Review: Reliefband #LifeChangingTech #sponsored

February 24, 2017 by  
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When I was a kid, I wasn’t afraid of motion. Spinning, twirling, rolling – I could do it all. The only times I can remember having an issue with motion sickness were when I attempted to read in the backseat of a moving car, so I learned pretty early on to avoid combining books and vehicles. But I loved amusement park rides, doing underwater cartwheels, and never thought twice about any kind of motion.

In my early twenties, things changed. Suddenly I began feeling nauseous when exposed to sudden motion. Not only was I ill when reading in a car, but even just riding in a backseat caused issues. Amusement park rides were out for good, unless it was a rollercoaster moving steadily ahead with no loops or backwards motion. I couldn’t even take my kids on a carousel when they were too small to go on by themselves, or I would feel dizzy and sick for hours afterward. My husband was, by necessity, our ‘go to’ carousel rider.


Over the years I’ve learned to avoid motion where I can. I sit out on rides at amusement parks and instead take pictures of my kids having a blast. I do my best to sit at the front of buses on field trips or ride shotgun whenever I can during carpools. Sometimes I’m still taken by surprise as during a holiday party last month when I realized about 30 seconds into the planetarium show that I would have to keep my eyes closed the whole time. Virtual reality rides or games are an absolute no for me. I know there are options that could help, but I hate the idea of taking medication, plus I don’t always have time to wait for it to take effect.

For the most part, my kids do ok when it comes to motion sickness, although my 14-year-old has always struggled on long car trips, especially ones full of hills and/or curves. She doesn’t throw up, but her stomach hurts (sometimes greatly) and we end up having to make a lot of stops for her stomach to settle. She can’t read in the car at all either. We’ve tried over-the-counter medication for her, but it doesn’t seem to help, at least not enough.

Reliefband 001

What is Reliefband

Recently I was sent a sample of a wearable product that helps with nausea from motion, morning sickness or VR gaming. The Reliefband is FDA-cleared and easy to use. According to the website, it takes effect in just minutes, without the side effects or delays from medications.

The Reliefband is worn on the inner portion of the wrist and works by, “Neuromodulation: Reliefband Neurowave proprietary technology uses the body’s natural neural pathways to regulate the mechanisms causing nausea & vomiting”. When you turn on the Reliefband, it emits gentle pulses to the body’s P6 pressure point. “These intermittent signals modulate the body’s natural neural pathways and block the sensation of nausea”. There are five settings so you can adjust the Reliefband to work for what your body needs at any particular time.

Reliefband 002

Here’s my take on Reliefband

It’s strange – I’m so used to avoiding motion, that it was difficult to figure out a way to test the Reliefband. I should have taken it with me to the Detroit Auto Show – I watched another blogger try hers out on a virtual reality ride put on by the Ford Motor Company in their booth. I skipped the ride as usual, but sympathized with friends who had tried it out (with no motion sickness remedy) and felt ill for hours afterward. The Reliefband did seem to help the other blogger, but I absolutely still wanted to try it out for myself.

The first time I put on the Reliefband was at home, so that I could make sure I was using it correctly. It is very easy to use, but one important step to remember is to apply the included conductivity gel to the wrist before putting on the Reliefband. This is to both hydrate the skin with electrolytes and to make sure the Reliefband is in the correct position and stimulates the median nerve correctly. The gel feels similar to what’s used during an ultrasound – it’s very easy to apply and to wipe off afterward.

Reliefband 003

The Reliefband comes with instructions to make sure that the device is positioned correctly on your wrist and those were easy to follow. The strap has plenty of room and fit on my wrist easily. I made sure it was tight enough to not slip, especially while moving around. And then I turned on the Reliefband to both test the location and see how it felt.

There are five settings, that increase the level of relief as you go up. On the first two settings I couldn’t really feel much in my wrist or hand, but as I moved up into the higher settings I definitely felt a stronger pulsating tingle that went through my wrist where the Reliefband was positioned and through the center of my palm into my middle finger. The tingle was stronger when my hand was relaxed or in a fist and less when I stretched my hand out straight. It wasn’t painful – just a strange feeling.

The next step was to test out whether the Reliefband helped with motion sickness. Although we were headed out on a road trip, my daughter was not willing to try reading in the car, even with the Reliefband, because she didn’t want to take the chance that it wouldn’t help and that she would feel ill for the rest of our journey. She wanted me to be the first one to try it. So, I did – not having any amusement park or virtual motion rides handy, I tried a few things at home that usually would have me feeling dizzy and ill. I twirled in a circle, sat in our recliner and spun, and then also wore the Reliefband while riding as a passenger and looking at my phone as my husband drove our van. For each of these, I began with the Reliefband on a low setting and turned it up if/as necessary.

