New bill in Oregon addresses housing affordability–by limiting local control

June 23, 2017 by  
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Oregon’s legislature is considering a fascinating, and controversial, bill to remove certain local controls over development in favor of new, faster development and higher density. The Atlantic’s “City Lab” reports:

H.B. 2007 would preempt residential downzoning in cities, meaning a neighborhood couldn’t seek lower density than its current status. It would also preempt cities or counties from banning accessory dwelling units or duplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes.

That’s a laundry list of obstacles that developers nationwide face in building new homes in supply-strapped cities. H.B. 2007 would take the question out of the hands of local government, where lawmakers are often shackled by the wishes of NIMBY homeowners who don’t want to see more housing (and more people) in their communities. Essentially, by stripping cities of authority, the state is protecting its cities from their own neighborhoods.

I am normally an advocate for increasing local control, not decreasing it—especially in Michigan where it often seems the best interests of cities like Detroit are not exactly the driving force behind our legislature’s decision-making. But I find this approach interesting because it is a response to decreasing housing affordability, which has reached crisis levels in Portland. Poor people simply can’t afford to live there without spending a large portion of their income on housing. HB 2007 “fast-tracks” a development’s permitting process if it includes affordable housing. And by ensuring that multi-family units can’t be easily prohibited from single-family neighborhoods, the bill fosters increasing density and helps support affordability.

The Strategic Importance of Cities

The bill also acknowledges that our cities play an important strategic role in the economic development of the state and that growing major cities ability to attract and retain talent is critical to the state’s goals. Our report on how to make Michigan a high-prosperity state once again shows that ensuring our cities are places where talent wants to live and work is essential.

A lot of what Michigan needs to do to improve our cities is encourage “placemaking,” the infusion of character and activation into public spaces that is usually the result of increasing density and walkability. A risk of this bill is to historic preservation–an ethos and set of tools that are essential to providing that sense of authentic character in a city. Advocates in Portland seem split on the extent of danger HB 2007 enables, but there is reason to be cautious.

Improving Economic Integration

A serious benefit is the potential for greater economic integration, by decreasing the local power that that those in affluent neighborhoods have to curtail new affordable housing in their neighborhood. Integrating neighborhoods is one of the key levers identified in our recent report on how to improve outcomes for Michigan’s kids. And affluent NIMBY’ers fighting new housing density is a problem that exists in certain Michigan cities already (think Ann Arbor) and could start to exist in certain neighborhoods of Detroit, if not the city as whole.

I’m not sure Oregon’s approach would be the right policy solution for Michigan. But it’s an interesting experiment, and I’ll certainly be watching for the results—if it passes.

The post New bill in Oregon addresses housing affordability–by limiting local control appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Pre-Holiday Summer Sales

June 22, 2017 by  
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We’re gearing up for the many sales that will be happening over the July 4th holiday but who doesn’t want to save a little money before then?  Check out these deals starting now with most going through the weekend and even into the holiday.

  • Ann Taylor – 40% off everything when you use ALLOUT through 6.24
  • Bonobos – Summer sale!
  • Burke Decor – The Half Yearly Sale with up to 75% off has begun. Also, get 20% off sitewide with HEATWAVE
  • Butter London – Check out the sale items at 50% off
  • Donald J Pliner – Get 30% off one, 35% off two or more sale styles. Use SUMMER17 through 7.6
  • Ella Moss – Up to 50% off Summer Sale!

  • Henri Bendel – Save up to 50% at the Semi-Annual Sale
  • Max Studio – Summer sale with prices up to 50% off select styles
  • Paige Denim – Save up to 50% off select styles through 6.30
  • Peek Kids – Save up to 50% during the Peek-A-Boom Sale through 7.21
  • Puma – Save up to 40% on new markdowns for women, men and kids
  • Revolve – Save up to 50% off summer’s hottest styles
  • Serena & Lily – Enjoy up to 30% off outdoor decor

Kansas Rs raise taxes, Michigan Ds MIA

June 21, 2017 by  
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Kansas’ Republican dominated state legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto to raise taxes ending Governor Brownback’s failed supply side tax cut experiment. That, as we have explored previously, resulted in an economy lagging the nation and budget shortfalls that required reduced spending on education and other basic services.

