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GreatSchoolsDetroit.org serves as a resource to help Detroit parents make school choices

Navigating the education landscape in Detroit is a complex endeavor as parents and caregivers have hundreds of school options to consider in trying to find the best fit for their child’s education needs. GreatSchoolsDetroit.org, produced by Excellent Schools Detroit in partnership with GreatSchools, gives Detroit families the tools they need to make a quality school choice.
 
GreatSchools is the leading national source of school performance information for parents, reaching 52 million unique visitors and 50 percent of American families with children.
 
“The GreatSchoolsDetroit.org website is a collaboration of Excellent Schools Detroit’s localized Scorecard data and GreatSchools national ratings,” said Dan Varner, chief executive officer, Excellent Schools Detroit. “Not only will parents have the apples-to-apples comparison across a multitude of measures in our Scorecard, but they’ll also see how the local schools rate on a national scale through GreatSchools’ score.”
 
When visiting GreatSchoolsDetroit.org, users can view in-depth school profiles, read and write reviews of schools, compare schools across a multitude of measures and criteria and find schools near their community. The innovative site contains data from hundreds of Detroit schools, ranging from early childhood learning centers to public, charter, and private elementary and high schools.
 
“Excellent Schools Detroit’s in-depth knowledge of and data on Detroit education environments and their deep connections with schools, community groups and parent organizations provides the localized insights that parents need,” said Bill Jackson, chief executive officer, GreatSchools. “Excellent Schools Detroit is the ideal partner for GreatSchools, because both organizations are committed to bringing parents the robust information they need to make great school choices.”
 
GreatSchoolsDetroit.org is designed as a mobile-friendly site, for easy access from smartphones and tablets as well as computers.
 
Excellent Schools Detroit re-launched its Scorecard in August 2013 with in-depth, side-by-side comparison of Detroit schools along a multitude of measures, including academic performance, academic progress and school climate. The organization recommends parents and students select schools graded C+ or better because these schools will generally prepare students for success in college, career and community.
 
In 2013, GreatSchools began building partnerships with local community organizations and city groups to bring the best school information and tools to families. These partnerships combine the local knowledge and relationships of community partners with the national media and technology platform of GreatSchools. GreatSchools Detroit is the first new partnership to launch. 
 
About Excellent Schools Detroit
Excellent Schools Detroit was formed in 2010 by a coalition of philanthropic, education, community and civic leaders with an important mission: an excellent education for every Detroit child, from cradle to career, by 2020. To that end, Excellent Schools Detroit produces an annual Scorecard, which grades schools across a multitude of excellence measures, to help Detroit parents and community make an informed school choice. The organization convenes individuals and organizations across multiple sectors as the Detroit community collectively works to achieve excellence in education.
 
About GreatSchools
Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures. The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public, public charter, and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. Last year, GreatSchools had 52 million unique visitors, including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local programs and offices in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

Infant mortality rate in Detroit rivals areas of Third World

Excerpt: 

Prematurity, whose deadly side effects include brain hemorrhages, collapsed lungs and failing organs, is the leading killer of Detroit’s babies. It’s the major component of infant mortality — a catch-all term comprising all conditions that claim children before their first birthday.

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Opting Out of Testing: A Rising Tide for States and Districts?

Excerpt:

As states grapple with the huge task of building new testing regimens to reflect the common core, they are having to turn some of their attention to fending off a growing number of parents who want their children to skip the tests.

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Farm bill's new SNAP incentive: Don't celebrate just yet

Excerpt:

Some local food advocates are applauding the new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program in the finally-passed farm bill. The idea is to provide cash incentives to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps) for healthy eating. But a closer look reveals the celebration may be premature at best.

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Unique Court Approach Aids Girls Most at Risk

Excerpt:

Toni J., an effervescent 16-year-old who talks on speed-dial, lives with 11 family members in West Oakland, on a street buffeted by gang activity and poverty. Her mother died of an overdose, her father in a revenge shooting. In ninth grade, she was raped while on probation for shoplifting.

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The Boggs School in Sounds and Pictures

Excerpt: 

Christopher Gaston is usually the first kid to arrive at school every morning.  And he’s almost always the last one to leave at night. 

In fact, “It’s tough to get Christopher to leave the building everyday,” says Marisol Teachworth, the Boggs School’s program director and co-founder.

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Incentivizing Good Attendance

Excerpt:

School day wake-up calls recorded by celebrities. Weekend makeup classes. Contests with laptop computers, private concerts and cars as prizes.

