Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Michigan to DeVos: Please give refugee students a break

Good morning!

Refugee children who’ve fled wars in the Middle East in recent years must deal with the after effects of violent displacement. They shouldn’t have to face the M-STEP English exam as well.

That’s the argument state education officials made last month in a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that requested an exemption from a federal law requiring states to give students standardized English tests within a year of arriving in the United States. Koby has the story — and the letter.

Issues like these will be front-and-center at our listening session next week when parents of children learning English will have a chance to air their experiences in Detroit schools. The session, sponsored by Chalkbeat, the Detroit Parent Network. Brilliant Detroit, and Congress of Communities will be held at Brilliant Detroit’s house in southwest Detroit from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, September 25th.

That event is one of several we’re involved with this fall. We also co-sponsored a school board candidate forum last night with Citizen Detroit and the League of Women Voters that drew around 150 participants including six candidates. We livestreamed candidate introductions last night and will post a recap of the speed-dating style forum later today.

Read on for more on these stories and the rest of the day’s headlines and have a great weekend!

— Erin Einhorn, bureau chief

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.

REFUGEES Michigan is the second state to ask the U.S. Education Department for relief from federal rules requiring students to take standardized English exams within a year of arriving in the country. Chalkbeat

WATCH Participants in last night’s school board candidate forum had the opportunity to question six of the nine candidates running for school board. Two seats on the seven-member board are up for grabs. Chalkbeat

TEACH The dean of the University of Michigan’s education school explains how the teacher training program in the new “cradle to career” school at Marygrove College will serve both teachers and students. The Detroit News

FUNDING A suburban school leader makes a case for why Michigan’s school funding system needs to change. The Oakland Press

LEAK A tipster inside an elementary school on Detroit’s west side sent a TV station video of rain pouring in through a leaky roof that crews are now working to repair. WXYZ