The Washington Post reports that 18 of the state’s 31 GOP senators and 49 of the 85 Republican members of the House voted to increase “taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents from 4.6 percent to 5.2 percent this year and 5.7 percent next year. Marginal rates on less affluent Kansan households will increase as well, from 4.6 percent to 5.25 percent by next year for married taxpayers making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and from 2.7 percent to 3.1 percent for those earning less than that.”

So a majority of Kansas Republicans voted to increase the state’s graduated income tax for married taxpayers making more than $30,000 to rates higher than Michigan’s current flat 4.25 percent rate.

Why? Because more than two thirds of the legislature understood that investing in public services, particularly education, was of more value to Kansans’ future well-being than lower taxes.

As Stephen Henderson wrote in a terrific Detroit Free Press column this is a lesson Michigan’s elected officials need to learn quick. Michigan has been traveling the same low taxes are the key to economic well-being path for two decades. With the same dismal economic results. (See our new report for the details.)

In addition to relearning the lesson that public investments––particularly in education from birth through college and infrastructure, basic services and amenities––matter, Kansas should teach us about the importance of elections. Many of the Kansas Republicans who voted for the tax increase campaigned in contested Republican primaries on the need to raise taxes to fund important public services.

Obviously, as Henderson makes clear, there are no signs of Michigan Republicans, including Governor Snyder, abandoning the lower taxes is the answer crusade. There the debate has been over how much more to cut.

But what is arguably most disturbing is the near complete absence of Michigan Democrats campaigning on raising taxes to pay for needed public services. Overwhelmingly Michigan Democrats believe that public investments are the key to economic prosperity. But with very few exceptions, they have been unwilling to make the case that they need to be paid for.

Why is it that Kansas Republicans can campaign on raising taxes through a graduated income tax to pay for education and other vital public services and Michigan Democrats––who claim to value those services––won’t? Why is it that Michigan Democrats (and Republicans) believe that Michigan voters, unlike Kansas voters, don’t understand that there are public services that matter that must be paid for by reversing two decades of tax cuts?

It’s time we stop pretending that we can have the public investments we need and not have to pay for them. Just as in Kansas, now is the time for candidates to lead and take to the voters ideas on how to pay for the public investments that are essential to improving the economic well-being of all Michiganders. To make the case that the value of the investments is worth the cost of paying higher taxes.

 

 

 

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How we integrate Michigan’s neighborhoods and schools

June 16, 2017 by  
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In the report we released last week detailing our recommendations for redesigning Michigan’s education system, we target a range of areas for reform. From curriculum and pedagogy to funding and accountability, just about every facet of our education system calls for change.

But if we had to pull one lever that would most dramatically change life outcomes for non-affluent Michigan kids, it would be to socioeconomically integrate our neighborhoods and schools.

Education research since the 1960s has found the composition of a school’s student body to be more strongly related to achievement than any other school factor. And in addition to the benefits of attending an integrated school, living in a low-poverty neighborhood impacts virtually every aspect of a child’s life, from exposure to crime to health outcomes to the perception of order – all of which have a dramatic impact on a child’s chance of success in life.

Unfortunately, however, more and more children are now living in high-poverty neighborhoods, and attending high-poverty schools. In 1970, 65 percent of families lived in mixed income areas; today, it’s just 40 percent, with more and more people segregated into either affluent or non-affluent areas. In metro-Detroit we have the distinction of being home to the most segregating border in the country, between Detroit and Grosse Pointe: a poverty rate of nearly 40% against a poverty rate of just 3%. And these residential class-based segregation patterns are of course mirrored in our schools.

In our report we offer two sets of recommendations to achieve greater socioeconomic integration. The first set deal with residential integration, which would accomplish the dual goal of integrating both our neighborhoods and schools. The second set of recommendations offers ideas for how we might integrate our schools, even if our neighborhoods remain segregated.

 

Residential integration

There are two major federal housing programs that funnel millions of dollars to Michigan every year: the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and the Housing Choice Vouchers. Low Income Housing Tax Credits are offered to developers building affordable housing, and Housing Choice Vouchers are subsidies to low-income families to help defray the cost of housing. Both programs could be used to achieve greater socioeconomic integration. Currently, neither are.

Our state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program fails to incentivize developers to build in low-poverty neighborhoods. Other states do this explicitly through their qualified allocation plans, prioritizing projects that encourage integration.

