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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: KPS Superintendent on Graduation Rates, Test Scores And The School Calendar of The Future

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Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says the Kalamazoo Promise helped boost enrollment. But he says other programs have helped drive up the graduation rate. Rice says the increase in graduation has outpaced the rate of growth in enrollment. 

Two Kalamazoo schools started their academic year in July. Rice says he believes a different school calendar is likely the way of the future. He says both schools have the same number of days and hours of instruction, but don’t have the long summer break in the traditional school calendar. But Rice says any large scale change is still many years away.

Rice also spoke with WMUK’s Gordon Evans about test scores, school financing and the largest bond in KPS history approved by voters in May. While Rice says scores are up, he still believes there are problems with some of the standardized tests such as Michigan’s M-STEP.

WestSouthwest Brief with Michael Rice

The $96.7 million bond will pay for upgrades and new facilities, including a district wide kitchen. Rice says food served in schools now is “fine” and meets USDA standards. But he says the new kitchen will allow for more scratch cooking that should be more appealing to students. Rice says the bond will also pay for security upgrades at more Kalamazoo school buildings.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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