Ron French

Senior Writer Ron French joined Bridge in 2011 after having won more than 40 national and state journalism awards since he joined the Detroit News in 1995. French has a long track record of uncovering emerging issues and changing the public policy debate through his work. In 2006, he foretold the coming crisis in the auto industry in a special report detailing how worker health-care costs threatened to bankrupt General Motors. In 2007, French uncovered Michigan’s educator pension and health-care costs that are now at the center of policy debate in Lansing. He is also the author of “Driven Abroad,” a book chronicling the movement of Michigan jobs overseas. You can reach Ron via email at rfrench@bridgemi.com, or call him at 517-214-3636.

Articles

Got polling fever? Five points for surviving until the election results tonight

November 8, 2016 | Ron French

Anxiety-inducing polls are driving Americans to the edge. One expert explains how today’s polls work – and don’t work – and how best to read them

How accurately have polls predicted the presidential race

November 8, 2016 | Ron French

Individual polls can vary to a maddening degree, but the average of final national polls tallied at the RealClearPolitics.com website has been fairly accurate in the past three presidential elections

In Lansing, where potentially self-serving votes run ‘rampant’

October 27, 2016 | Craig Mauger, Ron French

Michigan’s failure to pass a conflict-of-interest law allows legislators to cast votes even when they appear to have a financial interest.

Strangest. Election. Ever. Or how choosing a president sank from civics to reality TV

October 25, 2016 | Ron French

Demonic possession and lesbian farmers. Pickle jars and Tic Tacs. Bridge takes a walk of shame through the 2016 presidential campaign.

For most students, the nurse won’t see you now

September 29, 2016 | Ron French

Michigan has fewer school nurses than almost any state. Some districts are getting creative to try to solve the problem

Little action in Lansing to increase college degrees

September 15, 2016 | Ron French

A sobering report recommends a half billion dollars to improve college access. Lansing responds with a yawn

How other states are getting college dropouts to drop back in

September 15, 2016 | Ron French

From financial incentives to colleges designed for dropouts, states are finding ways to help residents get their diplomas. Could these programs help Michigan

Michigan’s college dropout dilemma

September 8, 2016 | Ron French

Thousands of adults are just a few classes away from a degree. So why isn’t Michigan, so hungry for skilled workers, doing more to help them finish

Over 28? You’ll get no student aid from Michigan

September 8, 2016 | Ron French

Obsolete state policies favor financial aid for young students over the older, part-time students who are increasingly filling college campuses.

How long will Flint’s water chief remain unpaid?

August 30, 2016 | Ron French

Flint hired a former brigadier general to oversee replacement of its lead pipes. The Mott Foundation gave Flint money for his salary. So why hasn’t Michael McDaniel been paid? The answer tells you all you need to know about the slow pace of Flint’s recovery.

Mott president on Flint: ‘You hit rock bottom multiple times’

August 30, 2016 | Ron French

Ridgway White says he is buoyed by the amount of philanthropic money flowing in to address Flint’s water crisis. But the Mott president tells Bridge he sees graver challenges in improving the city’s longer-term economic trajectory

Beyond bottled water: Huge checks, slow progress test patience in Flint

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

Delivering pallets of water was the easy part. Now it gets messy, as various players jockey for position, balance competing interests and struggle with plans to repair the city and its people after a crisis like no other.

Think America doesn’t give a damn about Flint? 15,000 donors disagree

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

15,000 donations have poured in to help Flint kids battling lead poisoning. One-dollar bills and five-figure checks arrive almost daily from schoolchildren and prison inmates, elderly widows and romance writers. Here are a few of their stories

State education proposal would add $1.4 billion to school budget

July 12, 2016 | Ron French

Tripping over its own good intentions, a long-awaited study calculating the cost of a good education may be undone by its high price, timid promises and puzzling methodology

The 3 biggest head-scratchers in Michigan education cost study

July 12, 2016 | Ron French

The report was supposed to be a big win for education reformers. But holes in the study may undermine efforts to increase school spending

Dow Chemical being courted by other states

May 18, 2016 | Ron French, Lindsay VanHulle

If more business-friendly states come calling, can Midland hold on to thousands of high-paying jobs? A test of Gov. Snyder’s economic development strategy.

Welcome to Pennsylvania, where cash-poor cities work together with state emergency managers.

May 17, 2016 | Ron French

In Part 2, Bridge shows how Pennsylvania and Ohio are taking a different approach to keeping their cities stron

Fewer cops, abandoned parks, and why more cities will crumble unless Michigan changes

May 12, 2016 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson

When cities lose 2,300 police officers, it’s time for Michigan to look in the mirror.

U.S. Education Secretary criticizes Legislature for inaction on DPS

May 2, 2016 | Ron French

The failure to come up with more than short-term fixes shows “a lack of concern for people,” says John B. King Jr., who urged a permanent resolution

Flint 101: In business schools and seminars, a tough grade for Snyder

April 28, 2016 | Ron French

Michigan’s CEO governor is the subject of case studies and forums in which the culture in his administration is being compared with oil spills and the Challenger explosion.

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