Education

Western Michigan University's BTR Park - file photo by WMUK
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Michelle Miller-Adams says when local communities are struggling economically, leaders look to attract an employer that will bring lots of jobs. But the Senior Researcher for the Kalamazoo-based Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says “that is a very low percentage strategy.” The Upjohn Institute launched a project last year on how communities can attract and keep good jobs. Miller-Adams and Upjohn Institute Senior Economist Tim Bartik are two of the co-authors of a report called Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs For All.  Note: This interview was originally broadcast in April.


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Tim Bartik says employers should go beyond thinking of job training as a one-time program. The Senior Economist for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says if workers can stay on the job, companies won’t have to take on as many costs that come with job turnover. Bartik and Senior Researcher Michelle Miller-Adams are two of the authors of the Upjohn Institute’s report called Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All. 

Bartik says job coaches can help find resources for workers to address problems like child care and transportation. Miller-Adams says large employers have their own people to do that, but she says employer resource networks can help spread out those costs for small and medium sized businesses. Note: This interview was originally presented in March


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Asked to name what he is most proud of as Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent, Michael Rice says “I don’t know that I have a most proud, I have a lot of prouds.” Rice will soon become the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.


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Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says despite many “headwinds” the Kalamazoo district has been able to increase graduation rates. Rice says those challenges have included a reduction in “inflation adjusted funding” and a more difficult Michigan Merit Curriculum. Rice says it’s hard to know how much the increase in graduation rates is due to the Kalamazoo Promise, but he says it is a factor. 

Rice has been Kalamazoo Superintendent for the last 12 years, but he will soon become state Superintendent of Public Instruction in Michigan. The state Board of Education picked Rice for the job earlier this month.


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Kalamazoo Superintendent Michael Rice will soon be Michigan’s state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier, says Rice is taking the job at a time when the position of state superintendent “has increased in terms of visibility and power over the last decade or so.”


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