The boss Betsy Devos

This interview was very scary to me. Watching someone that is in control of our education system along with my job not be able to answer simple questions. Sad.

There is a new state stander for public schools to follow. That is if your child/student is not at a third-grade reading level you are not able to move on. You are no longer able to slide under the radar with reading levels. You must be able to read before moving on to fourth grade.

The state testing needs to change. The rich, poor, and in between are doing poorly. The M-Step is hard. I hope they change the state testing strategies.

She has not even visited a public school that is bad/not doing well. She has nothing to speak to because she has done nothing.

Choices are good but we need great. Put the time, energy, and money into our public schools and watch us soar.

He did a great job curation on the “60-minute interview.” He supported everything with links to his sources. He broke it down so everyone can understand it and find more information.


The mental health system in Michigan and at the University of Michigan – Dearborn

The topic that I chose to write about for my second data story is Michigan’s mental health system, as well as the University of Michigan – Dearborn’s lack of staff at the counseling center.

The first source that I think is needed for my data story was this article on Michigan’s mental health system. The article talks about the lack of resources for undeserved families who have family members facing mental health issues. Because there is a lack of resources, the House C.A.R.E.S Task Force was created to help improve and strengthen the access of care for anyone who is facing mental health challenges.

A second source that I used was the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) Standards. This PDF lists the standards for what a University should uphold at their counseling center. I used this information to find the staff per student ratio at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Using the Campus Safety and Security website, I found out that there is a little over 9,000 students enrolled. The minimum staffing ratio is one Full-time Equivalent (FTE) professional staff member for evert 1,000-1,500. Because there are only four licensed counseling staff, there aren’t enough staff per students enrolled.

The final source that I used is the Financial Reports from 2009-2017 for the University of Michigan – Dearborn. The PDF shows the revenue and expenditures from each campus department, as well as the general funds for the MHealthy Wellness Program.

The story of my story

Writing a data driven story does have it challenges. Getting reliable sources as evidence for ones story is a challenge. As a journalist, you want to make sure that not only are the sources reliable in regards to facts, but also true and non-biased.

When creating my story for the Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, there were tons of data out there to incorporate into my story. One interesting topic came up with the decision to cut cost was race driven.  That led me to my first source using Data USA to get a better understanding of the demographics. This source outlined the income for the city as well as the individual ethnic groups that are citizens of this city.

Another source I used as primary, is the EPA for Flint. This source was crucial in This article was a timeline story dating from 2011 through 2018developing a fact based story. This particular source, I was able to get information on past and current lead levels in the Flint water systems and how they have decreased over the last seven years.

An additional source I used as a secondary measure was via CNN. This article was a timeline story dating from 2011 through 2018 and the different events that has taken place. This was important to me because I was able to get a complete article that another journalist or reporter has written that helps understand the momentum of what has transpired.

I did use several other sources, but the last two very important sources are from This source is very crucial to this type of data story. It was a call to the public to assist with not allowing this issue to go unnoticed or swept under the rug. This link included the address, email and phone number to the Governor of Michigan Rick Synder. Lastly,  an updated article from NBC News that was recent. This article was one of the latest in the developing albeit forgotten story of the crisis the citizens of Flint has been experiencing over the last seven years. Including, the governments decision to stop the bottle water program because lead levels are now within acceptable federal guidelines.

Wildcats last team standing in NCAA tournament

The Villanova Wildcats are champions of the NCAA tournament as they defeated the Michigan Wolverines this past Monday in a 79-62 victory. The Wildcats have now won their second title in the past three years.

The star of the game was Villanova’s Guard Donte DiVincenzo, who racked up a total of 31 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds in 37 minutes. DiVincenzo shot 10/15 from the field and went 5-7 from three point land.

Unfortunately for Michigan and their fans, it was the second time in the past five years they were left on the losing end of game. Michigan Junior Mo Wagner, was the star for his team.

What started off as a close game turned out to be a complete blowout by the halfway point in the first half.

Congrats to the Villanova Wildcats.

A curation example

On Bridgemi I was able to find an example of curation written by Chastity Pratt Dawsey and Mike Wilkinson. This particular article compared the various school stats in Michigan as opposed to other states. The two reporters highlighted an important fact; “Michigan is not getting the school it deserves.”

I feel that after reading Ron French’s story, which is also on Bridgemi, this was a poor example or perhaps a short article. Although the  article had well over 18 paragraphs and only three contextualized links. As the flow of the paragraphs increased to the end of the article the three links were the only sources that were used.

The article also had related links in the middle of certain paragraphs, that could cause some confusion as you are reading. That could be an added value for citizens in the school districts that want to see similar articles on the topic or as mentioned before cause a sense of confusion to the readers.

I do like the way the few links are attributed, it is the same as what we are currently learning and prior to clicking the link you know what you’re going to potentially be seeing. Thus, it is not click bait. Although this is blog post is not about the content of the writing, I think the authors had too much opinion in the writing. This is something that we should limit as much as possible so that our biases and personal beliefs do not run interference with the facts.