Educators across the nation are using creative strategies as another school year gets under way to convince students and parents that regular attendance matters — and not just for grades and achievement.

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'A clean, well-lighted place' for Detroit kids to go after school

Excerpt:

I don't know about you, but when I was in school, hearing the school bell ring at the end of the day meant one thing: freedom! Time to go home, get a snack, and hang out with friends.

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Tech & Opportunity: can all kids be "digital natives?"

Excerpt: 

New technologies are also bringing new anxieties for parents. What is all this screen time doing to children's development? Assuming that just because a baby picks up an iPad or locks you out of your password-protected phone seems for some to be proof that anyone younger is a "digital native" and inherently able to program a DVR.

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Three reasons why paid paternity leave should be more common

Excerpt:

For the past four weeks, I haven't been much help to my coworkers here at State of Opportunity. I've been unresponsive to emails. I've contributed nothing to the website. I haven't turned in any stories for radio. I haven't even thought about it. And yet, crazy as it sounds, I've been paid the whole time. 

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How The Arts Can Help Students Excel

Excerpt:

Many people disregard the importance of the arts in education.  Sure, the arts are good for blowing off steam and encouraging creativity, but are they useful in the real world?  If a student doesn’t have the capabilities of being the next Beethoven or da Vinci, what is the point of wasting resources on their continued arts education?

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40-year shadow cast by Detroit's failed busing plan

Excerpt:

Next week marks the 40th anniversary of the day the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case about busing and segregation in Detroit’s schools. The case eventually became Milliken v. Bradley, a seminal civil rights case that nevertheless few people outside legal circles remember.

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Youth Seeking Safe Places Can Get Support Through New Website

Runaway and street-active youth looking for safe places for food, shelter and support are now able to find this information in one place: www.rhyregionalalliance.org. The new website is sponsored by the Runaway & Homeless Youth Regional Alliance (RHY) and highlights services offered by four agencies in southeast Michigan, including Alternatives for Girls, Common Ground, Ruth Ellis Center and Starfish Family Services.
 
The statistics surrounding runaway and homeless youth are staggering. Nationally, between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year. In 2012, 25 percent of children in Michigan lived below the federal poverty level. In Detroit alone, it is estimated that up to 1,000 homeless LGBTQ youth are on the streets each night.
 
“The RHY Regional Alliance was formed so we are better able to assist youth who feel they have no where else to turn. The website details where they can go for help whether in a crisis situation or not,” said Michele Legleitner, program director, RHY Regional Alliance and executive director, Alternatives for Girls. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate homelessness among those 18 and under.”
 
“This new website is designed to be mobile-friendly and works on a smartphone the same way it does on a desktop, because we know mobile is the primary way youth will access it,” Legleitner said.
 
Launched November 1 in conjunction with National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, the website details services offered by each of the four agencies along with maps and contact information. The agencies assist youth with a variety of services, including short- and long-term housing, counseling, peer groups, educational assistance, job training and more.
 
For more information, visit www.rhyregionalalliance.org or email info@rhyregionalalliance.org
 
About the Runaway & Homeless Youth Regional Alliance
Runaway & Homeless Youth Regional Alliance is a collaborative effort of four non-profit agencies in southeast Michigan:  Alternatives for Girls, Common Ground, Ruth Ellis Center and Starfish Family Services. The RHY Regional Alliance is dedicated to providing safe places where youth can get food, shelter and short- and long-term support to help them become self-sufficient and live independently. The Alliance is funded by United Way of Southeast Michigan. For more information, visit www.rhyregionalalliance.org.

Reviving Detroit: 4 Arenas Where Nonprofits Can Act to Design a New Future

Excerpt:

The classic action-comedy Beverly Hills Cop was showing on TV this past week. In it, Eddie Murphy plays a Detroit police detective who follows a murder suspect to the West Coast. The opening 10 or 15 minutes includes a chase scene through Detroit. The city is full of vacant buildings and land—and the 1984 film showed a better-looking Detroit than you’ll find today. Axel Foley’s Detroit declared bankruptcy late last week—the largest city ever to do so—ending a fall decades in the making.

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Cuts in food assistance start today, impacting vulnerable children nationwide

Excerpt:

Beginning today, nearly 47 million people, including 22 million children nationwide, will see their food assistance benefits cut, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) expires.

The reduction stems from the fact that a modest boost in benefits included in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has now ended. While SNAP enrollment growth has slowed this year, national enrollment remains high because many families continue to face a job market that remains weak and other hardships resulting from a slow economic recovery.

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