Rise & Shine: November’s election could mean different school board dynamics

Good morning!

Now that the primary election is over, Detroiters are turning their attention to November’s election, which could bring significant changes to the main district.

The election will mark the first time voters will have a chance to weigh in on the changes made in the district since a new school board was elected in November 2016. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti was hired by the board in April 2017 after years of emergency management.

Koby Levin shares how the board’s dynamics could change as nine candidates run for two seats. It could mean a difference in how the board works with Vitti, who has enjoyed consistent support from its members since taking the district’s helm.

In other news, a new study shows low-income students who used vouchers to attend private schools in Indiana saw their math scores drop for several years. The study shatters the theory that poor students benefit from having a choice to attend private schools.

Enjoy your weekend, and keep reading to learn more education news in today’s roundup.

— Kimberly Hayes Taylor, senior reporter

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.


BOARD CHANGES Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s consistent support from the board for his efforts could be challenged after two board members are elected in November. Chalkbeat

SCHOOL VOUCHERS A new study shows that the math scores of low-income students who use private school vouchers drop for years in the nation’s largest voucher program. (Voters rejected vouchers in Michigan.) Chalkbeat

PURPOSEFUL PLAY A $4.5 million foundation grant will help a nonprofit offer students purposeful ways to play at recess in 350 schools in southeast Michigan and western New York. Education Week

FREE CLASSES This state university is offering free training workshops and seminars for the state’s educators so their schools won’t have to pay for it. WSYM-TV

TAINTED SUPPLIES A new report from a research group has found toxins such as asbestos and lead in some common school supplies including crayons, binders and markers. WDIV-TV

STUDENT LEADERS A Detroit student was honored as a 2018 Student Leader. He spent the summer with other winners at summit in Washington, D.C., and they are now interning with a Detroit nonprofit. The Oakland Press

EXTRA CREDIT At least 10,000 people have signed a petition saying basketball star LeBron James, who has started his own school, would be a better fit than Betsy DeVos to lead the nation’s schools. Detroit Free Press