A look back at our most impactful Michigan education coverage in 2019

Third-grade Sabrina risks being held back a year at her Pontiac school if her reading scores don’t improve by this spring. Sabrina, right, is “finally at a point where she has an amazing teacher, but she’s had no base” because of a series of uncertified long-term substitute teachers from kindergarten through second grade, says her mother. (Bridge photo by Dale Young)

15,000 Michigan kids take two years of kindergarten. Is Lansing listening?
More Michigan families are intentionally holding back children for a second year of kindergarten, often to save on childcare. The trend, which cost taxpayers $127 million, has uncertain academic benefits but growing appeal among families.  

Choice of Michigan college can make a (million-dollar) difference
A study of federal education data exposes broad differences in lifetime returns on investment depending on which Michigan university a student attends. 

After 3 years of substitute teachers, this Michigan girl may flunk 3rd grade
In quiet, anxiety-filled meetings across Michigan this fall, teachers are preparing thousands of parents for the possibility that their child will have to repeat third grade under a read-or-flunk law that takes effect this school year. 

Michigan leans on long-term substitutes as its schools struggle
As fewer college students graduate with teaching degrees, more than 2,500 Michigan classrooms are being led by adults who lack certification, meaning they can teach science, math or other subjects without any training in education. 

Anguish in Benton Harbor as years of mistakes lead to a school’s likely demise
“I just feel like yall shouldn’t close down the school,” wrote one student at Benton Harbor’s struggling high school. “Because what other high school gonna accept us?”

Fewer students, tepid state funding roil Michigan public universities 
Six public universities in Michigan suffered double-digit percentage drops in student enrollment in the past decade, forcing staff cuts and elimination of programs, even as Lansing keeps a tight rein on university budgets, which often means rising tuition for students.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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