Likewise, the Housing Choice Voucher program may help some families afford housing, but rarely does it help them move to better neighborhoods. Again, other regions – notably Baltimore and Dallas – have explicitly made integration a goal of their voucher program, and provide counseling services and variable vouchers to encourage moves to low-poverty neighborhoods.

Aside from making better use of federal money, our zoning laws are in need of an overhaul. Several states have laws requiring every municipality in the state to allow for 10% of their housing stock to remain affordable. Michigan, on the other hand, has a law explicitly barring a municipality from mandating affordable set-asides in new developments. We need to join the states that are demanding every community to do its part in affordable housing. This includes maintaining affordability in high-opportunity neighborhoods in central cities, where there may be ample affordable housing in the city as a whole, but limited affordability in low-poverty neighborhoods.

 

School integration

But even if we fail to achieve greater socioeconomic integration in housing, we can still do a better job of integrating our schools. To do so amidst residential segregation, however, would require inter-district cooperation, as much of the segregation we see in our schools occurs across, rather than within, districts. For example, 80% of students in Detroit attend a high-poverty school. Achieving intra-district integration in this setting would be impossible – there simply aren’t enough middle-class students. A regional approach is needed to achieve school integration, and there are a few different levers we can pull to make that happen.

The first is investing in high-quality magnet schools in central cities, an approach used most famously as part of a racial integration plan in Hartford, CT. In response to a 1996 civil-rights suit, the state provided funds for high-quality, theme-based magnet schools in Hartford to attract students from the suburbs, and provided suburban districts with “diversity incentives” to take students from city, transport them to school, and offer support services. It was remarkably successful, with 50% of Hartford students now attend an integrated school, up from 11% in 1996. This same strategy was used in New York State when John King, former Secretary of Education, was the education commissioner for New York State.

Other regional coordination efforts include a program in Minnesota under which the state offers districts “integration revenue,” to be used for inter-district integration efforts; strategically located charter schools, like the Mayoral Academies near Providence, RI, located on suburban/city borders, to draw students from both populations; strategic weighting in charter school enrollment and lottery policies, to intentionally draw a socioeconomically diverse class; and the full consolidation of urban and suburban districts, as seen in Wake County, NC and Jefferson County, KY.

Socioeconomic segregation often seems like a fact of life – regrettable, but just the way things are. But this isn’t the case at all. There’s a lot that we can do to encourage integration. But all of the actions above would require acknowledging socioeconomic segregation for the problem it is, and intentionally designing policies to address it.

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Transforming how we pay and develop educators

June 14, 2017 by  
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In the report we released last week detailing our recommendations for how to reform Michigan’s education system, we dedicate an entire section to the one factor upon which just about everything else depends: the human capital working in and supporting our schools.

For many Michigan children, our education system is focused solely on a narrow set of math and reading skills, excluding the wide range of skills needed for college and career success, and the broad range of topics that can engage kids in school. What is needed instead is a system designed to develop the 6 Cs – collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creativity, and confidence – delivered through engaging, project-based instruction.

And if we’re to design an education system built around the 6 Cs, it’s critical that the individuals working in and supporting our schools are themselves masters of the 6 Cs. They must be creative, critical thinkers, eager collaborators, and good communicators, who are curious about the world and have deep content knowledge, paired with a lasting commitment to education. In other words, we need the “best and brightest” to be teaching in and supporting our schools.

Early Childhood

This is true at every level of a student’s education, from birth through college, and is never more true than in early childhood. Understanding how young children learn, and the experiences that best promote healthy development, is endlessly complex work. We need early childhood educators who’ve received extensive training in early childhood education and development, who are passionate about the work, and are compensated as professionals. Yet our early-childhood education workforce is paid poverty wages, and many in the field lack a professional credential.

This needs to change. We need to require that our early childhood education workforce be filled with experts in child development, who are passionate about the work, and we need to offer the pay needed to attract these workers.

K-12

For all the other changes we can make to our education system, if we don’t get more high-caliber candidates, masters of the 6 Cs, into our teaching pipeline, outcomes are unlikely to improve. This is particularly true as we try to move beyond filling in bubbles on a test, and towards the development of a 21st century skill-set. To get top talent into our K-12 schools we need to examine policies pertaining to who enters the teaching profession, the training they receive, the conditions under which they teach, and the type of professional opportunities available to those that go into education.

