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Last Updated: 10/31/2017
 

 Article of Interest - Michigan: Gongwer News Service

starMI Study: Urban Teachers Less Qualifiedstar

"When you go to any teacher college around this state, a larger proportion of teachers want to teach in the suburbs...Teachers are humans. Teachers like to get paid as much as they can."

starMI Bill Would Require Milk Vending Machines in Schoolsstar

"...the increased rate of obesity among adolescents and diabetes among children indicates students are drinking too much pop."

 

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STUDY: URBAN TEACHERS LESS QUALIFIED
Gongwer News Service, April 30, 2003

While the overall teaching pool in Michigan is high-quality, teachers in urban districts are more likely to not meet federal highly qualified teacher requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act either because of overall competence or because they are not certified in the area they are currently teaching, according to a study released Wednesday by the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University.

The study showed that teachers in urban districts are three times less likely to be highly qualified under the state and federal definitions in their main teaching assignment than are teachers in suburban and rural districts. Similar statistics follow teachers in schools with high percentages of students receiving free or reduced lunches (an indicator of poverty) and schools with predominantly black populations.

"The data show that students' access to highly qualified teachers is dependent on their race, socioeconomic background and school setting," said Debbi Harris and Lisa Ray, the authors of the study. "This is precisely the type of pattern that NCLB seeks to eliminate."

T.J. Bucholz, spokesperson for the Department of Education, said the findings of the study are not surprising. "When you go to any teacher college around this state, a larger proportion of teachers want to teach in the suburbs," he said. "Teachers are humans. Teachers like to get paid as much as they can."

Mr. Bucholz said recruiting teachers to urban districts and keeping them there has been an issue the State Board of Education has been trying to address through such things as a trial program allowing emergency teaching certifications to certain people for Detroit Public Schools. "Detroit Public Schools has had a tough time keeping high quality teachers they recruit because the surrounding suburbs are able to pay $10,000 to $12,000 more," he said.

The study authors suggested the state offer grants to urban districts to supplement teacher salaries or to forgive student loans. Mr. Bucholz said the ideas would be good if the state had the money to implement them. "If times were better the state could take a serious look at that possibility," he said.

BILL WOULD REQUIRE MILK VENDING MACHINES IN SCHOOLS
Gongwer News Service, April 30, 2003

Schools would have to offer as many vending machines selling milk as machines selling pop, according to SB 426, introduced by Sen. Virg Bernero (D-Lansing) Wednesday.

Mr. Bernero said in a news release the increased rate of obesity among adolescents and diabetes among children indicates students are drinking too much pop.

"Kids today drink twice as much soda pop as milk, exactly the opposite of 20 years ago," he said. "In many of our schools there is a pop machine in virtually every corridor ... Studies show when milk is presented on an equal footing with pop, over 50 percent of students will chose calcium-rich milk."

Mr. Bernero said his legislation enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

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