Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Is a ‘grand bargain’ in store for Michigan schools?

A “grand bargain” for Michigan schools. A volunteer effort to help kids with literacy before the third-grade reading law takes effect. A new plan to keep a proposed Detroit A-F letter-grading system for schools.

Good morning! We have lots of education news for you today.

On Wednesday I was among hundreds of people who attended an Education Trust-Midwest event about inequities in education. The gathering featured John King, Jr., the former U.S. Secretary of Education, who said Michigan is ready for a “grand bargain”-style plan similar to what transformed Massachusetts schools more than two decades ago.

Here’s my story from the event, which happened at roughly  the same time the Detroit school district formally announced its plan to bring literacy volunteers into schools. District and some community leaders are spearheading the effort to help students who might be held back under Michigan’s demanding third-grade reading law, which kicks in during the next school year. I wrote about the “Let’s Read” program last month.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti presented a plan to lobby state leaders to allow for a separate A-F letter-grading system for district and charter schools. It’s the latest pushback against the controversial system Michigan lawmakers approved in their lame duck legislative session in December. If you’ll recall, leaders from the state education department have raised questions about whether the law is legal and if it could cost the state federal funds.

Last night’s meeting was the first for the district’s newest school board member, Corletta Vaughn. Koby has a story about Vaughn — a church leader, author, and reality show personality — that looks at how she got elected and what she plans to do.

Read on for more Michigan education news and have a great day!

Lori Higgins, senior reporter

PHOTO: Lori Higgins/Chalkbeat
Former U.S. Secretary of Education John King speaks about education at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Wednesday, Jan. 16.

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


READING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED The Detroit school district launched a new initiative to bring volunteers into schools to help young students with literacy. Detroit Public Schools Community District Chalkbeat

TURNING THINGS AROUND A former U.S. education secretary says Michigan needs a “grand bargain” to transform education. Not that “grand bargain.” Chalkbeat

REALITY TV TO ED BOARD Meet the newest member of the Detroit school board, and learn what she plans to do in the role. Chalkbeat

DETROIT GRADES Detroit’s schools superintendent isn’t ready to walk away from the locally developed A-F letter grading accountability system for public schools in the city. Chalkbeat

SHUTDOWN SUBS Some large school systems short on substitute teachers are reaching out to furloughed federal employees. Chalkbeat.

TEACHERS STRIKE Wednesday marked day three of the teachers strike in Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school system. Here are the basics of what teachers there are fighting for and why the district says it can’t pay for it. Chalkbeat

BUS LOOP DATA A four-month review of a new bus loop system in Detroit finds no evidence it is preventing city students from attending suburban schools. Detroit News

HEADS IN THE SAND? Michigan lawmakers have ignored inequities in education for too long, say the writers in this opinion piece. Detroit Free Press

KEEPING TABS ON BULLYING Michigan law requires schools to report bullying incidents, but not all of them are doing it. Michigan Cap Con

ON EQUITY A suburban school district is holding a series of workshops to explore race and equality issues. Oakland Press