400 computer science teachers who will teach more than 40,000 U.S. students during the 2017-18 school year. GM will help Black Girls Code, which aims to boost the number of minority women in tech careers, to expose underrepresented girls in the Detroit area to coding and technology.”(more)

The Extreme Sacrifice Detroit Parents Make to Access Better Schools

The Atlantic – Erin Einhorn

“For thousands of Detroit families, the daily trek begins in darkness, before dawn. Myesha Williams, a mother of eight on Detroit’s west side, sets out at 7 a.m. to deliver her three school-aged sons to three different schools on opposite ends of the city—and she considers herself lucky. She has a car and a large family that can help share the driving. Total daily journey: up to 93.5 miles, 3 hours. Monique Johnson starts her trek even earlier, just after 6 a.m. when she and her son Shownn, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, catch a ride to a bus stop eight blocks from their home in the city’s Brightmoor neighborhood. There are closer stops, Johnson said, but they’re pitch black at that hour—and dangerous.”(more)

Michigan Girl Power Fuels High School Robotics Growth

The U.S. News and World Report – Lori Higgins

“As the state’s wildly popular robotics season kicks off this month, organizers are noticing a welcome trend: More girls are joining teams and more are taking on leadership roles. That’s key in a state that has invested heavily in boosting education in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – and where there are many efforts under way to get girls into those fields. Michigan has excelled in robotics, the so-called sport of the mind. The state has 411 teams, far more than the second-highest state of California, which has 258 teams. And Michigan teams have a track record of excelling at the world finals, the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/1QFwZRY) reported.”(more)

Detroit’s struggle to write a new chapter for its schools

The Christian Science Monitor – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

“The pictures of Detroit schools infested with patches of mold and dead rodents, with crumbling buildings sporting leaky roofs and buckling floors, have horrified parents nationwide. Those conditions, plus overcrowded classrooms, classes taught by uncertified teachers, and declining pay, have long been a concern for teachers. But because of the outrage over children in nearby Flint, Mich., being poisoned by lead-tainted water, the cries from Detroit are suddenly resonating with a wider, more responsive audience. After more than a decade of losing enrollment and amassing debt largely under state-appointed emergency managers, the Detroit public school district could be on the verge of writing a new chapter for itself – one in which educators, students, and parents insist on taking back control of their destiny.”(more)

Detroit teachers sue district over shoddy school conditions

CBS News – AP

“The Detroit teachers’ union has filed a lawsuit against the district calling for it to repair “deplorable” conditions and remove the state-appointed emergency manager…Teachers claim the health of Detroit’s 46,000 students is in danger…At Spain Elementary School, some kindergartners wore their coats in class when CBS News visited at the beginning of January. In several rooms, it was just too cold for 5-year-olds. School counselor Lekia Wilson led CBS News on a tour, when we noticed a smell. “You can smell the mold through the hallway,” Wilson said. An entire section of the school is closed off, including the gym. It’s been ripped up for a year. “You’re seeing the result of rain coming right into the school,” Wilson explained. Water leaking from the roof warped the wood floor, and now the smell of mildew fills the air…The state took over financial management of Detroit Public Schools in 2009. The district is still $515 million in debt.”(more)