Few students – and fewer parents — love doing homework. This week, the Detroit district board began considering a policy that would set limits on how much time students should be expected to spend on homework. Some educators fear that homework performance could actually be a reflection of how much support students get, not their academic ability.
We’re curious about how much homework your students are doing now and how you feel about it. Let us know by filling out this form. Your answers might be the basis of a future story.
In other news, a national report on preschools says that English language learners in Michigan are not getting all the support they need, and the main district board proposed a slow and deliberate process for identifying schools that could be renamed. The earliest any change might start to happen would be this summer.
Finally, our own Erin Einhorn won two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists chapter in Detroit. They include a third-place prize for this piece describing the inner workings of rebuilding the Detroit school district, and a first-place for this story that detailed how the teacher shortage and competition are creating instability in the city’s schools.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the warmer weather predicted for this week. Being survivors of the coldest April in more than 140 years is an accolade we don’t need!
— Julie Topping, Chalkbeat story editor
- The main district is considering a policy that would set limits on how much homework teachers can assign.
- As the district school board considers whether some schools should get new names, it spelled out the process it plans to use to make those decisions.
- An advocate urged Detroit schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to reconsider his plans to create special schools for children with disabilities. (Read our story about Vitti’s ideas, which run against some trends in special education.)
- Thirteen Detroit schools were closed because of power outages on Monday and some remained closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Educators discussed the impact of school choice on Detroit’s schools at a university forum in Detroit.
- School safety and budgets were discussed as dozens of business officials from Michigan schools gathered in Detroit this week.
- Michigan Radio revisited our February story about how a washing machine reduced absenteeism at one Detroit school.
- An international robotics competition is expected to draw 35,000 people to downtown Detroit.
Across the state
- Michigan scored in the top half of states for preschool quality standards, but didn’t do so well when it came to how it served English language learners.
- Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed spending $20 million on school security upgrades. He did not mention guns in his proposal.
- The state education department is holding workshops to encourage high school students to earn college credit. A new national report, meanwhile, urges families to read the fine print on dual enrollment classes meant to make that happen.
- An annual report on the state of children in Michigan shows fewer children are living in poverty but most high school graduates are not ready for college.
- An education advocate writes that Michigan must make systemic changes to transform K-12 education.
- A Grand Rapids Catholic school filed suit last month to overturn the state’s ban on using public funds for private education, arguing it is “anti-Catholic” and violates the U.S. Constitution.
- A Michigan teacher of the year offers these five ways to motivate students.
- As part of its series on fixing Michigan’s schools, the Detroit News heard two solutions this week: Prepare every child with an education based on “rigorous broad skills,” and make sure business, labor, and parents work together. (Also, a union leader writes that standardized testing is dull learning.)
- Classes were cancelled Friday at a Jackson high school after bullets from outside the school struck two occupied classrooms. No one was hurt.