To start, current levels of teacher compensation aren’t high enough to attract top students into the profession. In the U.S. salaries are far lower for teachers than for other work highly educated college grads can obtain, something that’s not the case in the highest-achieving nations, where top students regularly choose careers in education.

But it’s not just pay. In our test-driven system, teachers are seen as widgets – replaceable individuals performing a fairly routine task. In a system designed to build the 6 Cs, teaching would be seen for the highly intellectual work that it is, likely making the work more attractive to top talent.

And of course, we need more than just great teachers. We need masters of the 6 Cs at every level of our education system. One of our key learnings from our Michigan Future Schools initiative was that successful schools are supported by strong central offices, who are responsible for the educational design of the school and a vast infrastructure of school supports. These same strong central offices are also set up to develop new teachers, and offer them professional pathways that will enable them to make a career in education. We need policies that can help build these strong central offices – both traditional district and charter school network – that serve as institutional anchors able to recruit, develop, and retain top talent throughout a school system.

Higher Education

Finally, in higher education, the teaching workforce certainly doesn’t suffer from lack of talent. College professors are subject-matter experts with graduate degrees who’ve demonstrated their ability to think critically and make original contributions to their field.

The issue in higher education, however, is that while instructors have proven themselves to be high-quality researchers and scholars, there’s wide variation in actual teaching ability and faculty development opportunities on university campuses.

More attention should be paid to the development of university faculty as instructors. Efforts like the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, the oldest university-based teaching center in the country, should be widespread. In addition, our public universities need to be provided with sufficient resources such that they don’t have to rely on contingent, part-time, adjunct faculty.

Investing in teachers, birth through college

It’s often said that teaching our children is the most important job there is. If this is true, then our policies are miles away from reflecting that. In our report we raise a number of ideas that can help bring our policies more in line with our rhetoric. We’re eager for feedback and to hear more ideas, and we hope you’ll join us in that discussion.

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Building the 6 Cs and earning college degrees in Michigan

June 9, 2017 by  
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On Wednesday we released a report detailing our recommendations for how to redesign Michigan’s education system, birth through college. Our recommendations are based on the understanding that to thrive in today’s ever-changing knowledge economy, students need to develop a range of skills that go far beyond what’s measured by standardized tests, and have the opportunity to earn a four-year degree. And today, only affluent students in prestigious private schools and wealthy suburban districts are offered the education needed to develop the right skills and earn the right degrees, while everyone else is offered something less. Our report takes on the question of what it would take to provide for all children the type of education affluent children receive.

Early childhood

This education starts at birth. Since the early 1980s, measures of kindergarten readiness have improved for all income groups, but have skyrocketed for children raised in top quartile families. Researchers believe this is because these families are dedicating far more resources to their children than low and middle-income families, both in terms of time and money. They read and talk with their children more often, engage in “serve-and-return” interactions, and invest in high-quality child care, pre-K, and enrichment activities.

We need to start by replicating for all kids the type of early childhood experiences wealthy children receive. In the report we offer a range of recommendations, but broad access to high-quality early childhood care/education is essential. There are too few high-quality providers in Michigan (just 2% of childcare providers have a 5-star rating), and non-affluent families lack access to early care/education in general, and access to high-quality early care/education in particular.

And we don’t provide these families much help. Michigan is a national laggard in early childhood investment. According to a report released last year by Public Sector Consultants, Michigan offers childcare subsidies to only the poorest families (2nd lowest threshold in the country), and provide extremely low subsidies (4th lowest in the country), making it impossible to use the subsidy for high-quality care. We also provide no state funding for pre-K for 3-year-olds.

The state needs to push all providers to improve quality, and bring to bear the resources needed to employ highly credentialed staff and lower student-to-staff ratios.

K-12

In K-12, we need to shift from a system built around improvement on a narrow range of math and reading skills, to a system built around developing the wide range of skills students will need to be successful in an ever-changing economy. The best definition we’ve found for this set of skills comes from the book Becoming Brilliant, which labels these skills the 6 Cs:  collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creativity, and confidence.

