Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Recess is finally guaranteed for 6,000 Detroit students

Good morning! Maybe it’s the fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat, or maybe it’s Michigan’s teacher shortage. One way or another, people seem to be thinking about the fall.

For thousands of students in Detroit’s main district, September will bring a welcome change: scheduled and consistent recess.

We obtained data showing that more than 6,000 elementary schoolers in the district didn’t have recess on their schedules. Even when students behaved well enough to go outside, they often had to do so during their lunch period.

That will change next year. School board members changed district policy earlier this year to require recess at all schools.

In other news, a federal judge ruled on Friday that literacy is not a right afforded to U.S. citizens. Kim has reaction from advocates who hoped that the lawsuit would force the state of Michigan to invest more in helping Detroit children learn to read.

Plus, we’re two-thirds of the way to our goal of 1,000 respondents in our annual reader survey. If you haven’t participated yet, please share your feedback on our journalism here. It won’t take more than 10 minutes, and you don’t have to answer every question if you don’t want to.

The work of improving schools doesn’t stop for the summer. Scroll down for more education news.

— Koby Levin, Detroit 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.


RECESS More than 6,000 elementary students in Detroit’s main district were denied regularly scheduled recess, according to a document obtained by Chalkbeat. The new crop of district leaders says the situation is unacceptable, putting the blame on emergency managers who controlled the district for most of the past two decades. The district plans to require recess at all schools next year. Chalkbeat

PHOTO: Anthony Lanzilote
Detroit students play basketball during recess at the Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy.

LITERACY A federal judge ruled Friday that the state of Michigan owes nothing to Detroit children for low literacy rates in the city, arguing that there is no constitutional right to literacy in the United States. An appeal is in the works. Chalkbeat Freep Metro Times MLive Detroit News Michigan Radio Freep

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT A school district in western Michigan just entered an agreement with the state in which the school board will be “advisors” to a new district CEO. But just last week, the state announced that for the first time in 18 years, no Michigan school districts or municipalities were under the control of state-appointed emergency managers. At the same time, one district is entering a similar arrangement. Michigan Department of Education Michigan Radio Detroit News

SAT Michigan teachers no longer need to pass the SAT to get certified. We spoke with a teacher trainer on Monday who said that upon hearing about the law she immediately texted a promising social studies teacher who had found another career because he couldn’t pass the math section of the SAT. Freep

SOCIAL STUDIES The state has extended the deadline for input into new social studies standards, citing a “great level of interest” after Bridge Magazine revealed that the proposed standards eliminated references to the NAACP, climate change, and gay rights. Michigan Department of Education