College of Education in the news

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America’s schools are crumbling – what will it take to fix them?

When I was asked to support a federal lawsuit that says Detroit’s deteriorating schools were having a negative impact on students’ ability to learn, the decision was a no-brainer. Detroit’s schools are so old and raggedy that last year the city’s schools chief, Nikolai Vitti, ordered the water shut off across the district due to lead and copper risks from antiquated plumbing. By mid-September, elevated levels of copper and lead were confirmed in 57 of 86 schools tested. Safe water isn’t the only problem in Detroit schools. A 2018 assessment found that it would cost about US $500 million to bring Detroit’s schools into a state of repair – a figure that could grow to $1.4 billion if the school district waits another five years to address the problems. A school board official concluded that the district would have to “pick and choose” which repairs to make because there isn’t enough money to make them all. 
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Detroit businesses and institutions contributing to employee welfare with on-site childcare

Wayne State University has two on-site childcare centers for faculty, staff, students and community members: the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Early Childhood Center and the College of Education Early Childcare Center, both serving children ages 2-and-a-half to 5 years old. Even with two centers, WSU still is experiencing an overwhelming need for additional childcare. WSU's Daycare Implementation Committee works to identify options for childcare in the Midtown area, including expanding on-site campus care.
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Patton Elementary partners with WSU to teach kids about healthy living

Patton Elementary school is involved in several initiatives with Wayne State University to encourage kids to eat healthier and be more active. “We partnered with Wayne State University to provide healthier options for students,” said Patton Elementary School Principal Jean Williams. “They helped fund a program to encourage healthy living, they provided new playground equipment, and helped us form an after-school program to get kids active.” This is all part of a grant received from Wayne State University earlier this year.
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Being smart is about more than an IQ test

A  documentary released earlier this fall challenges the concept of intelligence – and how it’s determined – as it follows three intellectually disabled young adults navigating school, work and life. One of those young adults is a Micah Fialka-Feldman, who went to Berkley High School and is from Huntington Woods. “Intelligent Lives,” directed by award-winning documentarian Dan Habib who has a teenage son with an intellectual disability, will be screened Thursday at Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium.
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One classroom, 31 journeys, and the reason it’s so hard to fix Detroit’s schools

A recent analysis by two Wayne State University professors found that roughly one in three elementary school students changes schools every year — often in the middle of the school year. When the Wayne State professors, Sarah Winchell Lenhoff and Ben Pogodzinski, analyzed data from Detroit district and charter schools in the 2015-16 school year, they found that nearly 60 percent of students who live in Detroit — almost 50,000 children — were enrolled in two or more Detroit schools that year. Many had apparently boomeranged, returning eventually to the school where they started.
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WSU is creating a pipeline for community health practitioners in Detroit

Sarna Sutradhar, a 15-year-old Cass Technical High School student, has a dream to practice medicine some day. But seeing the long road from high school sophomore to doctor is not easy. Fortunately, a program she participated in last summer, the Community Health Career Pipeline (CHP), supported her goal to become a doctor by exposing her to the Detroit food system and the steps she needs to take to prepare for college. Through CHP, she participated in learning workshops and a work-study apprenticeship at the Wayne State University Farmers' Market, which provided her the opportunity to practice nutrition education, public speaking, and promotions. "Our goal is to provide a five-pillar streamlined and connected career development and community health program to support Detroit high school youth to enter college, obtain well-paying jobs, and change the health, economic, and social trajectories of their communities," says Noel Kulik, project director of CHP, a research fellow in the Center for Health and Community Impact, and faculty in the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies Division within the Wayne State University College of Education.  
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Column: Is Michigan committed to its teachers?

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of skilled, experienced teachers in our public schools. Most of us can remember the teachers who have inspired us and left lasting imprints on our lives. And growing research literature confirms our intuition: The classroom teacher is the most important school-based determinant of student success. When we confront our pressing state fiscal pressures, including rising teacher retirement costs, we need to remember that our public schools are investments in our economy and society, and teachers are their most valuable asset.”