John Austin


Opinion | Outgoing Michigan lawmakers should keep hands off our schools

December 11, 2018 | John Austin

Michigan voters elected Gretchen Whitmer, and she shouldn’t have her hands tied by outgoing Republicans, says the former president of the State Board of Education.

Opinion | November election critical for future of public education in Michigan

September 27, 2018 | John Austin

Candidates for governor have laid out plans for turning around Michigan’s failing schools. But only one has a plan that could succeed, argues the former Democratic president of the Michigan State Board of Education.

Opinion | Freshwater coast is key to Michigan and ‘Rust Belt’ revival

August 15, 2018 | John Austin

The magic of the Great Lakes and freshwater coast may be one of the few things more powerful than today’s polarized politics

Opinion | Michigan infrastructure rebuild can’t be borne by local communities

March 27, 2018 | John Austin

The Trump infrastructure plan reminds Michigan that many local governments can’t self-finance their own renewal

Robots don’t have to win: Michigan has what it takes to create jobs

January 11, 2018 | John Austin

In every fast growing sector linked to solving the world’s big challenges, Michigan has the expertise to show the way.

Michigan’s future at stake in fixing public education

October 31, 2017 | John Austin

We know how to improve our public schools; the governor’s education commission and numerous studies provide the blueprint. What we need from state leaders is the political will.

In Michigan, the fight isn’t over statues, but immigrants

August 25, 2017 | John Austin

Don’t get smug about events in Charlottesville, not when Michigan residents marched with white nationalists, and our racial history is as rancorous as the South’s.

A tale of two Rust Belts: Why Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo thrive, and factory towns struggle.

July 13, 2017 | John Austin

Cities with modern, diverse economies outpace places that are less-well-educated and more dependent in manufacturing.

Let's rebuild Michigan through its greatest asset: its water

April 7, 2015 | John Austin

With our rich water history, fantastic coastal properties, and the tremendous innovation horsepower among our companies, colleges, and people – the Blue Economy is Michigan’s economic sweet spot.

Constant tax cuts killing Pure Michigan

July 8, 2014 | John Austin

There is plenty of blame to go around for this diminished Michigan Dream. The biggest culprit is not the Great Recession, but the wrongheaded belief that cutting taxes will improve the economy.