State Roundup

Pilot project explores instruction without texts

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A pilot project in West Michigan is exploring ways of delivering instruction without textbooks.
The Muskegon Chronicle reports Mona Shores Public Schools’ students in two seventh-grade social studies classes and high school English, math and psychology classes will be assigned their own computer. The project aims to explore the best ways to use online instruction and find out effects on learning.
The Muskegon-area district says middle school students will use the computers nearly all the time in class, while high school students will get a mix of that includes textbooks. Also as part of the effort one teacher will hold algebra and advanced placement calculus classes in a computer lab.
One-to-one student computer initiatives are already under way in other districts.

Grand Rapids
Meijer expands commitment to fighting hunger in Midwest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Meijer Inc. is expanding its commitment to fighting hunger in the Midwest.
The Grand Rapids-based retailer announced Monday it will double match customers’ $10 Simply Give donations made Sept. 2-8 in support of Hunger Action Month.
The plan is part of a $1 million donation to the retailer’s 2012 Simply Give program, which aims to replenish the shelves of nearly 200 food pantries in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
The Simply Give program encourages customers to purchase $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Cards, which are then converted into Meijer gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store. With the double match, each $10 donation will result in a $30 donation to fight hunger.
The fall 2012 campaign runs through Oct. 6.

New DNR director eyes improvements at agency

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — There are opportunities to improve customer service at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and promote sustainable land use that boosts the economy in regions around the state, according to the agency’s new director.
The priorities were among those discussed by Keith Creagh in an interview published Sunday by The Mining Journal of Marquette. Creagh also said he would like to improve the decision-making connection between those in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Lansing.
“I’m a decentralized decision-maker,” Creagh said. “I think the best solutions come where the problem occurs. ... It seems like we need to help that decision-making process a little bit.”
Gov. Rick Snyder in July appointed Creagh to the DNR post. Creagh previously served as leader of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He replaced DNR chief Rodney Stokes, who was appointed by Snyder to head the administration’s vibrant cities initiative.
For Creagh, looking at sustainable land use that also offers economic benefits is a priority.
Another issue is the DNR’s funding structure, which he said has mostly restricted money for specific programs rather than programs following priorities.