To develop the 6 Cs in students, we need models of education that promote a style of instruction in which students are asked to engage deeply with content, come up with answers on their own, be self-directed, collaborate, and create final written and oral products. These models are generally known as project-based, inquiry-based, or deeper learning models. It’s this model we should have in our minds when we imagine 6 Cs instruction: discussion over lectures, discovery over rule-following, and performance-based assessments over high-stakes tests. This is the dominant model of education in elite private schools and wealthy suburban districts, while schools serving non-affluent students spend their time and energy drilling students on math and reading skills in preparation for standardized tests.

Encouraging all schools to teach towards the 6 Cs will require system-wide change. We need to move away from annual high-stakes testing in math and reading, which has turned so many classes into nothing more than test prep, and robbed many students of a broad, engaging curriculum that could hook them into education, and build the full range of skills needed for success in life.

Instead of test scores, schools should be held accountable to their students’ long-term academic success and educational attainment. The tests we do use should be built around open-ended response, essays, and multi-step problem solving, which would push schools to develop a far broader range of student competencies.

These changes need to matched with increased funding for non-affluent students. Part of what enables affluent districts and elite private schools to deliver a 6 Cs education is that they spend far more than non-affluent districts. This money goes towards hiring great teachers, reducing class sizes, developing high-quality curriculum, and offering a full suite of extracurricular activities. Our funding system needs to address this funding gap, so that non-affluent schools can afford the same things. Massachusetts, the national leader in K-12 education, provides schools an additional grant up to $3,500 per low-income student they serve. Michigan needs to follow their lead.

Higher education

Finally, we need to increase completion rates in higher ed. Many of our open-access public universities in Michigan have graduation rates under 50%, and all of the metro-Detroit community colleges have associate’s degree completion rates of under 20% for first-time, full-time students. There’s an emerging playbook of best-practices on student success from institutions and programs across the country who have made huge gains. We need to make sure Michigan institutions are following that playbook.

A big part of this is ensuring they have the resources needed to support students. We’ve cut $1 billion in state spending (in real terms) from our public universities since 2001-02, leading tuition to skyrocket (up 400% at MSU from 1985 to today), and preventing meaningful investments in student success. In our report we recommend increasing state appropriations to 2001 levels, as well as dramatically increasing state support for need-based financial aid grants for non-affluent students. We need far more students to cross the finish line, and we need to give them a lot more help in getting there.

Success in today’s economy requires a set of skills that goes far beyond math and reading proficiency, and a four-year college degree provides the surest path to a well-paying career. These skills and those degrees can no longer only go to the affluent, but must be available to all Michigan children. We hope our report provides some ideas for how we can achieve this goal.

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Beautiful Dining Tables For Less

June 8, 2017 by  
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Sometimes I feel like I want to re-do my entire house from floor to ceiling, but then I realize I’m a single mom with a full-time job, two side hustles selling skincare and the best nutritional products on the planet, an addiction to working out, and this shopping blog….so yeah, no time for a total reno! In order to freshen my space and satisfy my need for an update I’ve taken to buying a single, new and amazing, piece of furniture one room at a time. Currently, I’m focusing on changing out my rectangular, dark wood farmhouse dining table for something completely different. It not only has to be different, but completely awesome, and on sale!

One of my first shopping stops is Viyet. Viyet is the design aficionado’s destination to buy and sell timeless furniture and accessories. They make it easy for owners of high-end furniture to sell their pieces when it comes time to move or redecorate. For shoppers, they offer access to designer brand names at a fraction of retail prices. They carry a range of pieces and accessories for various styles, from mid-century modern to traditional to one-of-a-kind vintage.

Here are a few dining tables that caught my eye…

MASTERCRAFT- 1970s Brass And Glass Double-Pedestal Dining Table $6,895 (offers pending – it’s gorgeous, I can see why!)

OMG, love! FISHER WEISMAN – Gilded Cage Dining Table – RETAIL $10,958, Viyet $4,745

Love the simplicity of this VINTAGE – Glass-Topped Horse Leg Table After Maison Jansen – $1500

JIUN HO – Sumatra Dining Room Table – RETAIL $11,681, Viyet $6,575

Love the simplicity and price on this! AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE – 1970s Walnut Dining Table $985

So what are your favorite items from Viyet?