Reliefband 004

Does the Reliefband help?

I felt a definite difference on the first two tests, while twirling and spinning. Admittedly, I did each of these actions for only a minute or two, so I wasn’t really feeling very ill before turning on the Reliefband, but where I would normally feel sick for a while afterward, I felt fine almost immediately and had no ill effects after stopping.

The bigger test was using the Reliefband in the car, especially while looking at my phone. This is generally a big no-no for me, which can be frustrating for my husband, especially if he needs me to look something up or help navigate while we’re out and about. The Reliefband definitely helped a lot – my stomach was fine.

Reliefband 005

I’ve also used the Reliefband at the carousel in our local mall, and was able to ride along with my youngest daughter with no ill effects at all. She may be old enough now that I’m not required to ride with her anymore, but I’m definitely thrilled to have the option! I can’t wait to try out the Reliefband on more rides this summer.

Reliefband 007

Tips for Using Reliefband

Here are a few quick tips that I’ve figured out while using my Reliefband:

  1. I’ve used the Reliefband with a small amount of gel and also after using a much more generous amount. There was a definite difference in the amount of tingling I felt in my hand – when I used more gel, I couldn’t even feel anything at the two lowest levels, whereas when I used less gel, I could feel the tingling even at the lowest level and it got very uncomfortable above level three.
  2. After you’ve stopped moving (or watching VR or whatever else you’re doing that caused the motion sickess), you turn off the Reliefband.
  3. Keep the Reliefband strap as tight as you can manage so that it doesn’t shift around while you’re in motion. You want to make sure that it stays at the correct location on your wrist to ensure that it’s working for you.

Reliefband 006

A few things to know about Reliefband

I have a contact skin allergy to most metals – basically if I wear anything other than real gold or sterling silver against my skin, it breaks out in a green, itchy rash. Even the tiny metal clasp pin on a leather watchband will be uncomfortable if worn too tightly. Given that the back side of the Reliefband is metal and it has a metal clasp, I’m not sure how long I could wear it before having to worry about my allergy. Although the conductivity gel does sit between the metal back and my skin, the clasp may be an issue if I need to wear the Reliefband for an extended period of time, especially since I need to wear it fairly tightly. For most (quick) uses I don’t see this being a problem.

The Reliefband comes with a small tube (.25 fl. oz.) of the conductivity gel, but you need to buy extra if you’re going to use the Reliefband a lot. You can purchase a larger tube of the gel for $14.99 (as of January 2017) on their website at

I received a Reliefband for the purposes of review. As always, all opinions stated here are either solely my own or those of my family.

The post Review: Reliefband #LifeChangingTech #sponsored appeared first on Mom Of 3 Girls.

A 21st Century Education – Technology Not Required

February 24, 2017 by  
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Nearly everyone agrees – students today require a 21st century education. Defining what a 21st century education actually is and what it looks like, however, is a bit trickier.

The economic world that our students will be entering is one marked by rapid change. Jobs consisting of routine tasks, be they cognitive or manual, are increasingly done by machines or cheaper labor elsewhere in the world. To thrive in this new economy, workers need to be really good at all of the non-algorithmic skills computers aren’t good at yet.

As readers of this blog will know, the best definition we’ve found for this complex set of skills comes from the book Becoming Brilliant, by learning scientists Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, who label these skills the 6 Cs. They define the 6 Cs as follows:

  • Collaboration, or the ability to work and play well with others;
  • Communication, or the ability to effectively get your point across and back it up with evidence, both verbally and in writing, and the ability to listen and be empathetic;
  • Content, by which they mean deep understanding and a broad base of knowledge in a range of subject areas, rather than simply surface knowledge of reading and math skills;
  • Critical Thinking, including the ability to be a critical consumer of information;
  • Creativity, which they define as the ability to put information together in new ways;
  • and Confidence, which encompasses capacities like grit, perseverance, and a willingness to take risks.

These are the skills students will need in order to complement rather than be replaced by machines, solve today’s problems, and create new solutions to problems we can’t yet envision.

But how do we prepare students to be competent in this set of outcomes, a far broader set than we typically think about in k-12 classrooms? And how does this type of education look different than what’s currently happening?

