Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Gov. Whitmer’s path to universal pre-K

Good morning! The Chalkbeat Detroit team traveled to Lansing on Friday to check in with some of the people who have the most influence over Michigan's education landscape.

We met first with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who told us in an exclusive interview that she wants the state to offer free preschool to every four-year-old by the end of her first term. It was the first time she’s publicly voiced such a specific goal. Our story took a look at the difficult political path to making it happen.

We'll have more takeaways from our conversation with Whitmer later today, including a full video and highlights of her answers to key questions.

Also on Friday, Lori spoke with members of the state board of education after they spent the morning reviewing dozens of applications for the vacant State Superintendent post. The five semifinalists announced on Friday afternoon include some in-state superintendents as well as top education officials from Minnesota and Georgia. Lori's story is here.

The weekend’s headlines are below, including a short piece from me that boils down to a single fact: The average teacher's  salary in Michigan isn’t just stagnating — it’s declining.

— Koby Levin, reporter

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

BACKSLIDING Teacher pay continues to decline in Michigan, according to the most recent data published by the state. Chalkbeat MLive

FINAL FIVE Michigan’s state board of education took a significant step towards choosing the next state superintendent last week, picking five semifinalists from a field of more than 40 candidates. They’ll be conducting public interviews in coming weeks. Chalkbeat Bridge Detroit Free Press The Detroit News

STANDARDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT National media weighed in this week on Michigan’s year-long controversy over statewide learning standards. They highlighted a partisan schism at the core of the debate: Republicans want students to view America as a republic, while Democrats prefer democracy. Experts say the two are pretty much interchangeable. New York Times New York Magazine

MORE MEASLES A case of measles was reported at a middle school in Birmingham, a suburb of Detroit. The outbreak comes as a growing number of parents in affluent Oakland County are declining to vaccinate their children. But the vaccine is less dangerous than the disease itself. MLive Detroit Free Press WDIV

EFFECTIVE POETRY Writing poems gets results for students, argues the head of a Detroit-based non-profit. Poetry yields improved writing skills, better reading comprehension, and fired-up creativity. Detroit Free Press