Kalamazoo Public Schools

Kalamazoo Kids In Tune

The Kalamazoo Symphony and Kalamazoo Public Schools' after-school music program, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune continues beyond the school year, offering six weeks of summer programming. Artistic director Ben Gudbrandson says it's a time when the skills they built might otherwise get rusty, and just as importantly, kids benefit from the familiar routine of rehearsal and performing. Craig Freeman, a leading brass instructor for KKIT, added a jazz unit to the program this summer, and alongside the orchestra and its chamber ensembles, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune will give two public concerts this week.

On Tuesday, July 16, the orchestra will play at the Portage Public Library at 1 pm - 1:30 pm. On Thursday, July 18, they'll be downtown on the Kalamazoo Mall from 11:45 - 12:15 pm. 

Gordon Evans / WMUK

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.

File photo of Kalamazoo Promise sign

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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When Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice takes on the job of State Superintendent he will tasked with the job of improving education in the state. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier says Rice is up to the challenge. 

Geier was a teacher, principal and Superintendent of Bloomingdale Public Schools, before he became a professor. He says Rice is very intelligent, a good listener and understands the challenges and dynamics of public education. Geier says Rice will be a champion and advocate for marginalized student populations.