Let’s start with what a 21st century education is not. When people imagine a 21st century education, computers are often the first thing that comes to mind: personalized learning platforms, flipped classrooms, one-to-one computer-to-student ratios. And indeed, all of these strategies can be used to deliver a 21st century education.

However, students don’t need computers to engage in any of the 6 Cs listed above, and if used incorrectly they can be counterproductive. We’ve seen schools where “personalized learning platforms” simply take the mindless, skill-building exercises students would normally do in a textbook and transfer them to a computer screen. And we’ve seen kids plopped in front of a computer to progress through material at their own pace, only they lack both the requisite skills needed to access the material, and the motivation to engage in the work in the first place.

This isn’t a 21st century education. No matter how sophisticated the platform, if digital tools lead to students spending a large portion of their day working alone on a narrow-band of skills, rather than building deep understanding, working collaboratively with classmates on meaningful projects, and being asked to think critically about the information they’re presented, then computers can in fact hinder the development of the 6 Cs.

On the contrary, students don’t require computers to engage in any of the 6 Cs listed above. In his book Helping Children Succeed, author Paul Tough provides a great description of what a 21st century education looks like through his description of Expeditionary Learning (EL) schools. EL schools are built around a project-based learning model, in which students work in groups on relevant and rigorous long-term projects, and present the final results of their project to authentic audiences. This model encourages students to collaborate and communicate, to think critically and create novel solutions to problems, and to actively learn content and stretch outside their comfort zones. This is an educational model tailor-made for developing the 6 Cs, yet doesn’t require the latest technology.

However, technology can surely help. The trick is leveraging our amazing technological tools to enhance what’s currently being delivered in our schools. While a project-based, deeper-learning model of education does not require technology, technological advances can make projects more engaging, more relevant, and more meaningful, by opening up new worlds for students, and making content come alive. We just need to use our revolutionary technological tools for revolutionary purposes, rather than for simply delivering a stale educational model in the digital realm.

What a 6 Cs education does require, with or without the latest technology, are teachers competent in the 6 Cs themselves. They must be eager to collaborate with others, to borrow and try out ideas in their own classrooms; know what good, evidence-based writing looks like, and be able to do it themselves; have deep content knowledge and be curious life-long learners, developing exciting new projects for their students to tackle; be able to think critically about information they’re presented, and push their students to adopt the same critical lens; create novel solutions to complex problems; and be willing to take risks and redesign their pedagogical approach when necessary.

The 6 Cs pave the way to success in the 21st century, and are the skills we must develop in both our teachers and the students they teach. We need classrooms in which students gain the skills they’ll need to thrive in and adjust to a world we can hardly forecast, in which machines will continue to get smarter and smarter, and in which humans will be called upon more and more to display the most human of actions: to work together, to talk and to listen, to seek understanding, to be discerning, to be creative, and to take risks and develop solutions to problems we can’t yet imagine.

The post A 21st Century Education – Technology Not Required appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

How Netflix Helps Us Cheat

February 23, 2017 by  
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We are a family of book lovers. In fact, one of Alice’s first words was “booky,” Charlie pretends to read books to Alice, and Eddie had his nose in a book this morning before I left for school. We get upwards of 40 books a week at the library in the summer and blow through all of them. My To Read pile is almost as tall as I am.

“booky? Peez? Ma Ma?”

We are a family of readers. Cortney read The Hunger Games trilogy and loved it, so I got him Divergent. Although he hasn’t cracked it open yet, I was confident he would.

Then I caught him watching the movie on TV and I was like, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU HAVE THE BOOK! YOU CAN’T JUST WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST!”

We do not fool around here.

But I have a confession. Sometimes we cheat on books with Netflix.

It’s true and it’s almost hard for me to type these words, but Netflix has tons of great movies and shows based on books, and some of them we have watched without actually reading the book first.

For instance, we have watched The Jungle Book numerous times without actually having ever read it. Ever. We even own it. Maybe this is Ok, right? Because it’s a kid’s book? Maybe we get a pass?

And Eddie really loves Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The newest one is not my favorite solely based on the ending, but Eddie enjoys the weirdness of it. I will say we have read Roald Dahl’s version, but the boys were pretty little and I know my own Charlie doesn’t remember it. Eddie does, though. And like his mom, he is quick to point out the differences in the movie from the book. Good boy.

I am currently teaching The Giver to my 8th grade students, and I have actually not watched the 2014 movie yet. It’s on Netflix and I plan to watch it this weekend while I’m on midwinter break. But I plan to watch it with Cortney who has not read the book. I’m a cheating enabler!! (It should be noted, though, that he will watch it and become increasingly annoyed with my commentary about how it is not like the book).

Probably our worst offense, however, is that Eddie has been binge-watching A Series of Unfortunate Events and I have been encouraging it–even watching it with him from time to time (I can’t help it, I love Sunny!)–and NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE has ever read ANY of the books.


But we can’t help ourselves! And I do have the full intention of getting the Lemony Snicket’s books for our home library so the kids (and I) can read them together. Really.


So tell me…how do you cheat with Netflix? Do you watch shows before your partner can get to them? Do have a guilty pleasure you let yourself indulge when you should be doing something else? Spill the beans, yo.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Netflix provides a year of streaming and a device for our family to watch it on. I am not paid for this content. The opinions are all our own. I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team, and I love it, yo.

A strategy for diluting concentrated poverty in Detroit

February 22, 2017 by  
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Decades of research has shown that growing up in concentrated poverty can irreversibly limit a child’s prospects for future success and, sadly, no region has more concentrated poverty than metro Detroit.

According to 2016 Brookings Institution report, metro Detroit has the highest rate of concentrated poverty among the top 25 metro areas in the U.S. with 32 percent of poor people in the region’s six counties living in Census tracts where at least 40% of the population is below the federal poverty line.

It matters because there is overwhelming evidence that the longer a child lives in a neighborhood and attends schools with concentrated poverty, the harder it is for him or her to climb out of poverty. A 2015 study by Harvard researchers Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren showed that the earlier a child moves to a upwardly mobile community, the more his or her future income prospects improves:

For children growing up in families at the 25th percentile of the income distribution, each year of childhood exposure to a one standard deviation (SD) better county increases income in adulthood by 0.5%. Hence, growing up in a one SD better county from birth increases a child’s income by approximately 10%.

That’s why I’m excited about a proposed ordinance from Detroit City Council member Mary Sheffield (District 5) that would strengthen efforts to give low income renters access to publicly-financed housing developments. Sheffield’s ordinance would force developers to rent 20 percent of their units to residents who earn 80% of the Area Median Income for at least 30 years. Landlords who don’t comply with the mandate will pay penalties that will fund the Detroit Affordable Housing and Development Preservation Fund, which will support housing for Detroit’s poorest citizens.

In a recent interview with WDET reporter Bre’Anna Tinsley, Sheffield said her ordinance is aimed at preventing gentrification while giving low income residents exposure to economically diverse environments.

“Communities are stronger and more vibrant when there are mixed incomes a variety of incomes within different developments. I think it’s important that as we rebuild Detroit that it’s inclusive of everyone. I do understand that certain developments should be all market rate but in those particular developments, I don’t believe they should request public assistance.”

I live near downtown Detroit in a solidly middle class neighborhood that is bordered by the same blight and abandonment that surrounds many city districts. In the past year alone, two new upscale rental communities have been built within a mile of my home. I’m happy to see the developments and hopeful that with my new neighbors will bring more retail options and improved services to our community. But like many Detroiters, I fear that neighborhoods like mine will be overwhelmed by gentrification that will lock out citizens who have weathered Detroit’s hardest times. Proposals like Sheffield’s will go a long way toward helping city officials center Detroit’s housing policies on efforts that preserve and create economic diversity

The post A strategy for diluting concentrated poverty in Detroit appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Job Security: Or How To Prepare For Jobs That Can’t Be Automated

February 21, 2017 by  
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It used to be that parents who wanted job security urged kids to get a degree with immediately practical applications—like Eboo Patel’s mother, who wanted him to major in business instead of sociology, as he recalls in this blog from the Chronicle of Higher Education. But now, more and more jobs that used to seem impervious to automation turn out to be, well, open to increasingly advanced robots.

“A particular kind of human being”

The post by Patel, the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, about the increasing value of liberal arts degrees, is based on an understanding that Michigan Future shares about the new realities of our economy. Increasing globalization and automation mean that the greatest job security comes from being highly skilled in capacities that computers will not be able to replicate. Right now those uniquely human capacities include empathy and listening, creativity and innovation, and the ability to apply expertise in decision-making. Managing people and connecting knowledge to social interaction are not things computers will do. Drawing from a number of articles, Patel writes:

A computer can undoubtedly give you the right pill for pain, and a robot can provide electrical-stimulation treatment, but for the interaction, creativity, and judgment that a therapeutic conversation requires, a particular kind of human being is needed. Where are we going to get these knowledgeable and caring “relationship workers”?