If you’re still in the “looking for inspiration” phase, everyone’s favorite Pinterest has gorgeous ideas for your dining room and we LOVE LOVE LOVE Shauna Glenn Design for her fearless use of color and beautifully fun designs you want to live in.

*This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.

Our recommendations for redesigning Michigan’s education system

June 7, 2017 by  
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Last month we released our first ever state policy agenda. In it we offered a set of recommendations for how we redesign our pre-K to 16 education system, create places where talent wants to live and work, and broadly share prosperity, all with the goal of raising living standards for all Michiganders. Today we’re releasing the first of three detailed reports – in each focus area – providing ideas for how state policymakers can implement our recommendations. The first report, Improving student outcomes from education, birth to college, details our recommendations for redesigning Michigan’s education system. Click here to download a pdf of the report. 

There are two essential understandings that drive our recommendations. The first is that the economy our students will be entering is one marked by rapid change. Smarter and smarter machines are increasingly taking on more and more tasks that humans once did. No one knows what the jobs of tomorrow will be.

To thrive in this ever-changing economy, individuals need to be really good at all the non-algorithmic skills computers aren’t good at yet. 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 them the six Cs: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creativity, and confidence. It’s these skills that will enable students to complement rather than be replaced by machines, and prepare students not just for a first job, but for a forty-year career.

The value of the 6 Cs is, in large part, why the returns to a four-year college degree have increased so considerably over the past 40 years. A four-year college degree signals to employers that you’ve spent four years certifying your credentials in 21st century skills: writing analytically, collaborating with classmates, thinking critically about important issues, conducting research, and directing yourself to complete a rigorous four-year project. It’s theses skills that will continue to hold value no matter how the labor market changes.

The second essential idea underpinning our recommendations is that everyone deserves the education described above. Yet today, it’s only the affluent who have access to it.

Both nationally and here in Michigan, we have a two-tiered education system. Childhoods in affluent families are marked by stimulating and nurturing experiences, and heaps of enrichment activities; less affluent children receive less enrichment, with the poorest children often experiencing toxic levels of stress and neglect. In K-12, affluent suburban schools and prestigious private schools have expansive curriculums, and mission statements that focus on curiosity, creativity, self-discovery, and the joy of learning; non-affluent students attend schools that spend all their time and energy focused on a set of narrow skills measured by standardized tests, and are often told that college isn’t for everyone. Affluent children have access to the nation’s most selective higher education institutions, while non-affluent children largely attend open-enrollment two and four-year institutions with low completion rates, if they pursue postsecondary education at all.

This can no longer be the case. The goal of our education system must be the same for all students: to equip them with a broad set of skills that will enable them to pursue whatever it is they want to do with their lives. Our report offers some ideas for how we might do that.

The report is broken into three sections. The first section outlines what needs to change in our current education system. This includes broad access and quality in early childhood care and education, starting at birth; a K-12 system built around rigorous, relevant, and engaging projects, taught by instructors who are masters of the 6 Cs themselves; an accountability system that holds schools – and the management that run schools – accountable not to a narrow band of math and reading skills, but to a student’s long-term success; and a funding system that, from birth through college, eliminates the ever-present funding gap between affluent and non-affluent students.

The second section focuses on the one aspect of our education system upon which just about everything else depends, namely the individuals working in and supporting our schools. A career working in education is not an appealing prospect for top talent coming out of our colleges and universities. Pay is low, criticism is high, and career pathways are often non-existent. We won’t have a top education system, focused on developing curious, creative, critical thinkers, until we get top talent working in and supporting our schools, and we need to adjust our education policies to that end. Included in our recommendations are ideas for how we invest in teachers, so they’re compensated as professionals; make the work of teaching more appealing by changing both what gets measured and what we’re aiming for; and build the educational institutions that can provide stable professional development and pathways for individuals who want to spend their careers in education.

Finally, the third section outlines how we can achieve greater socioeconomic integration in our neighborhoods and schools. If we had to pull one lever that would most dramatically change life outcomes for non-affluent kids, it would be to place them in low-poverty neighborhoods and have them attend low-poverty schools. Education research since the 1960s has found the composition of a school’s student body to be more strongly related to achievement than any other school factor. And in addition to attending a low-poverty school, living in a low-poverty neighborhood positively impacts virtually every aspect of a child’s life, from exposure to crime to health outcomes to the perception of order – all of which have a dramatic impact on a child’s chance of success in life. Included in our recommendations are ideas for how we strategically use federal funds and alter zoning laws to integrate neighborhoods; encourage voluntary school integration through targeted school investments and regional coordination; and offer non-affluent students greater access to college experiences while still in high school.

