Short Subjects

The number of Michigan schools failing to make "Adequate Yearly Progress" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act increased 25 percent, from 436 in 2005 to 544 in 2006. About one-third of all high schools in the state failed to attain AYP.

A private company from Texas helped Battle Creek schools save $5 million over the past decade by installing computer software that manages energy use. A contract with the company cost less than $450,000, while the savings has allowed the school to buy thousands of computers.

MEAP scores for the Michigan’s class of 2006 were down in four of five categories compared to 2005: reading, math, science and writing. Only social studies increased, although at 37 percent proficient it had the lowest overall score.

A Catholic grade school is again the only Michigan school to be named a Blue Ribbon recipient under No Child Left Behind standards. St. Paul on the Lake in Grosse Pointe Farms is one of 250 winning schools this year. Royal Oak Shrine won in 2005 and Guardian Angels in Clawson won in 2003. No Michigan school made the list in 2004.

The city of Pontiac was cited by the National Alliance for Public Charter schools as being in the "top 10" nationally for charter school presence. Cities on the list have at least 13 percent of all public school students served by charters.

Philanthropic and education leaders in Flint are investigating how to develop a program similar to the "Kalamazoo Promise," in order to boost the number of area students who attend college.

Most Michigan high school graduates are not "college ready" according to performances on the ACT. Only 25 percent of test takers in the Class of 2006 scored high enough to be considered college ready, meaning they have a 75 percent chance or better of getting a "C" grade or higher in a college course.

The Ypsilanti schools want Gov. Jennifer Granholm to pardon a former bus driver who was forced to leave his job under new student safety laws. Superintendent James Hawkins called John Roberts, convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a "victim."

Catholic schools in the greater Flint area have developed a consortium to combine resources and keep tuition costs down in response to a survey of parents.

A Muskegon Montessori school has found success with year-round school. Michigan Dunes, which had just nine students in K-3 at the start of the 2005-2006 school year, saw enrollment climb to 55 after announcing the change.

Private citizens raised $30,000 to purchase science lab equipment for Bay-Arenac Community High School, a charter public school for at risk students. The equipment included chemical-resistant tables, microscopes, beakers and flasks.

The teachers union in Montgomery County, Maryland, charged political candidates as much as $6,000 each to publicize the fact that the union had endorsed them. Of the 46 partisan candidates the union endorsed, 44 were Democrats.

A study by the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation shows that schools in Milwaukee and Cleveland that accept voucher students are less segregated than public schools in those cities.

Administrators in the Essexville-Hampton schools will get raises ranging from 2 to 17 percent, while teachers in the district agreed to give up yearly and longevity raises this year.

The teachers union in Nashville, Tenn., rejected a $400,000 private gift that would have given merit raises based on student performance. Teachers would have been eligible to receive between $2,000 and $6,000 each if students in the district’s two lowest performing schools would have increased overall performance compared to last year.

A proponent of trimesters predicts the number of schools using the method will double by next year. Mark Westerburg, assistant superintendent at Spring Lake Public Schools in west Michigan, said MEAP scores in the district have increased since its high school moved to trimesters seven years ago.

The Chicago Teachers Union is suing Chicago Public Schools to halt an on-line school, claiming it is the same as home-schooling and should not be publicly funded. Under Renaissance 2010, CPS wants to close underperforming schools and open 100 new schools that are run in new and unique ways.

A study at Harvard University said independent school students do better than public school students when variables such as race and income are left out of the equation. The researchers looked at math and reading scores for fourth- and eighth-graders.

A private consulting firm discovered that New York City schools was spending $20 million a year on busing for students who do not use the transportation. Students must now register for bus service, and companies that provide busing will only be paid for students who actually ride on them.