The value of liberal arts degrees

Not only are these the jobs that are least susceptible to automation, they are also the jobs that are growing. A McKinsey report cited by Patel shows that between 2001 and 2009, jobs requiring human interaction grew by 4.8 million. Fortunately, liberal arts degrees, formerly the bogeyman of practically-minded parents, are already designed to prepare students for this impending economy. Patel goes on,

The hallmarks of a liberal education — building an ethical foundation that values the well-being of others, strengthening the mental muscles that allow you to acquire new knowledge quickly, and developing the skills to apply it effectively in rapidly shifting contexts — are not luxuries but necessities for preparing professionals for the coming transformation of knowledge work to relationship work.

Michigan’s education system, from pre-K to college and beyond, needs to be reflective of this reality. At every level, we need to be growing the skills in our people that our robots cannot replace.

The post Job Security: Or How To Prepare For Jobs That Can’t Be Automated appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

President’s Day Sales to Shop Now!

February 17, 2017 by  
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  • ANN TAYLOR – 40% off full-price styles and take an extra 50% off sale styles. Use WEEKEND through 2.21.
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Adelle Sweater     Vanity Saddle Bag

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  • COLE HAAN – Take 30% off select styles with PRES30 until 2.22.
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White Blue Centre Knot Pillow

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Are low wages causing the skilled trades shortages?

February 17, 2017 by  
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The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently published an op-ed and comment that lays out the two most likely reasons for more demand by employers for skilled trades workers in manufacturing and construction than there are qualified applicants for those jobs. Which of the two explanations is accurate has profound implications for public policy, particularly for K-12 education.

The op-ed is written by Brad Laackman owner of Honor Construction in Grand Rapids. He makes the case for the position that we hear often from employers and their political allies that the prime cause for today’s youth not going into the skilled trades is that schools are organized to push all  kids to get a four year degree. Both in messaging––that you can’t do well economically without a four year degree–– and in curriculum––college prep rigorous academics for all.

The comment focuses on low pay as the prime cause of the shortage of skills tradesmen. The commenter writes:

Skilled trades at a journeyman or master level require the equivalent or more education, training, and skill of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, … Regardless of this, pay has decreased for trades over the past decade and trades are not competitive in the job market with low wages; therefore, the shortage and lack of talent or qualified construction workers and skilled trades will continue for years to come. Unless, the construction industry (particularly in West Michigan) raises wages dramatically to be competitive! Not just competitive with other trades, but other career paths that pay more and require less effort and skill.

Seems to me the basic question we should be asking is “is there a market failure that the laws of supply and demand all of a sudden don’t work in labor markets or is it employers not willing, for whatever reason, to raise wages?”

As we explored in a 2012 post, lots of economists, from the left and right, are skeptical of the skills shortage claims because they believe price (in this case wages) are what clears markets; brings supply and demand into balance. They observe that in many of the occupations where the contention is that demand is way stronger than supply, wages are either not going up or going up slowly.

The belief is employers are doing what is called rent seeking: trying to use their political power to get government to push kids into jobs with wages below what the market demands rather than raising wages.

Where we have ended up at Michigan Future is a belief that government should be occupation neutral. That K-12 education should be about expanding opportunities––not narrowing them––for all students. That the goal should be for all students to graduate from high school with all options on the table––pursuing a four year degree, going to community college or an occupational training program, going to work or the military or doing community services. That the choice should be the high school graduate’s, not some adult deciding that some kids have what it takes to succeed in college and others don’t have the ability to succeed in college so should be in vocational training rather than taking a rigorous academic curriculum.

Part of expanding opportunities is also geographic. That student’s K-12 education should not be organized to meet the labor market demands of employers in the community where the student is growing up. That we should want to give all Michigan students what most affluent parents are giving their children: the ability to pursue their dreams anyplace on the planet. We need to be clear that employers are NOT the customers of pre K-16 education.

As readers of this blog know, we believe that means a K-12 education designed––both curriculum and pedagogy––to build the 6Cs––communication, collaboration, content, critical thinking, creativity and confidence––in all students. To us these are the foundation skills needed for successful forty year careers no matter what path one chooses to take after high school.