The central goal behind all our work is to raise living standards for all Michiganders. The best way to do that, by far, is by both increasing educational attainment and designing an education system that builds the 6 Cs. We hope that the ideas in this report help to stimulate a conversation around how we do both of those things. We’re eager to hear feedback and other ideas, and we hope you’ll join us in the conversation.

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Harbaugh talks Grant Perry, Brad Hawkins and alternate uni’s after Friday’s satellite camp

June 3, 2017 by  
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Harbaugh shares news about Grant Perry, Brad Hawkins and alternate uni’s after Friday’s satellite camp.

Status of Grant Perry

Grant Perry is scheduled for a court date of July 17 and Jim Harbaugh confirmed on Friday his status with Michigan. “He’s back working out with the team,” Jim Harbaugh said following the satellite camp at John Carroll University.

Perry faces four charges from an incident back on October 15, 2016 outside and East Lansing bar. On December 22, he was charged with two misdemeanors for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct from inappropriately touching a woman, a resisting/avoiding arrest felony since an officer was injured when Perry tried to avoid the arrest and also a minor in possession of alcohol.

Michigan suspended Perry after becoming aware of the incident from mid-October, then returned for the Ohio State game. He was suspended again before the Orange Bowl and missed spring practice functions once the four charges were given in December. Some of the Michigan writers confirmed this news last night.

Alternate Uniforms

The uniforms are a bit of a lighter topic that Jim Harbaugh also eluded to on Friday.

"We talked about it when we first signed up with Nike that would be something we would be interested in if they were interested in. It’s been designed.”

While Harbaugh knows what the uniforms look like since he helped in the design, its still unclear which game they will wear them, but will be at least one.

Could be an all maize look?

Brad Hawkins

Jim Harbaugh also shared a nice tid-bit that Brad Hawkins will move to safety.

This is very interesting as the incoming freshman played wide receiver. Jim Harbaugh explained this situation further last night. “What's transpired is (defensive coordinator) Don Brown got to him, Don Brown said he talked to Brad and Brad wanted to play safety. I accused Don Brown of some recruiting going on there. We haven't investigated the whole thing yet. But I think it's a little bit of both."

With satellite camps just getting started, who knows what else Jim Harbaugh will share keeping us with news to talk about in June.

Poll Time

Michigan Football will go back to alternate uniforms, per Harbaugh

June 3, 2017 by  
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After going away from the different look jerseys for a few seasons, Michigan will be showing a different uniform look at least once in 2017

Since Jim Harbaugh has taken over as Michigan football’s head coach, the Wolverines have went back to just the traditional look with their uniforms, barring the brand change to Jordan.

This season, that will change at least once.

Harbaugh told the press on Friday afternoon just that during interviews for the upcoming satellite camps at John Carroll University in Ohio.

"We talked about it (with Nike) and when we first signed up with Nike we said that's something we'd be interested in, they were interested in it. It's been designed," Harbaugh said to the media. "(They'll be used) at least once this year. I don't know, I think some people like the element of surprise. I don't know if I'm at liberty to say which game.

"But I know which game it's going to be. I don't want to steal someone else's thunder."

When Brady Hoke was still roaming the sidelines at Michigan, the alternate uniforms were a rather common occurance.

However, Michigan hasn’t suited up in any different uniform (other than slight changes to Michigan's white jerseys) since the Penn State game at the Big House in 2014.

In the contract with Adidas from 2011-14, the Wolverines had multiple alternate choices for their jerseys, including throwback looks.

A lot of the time, those uniforms were critized in a negative way by the fan base.

Harbaugh said that he helped design these new uniforms with Nike — without giving away much detail.

“It's going to happen," he said to the media Friday afternoon. "But, hey, we're partners there with Nike and they've put a lot of work into this so I won't announce it right now.

"You're not going to get anything more out of me on that."

For now, all Michigan fans can do is hope that they enjoy this new look uniform more than the most recent ones.

According to Harbaugh, he is “confident” they will.

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