February has an extra day this year; why not take your lunch hour (noon to 1 p.m.) on Feb. 29 to join other concerned Michigan residents to discuss student learning in Michigan schools?
The Center for Michigan, Bridge's parent organization, is joining forces with the Detroit Free Press to host an online conversation about ways to improve the school down the block -- and ones across the state. Joining the conversation will be representatives of the Detroit Parent Network and Education Trust-Midwest.
There's certainly plenty to discuss in the wake of the Education Trust's recent report on academic performance by Michigan youngsters. Among the more alarming findings:
"While the poor performance of low-income and minority students has been the subject of intense debate in the past year, national data show Michigan students – from all socioeconomic backgrounds -- have lost ground to their peers across the nation since 2003.
"In fourth-grade math, for instance, Michigan’s white students have fallen from 13th in the nation in 2003 to 45th in 2011 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). White students now rank behind 34 states and the District of Columbia in fourth-grade reading – an important predictor of future achievement."
If you don’t already have one, sign up for a Twitter account.
Be sure to follow the twitter accounts for the host and invited guests: