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Stateside: State Superintendent on new school grades; the rise in teen vaping; Motown turns 60

Person blowing vape cloud
According to the Surgeon General, teen e-cigarette use among high school students increased 78% in the past year.

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Interim State School Superintendent explains why she’s opposed to an A-though-F grading systems meant to evaluate state schools passed by the lame-duck legislature in December. Plus, a researcher breaks down the “epidemic” of teen vaping and how e-cigarette use can affect brain development in young people. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Interim state superintendent explains why new A-F grading system hurts MI schools

Stateside’s conversation with Sheila Alles

  • One of the many bills passed during the Michigan Legislature’s lame-duck session established an A-through-F grading system for the state to use when evaluating K-12 schools. Former Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill into law on December 28th despite vigorous objection from many in the education community. Sheila Alles is the Interim State School Superintendent. She joined Stateside to discuss why she’s seeking a legal review of the grading system, how she thinks the law could violate Michigan’s federally-approved education plan, and what she would like to see implemented in its place.

Howes: Why auto shows are declining in influence

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • The very last North American International Auto Show to be held in the depths of winter will take place later this month before moving to the summer in coming years. Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes explains how next year’s show will differ from previous ones and touches on recent news out of Ford Motor Company. 

The stark rise in teen vaping and what it means

Stateside’s conversation with Richard Miech

  • The Food and Drug Administration and the Surgeon General have sounded alarm bells over what they’re calling an “epidemic” of teen vaping. While cigarette use has dropped markedly among middle and high school students, teen e-cigarette use has increased by 78% in the past year alone. Richard Miech is a professor and principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future Study at the University of Michigan. He fills us in on his research into teen substance use habits, explains how nicotine affects brain development in young people, and shares what he thinks are the best ways to prevent teens from picking up vaping in the first place.

Free Press investigation suggests Gov. Rick Snyder exempted Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock from state worker safety laws

Stateside’s conversation with Jennifer Dixon

  • Did Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert’s development company get special treatment from former Governor Rick Snyder’s office? Jennifer Dixon is a reporter with the Detroit Free Press. She joined Stateside to talk about her front-page investigation, which examines how Gilbert's Bedrock Detroit company pressured the state to ignore safety issues, essentially winning a hands-off policy from workplace safety inspectors.

Motown celebrates its 60th birthday this week, plus previously unreleased music from the Motown archives

Stateside’s conversation with Robin Terry

  • Sixty years ago this week, Detroit autoworker, former boxer, and part-time singer Berry Gordy, Jr., started Tamla Records, or what the world now knows as Motown. Robin Terry is the CEO of the Motown Museum, and granddaughter of the museum’s founder, Esther Gordy Edwards. She tells us about Berry Gordy, Jr.’s legacy, why she thinks Motown music continues to resonate with so many listeners after six decades, and what the museum doing to celebrate this anniversary.

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