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Listen Tuesdays at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on 90.5 WKAR-FMAccording to the Kids Count report of April 2018, 56% of third graders in Michigan are not proficient in English Language Arts. At the same time, some new public school teachers in Michigan are leaving the classroom because they do not earn enough money for a decent living. Virtual and charter schools are on the rise in Michigan. And in some communities there are breakthroughs in raising better readers.Covering education in Michigan is complex, but WKAR is committed to reporting on the problems, searching for solutions, and holding leaders accountable.Listen for Making The Grade in Michigan with WKAR education reporter Kevin Lavery every Tuesday at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on 90.5 WKAR-FM's Morning Edition.

Colleague Fondly Remembers MI State Superintendent Brian Whiston

Brian Whiston
YouTube/Michigan Dept. of Education
Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston lost his battle with cancer Monday evening. He was 56.

A colleagues of the late Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston is remembering him as a man of courage and conviction. 


Brian Whiston took the reins as Michigan’s top education official in 2015.  Under his guidance, the state launched its “Top 10 in 10” initiative, a turnaround plan designed to stop a decade-long slide in standardized test scores.


State Board of Education co-president Richard Zeile credits Whiston’s vision and his talent for bringing out the best in other people.


“That was enabled by his own lack of ego, his willingness to let others take the credit and sometimes take the initiative,” Zeile says.  “But he himself was able to get people of diverse values and visions and personalities to work together.”


Whiston died Monday after a months-long battle with cancer.  He was 56.


Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles is expected to be named interim superintendent until the state completes a national search for Whiston’s successor.




Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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