Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: School letter grades head to the governor

Good morning!

The state of Michigan will likely soon start giving A-F grades to every school in the state. Despite last-minute objections from the interim state schools superintendent who warned that the proposed grading system could violate federal law, a grading bill was approved by the state Senate last night and is on its way to the desk of a governor who has signaled plans to sign it. Check back with us later today when we’ll have more details about the bill, including the factors it will consider in calculating grades.

Also this morning, check out my update on the Hope Starts Here initiative. The $50 million effort led by the Kresge and W.K Kellogg Foundations to build preschools, train teachers, support parents, and create the tools needed to make young children healthier and better prepared for school was rolled out with great fanfare last year. Since then, the leaders of the two foundations have been fairly quiet about their work. That’s why I checked in with Kresge and Kellogg this week for more about what’s happened in the first year of the initiative. Here’s what I learned.

And, check out Lori’s story about the anxiety Detroit’s main district is creating for charter schools operating in leased district buildings. Though the district hasn't yet decided whether to renew leases on those buildings, school leaders say it’s unsettling to see district staff walking their halls, assessing the dimensions of their classrooms.

Read on for more on these stories plus the latest on a new report from Betsy DeVos’ office that aims to curtail an Obama-era effort to reduce racial disparities in student discipline. Thanks for reading!

— Erin Einhorn, Bureau Chief


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


A-F Schools would get grades in five categories under legislation the lame duck state Senate voted to approve yesterday. The grades would supercede the grading system Detroit leaders have been working for months to develop for city schools. The Detroit News AP MLive Bridge

HOPE STARTS HERE An ambitious early childhood initiative run by two major foundations is working to create new schools and push sweeping policy proposals. But funding so far has been largely focused on improving existing programs, rather than creating new ones. Chalkbeat

SIZING THEM UP If the main Detroit district ends the leases for charter schools operating in district buildings, hundreds of charter school students could be displaced. Chalkbeat

DISCIPLINE Trump administration officials said the Obama-era guidelines designed to curb suspensions for students of color should be scrapped, arguing they made schools less safe. Chalkbeat

PRINCIPALS Detroit’s main district is ramping up pressure on principals who are summoned to quarterly data presentations with the superintendent, his staff and other principals to discuss what’s happening in their schools. The Detroit News

SAFETY The legislature approved bills requiring all Michigan schools to have safety plans to prepare for school shootings. Detroit Free Press

GOOD FOR YOU Some early childhood education centers are partnering with community groups to teach young children about healthy eating. Model D