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New curriculum requirements proposed for Mich. high schools

by David Eggert, Associated Press LANSING – Michigan’s high school graduation requirements would become more flexible and include a mandatory career readiness course under a series of recommendations and moves announced Monday by Gov. Rick Snyder, who said more must be done to help students fill in-demand jobs in the trades. Snyder called on lawmakers to change the requirements, known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum, to mandate that a career exploration-job skills class be completed in seventh or eighth grade. He said computer science should count to meet a foreign language requirement and that students should be able to fulfill health and physical education requirements by completing career health programs. The curriculum changes were included in a broader list of career pathway proposals developed after top state officials gathered input from employers, educators and union leaders. Recommendations include using certain career planning programs statewide, enhancing career counseling, letting career and technical education students earn an industry-recognized credential and increasing the number of trade instructors. To graduate from high school in Michigan, students must earn at least 18 credits in seven subject areas and complete an online course or learning component. Those who graduate in 2021 or earlier already can fulfill up to half of the two-credit foreign language requirement by completing a career and technical education program or earning another credit in visual, performing or applied arts. The Republican-governor’s announcement came about three months after the GOP-led House voted 69-39 to replace the foreign language and art requirements with a three-credit 21st-Century skills requirement. It could be met by any combination of a foreign language, art, computer science or... read more

Miami win right to sue banks for predatory lending to minorities

Supreme Court Rules Miami Can Sue for Predatory Lending By ADAM LIPTAKMAY 1, 2017/New York Times   WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Miami can sue two banks for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The case arose from the 2008 financial crisis. Miami sued Bank of America and Wells Fargo, saying that their discriminatory mortgage lending practices had led to a disproportionate number of defaults by minority home buyers and, in turn, to financial harm to the city. Even as the majority of justices ruled that Miami was entitled to sue under the housing law, the court declined to decide whether the city had asserted a direct enough connection between the banks’ actions and the harm it claimed. The court sent the case back to the federal appeals court in Atlanta for further exploration of that question. When the case was argued in the Supreme Court in November, it seemed headed for a 4-4 tie. But the vote on the question of whether Miami could sue under the law was 5 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal bloc to form a majority. Miami said the banks had intentionally and disproportionately issued risky mortgages on unfavorable terms to black and Hispanic borrowers. That led, the city said, to segregation and foreclosures, hurting its property tax base and requiring it to provide additional municipal services. A trial court dismissed the suits in 2014, saying the city had not demonstrated that its claims were covered by the housing law. The United States Court of Appeals for the... read more
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