The best way to build the 6Cs is through project based learning. Done right the projects can and should be designed so all students learn about the wide variety of jobs––those that can be done without post secondary training; those that require an associates degree; and those that require a bachelors degree or more. This career exploration, where all students learn about all job possibilities, should also include an exploration of compensation and security over a forty year career and how automation might effect each job. So that high school graduates can make more informed decisions on what path they want to pursue after high school.



The post Are low wages causing the skilled trades shortages? appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Shop with Reware at the WCSX Rock Swap this Saturday!

February 16, 2017 by  
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I’m excited to be back at the WCSX Rock Swap this Saturday at Oakland Mall! It’s a one-day show from 10am-6pm and I had a blast last year there.

I’ll have stacks of vintage tour T shirts, some band posters I discovered in my basement, Record Earrings & Embroideries and some other music oddities from our personal collection. Plus, some pals are bringing more goodies to sell on my table! There’s gonna be some great other sellers there too, with records, collectibles, concert posters & more – I’m sure you’ll find some real treasures there. Hope to see you there too!

Yay – Now Your Shipping is Cheaper!

February 15, 2017 by  
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I’m happy to announce that we now are shipping First Class Mail! If you are looking to save a few bucks on your order, just select First Class Mail shipping (may not be available for heavier orders). I still promise to put it in the mail as quick as I always have, and US orders will arrive should arrive to your door within a week.

Thanks as always for shopping with Reware Vintage. I am so happy to be able to save you some money to show my gratitude!

Michigan colleges and economic mobility, part 2

February 15, 2017 by  
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In my last post I analyzed an important data set recently released by economist Raj Chetty and colleagues, that measures every college’s contribution to economic mobility in America. I looked at the percentage of the poorest students in each cohort at Michigan colleges who, by their early thirties, were in the top 40% of earners.

The results were fairly disappointing because the Michigan institutions that had the greatest impact on the mobility of their poorest students were selective institutions that enrolled very few low-income students. At U of M and MSU, over 60% of the poorest students who enroll make it to the top 40%, but less than 5% of each cohort at those schools come from the bottom income quintile.

A better metric to evaluate which colleges are true engines of economic mobility, therefore, might be what the New York Times called a college’s mobility rate. This metric takes the percent of students enrolled in a college cohort from the bottom two quintiles, and then multiplies that number by the percent of these students that end up in the top 40% as adults. This measure therefore takes into account both an institution’s commitment to access and success for non-affluent students. You can’t get a high number on this metric unless you both enroll a high number of students from the bottom two quintiles, and then get a high proportion of those students into the top 40% of wage earners as adults.

On this metric, it’s clear Michigan’s higher education system has some room for improvement. The Times reported out on the institutions with the best mobility rates in the country. At The City College of New York, for example, 60% of each cohort was drawn from the bottom 40%, and 63% of those students end up in the top 40% as adults, for a mobility rate of 38%. Other colleges with the best mobility rates in the country are in the mid 30s.

No higher education institution in Michigan is even close to hitting that metric. While 70% of students in the bottom two income quintiles that enroll at the University of Michigan make it to the top 40% by their early 30s, only 8% of each class at U of M is drawn from the bottom two quintiles, leaving U of M with a mobility rate of just 6%. Michigan State’s mobility rate is at just 7%, with 11% of each class coming from the bottom two income quintiles, and 60% of those students making it to the top 40% as adults. At Wayne State University, 27% of each class is drawn from the bottom 40%, but just 41% make it to the top two quintiles as adults, for a mobility rate of 11%.

Below I’ve listed all of the institutions that move at least 100 bottom 40% kids from each cohort into the top 40% as adults. As you can see, however, all of these schools have low mobility rates. Schools like Michigan State and the University of Michigan have a low mobility rate because they don’t enroll enough non-affluent students (though these numbers reflect students who enrolled in college in the late 90s, and both schools have made recent efforts to increase the number of low-income students they enroll). Community colleges and Wayne State University enroll higher proportions of non-affluent students, but have low rates of moving those students to the top 40% of earners as adults. As I mentioned in my last post, my guess is that this is because these institutions have low completion rates, so many students that attend don’t receive the economic benefits that come with earning a college degree.

As the data from the national leaders demonstrates, to truly serve as an engine of economic mobility colleges need to enroll a high proportion of non-affluent students, and then ensure a high proportion of those students leave with a degree. At the moment, we don’t have any colleges in Michigan that are doing both of these things well. Yet in an economy in which the returns to a college degree continue to increase, and too many students are left out, doing both of these things well may be our central challenge.

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