Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson joined us from The Detroit News as Bridge’s computer-assisted reporting specialist. Mike performed a similar role at the News, where his work showed, for instance, that just under half of all Detroit property owners paid their annual tax bills. He was also part of a team at The Blade of Toledo that won national honors, including the National Headliner and Gerald Loeb awards, for exposing widespread political corruption in a scandal that came to be known as Coingate. The stories led to political reform in Ohio state government. You can reach Mike via email at mwilkinson@bridgemi.com or call him at 313-815-7068.

Articles

Michigan youth suicide rate doubles. What parents can do.

Michigan youth suicide rate doubles. What parents can do.

November 20, 2019 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

The spike in suicide rates comes as a national poll suggests parents struggle to know the difference between normal ups and downs of the teen years and something more serious.

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

November 19, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Tax requests increasingly are popping up in elections with low turnouts, such as March’s heavily Democratic presidential primary. Governments say it saves money. Foes say it’s anti-democratic.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

November 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

An Oakland County man lost his property to foreclosure over an $8.41 tax debt. Oakland then sold the property for $24,500 and kept the profit. His lawyers want the high court to end this practice in Michigan. 

Michigan schools are now average. That’s progress.

Michigan schools are now average. That’s progress.

October 30, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

The NAEP test, known as “the nation’s report card,” shows that state students are treading water on test results, as other states’ scores are going down. As a result, Michigan has risen to middle-of-the-pack status.

If literacy is a right, who pays bill, judge asks in Detroit schools suit

If literacy is a right, who pays bill, judge asks in Detroit schools suit

October 24, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A closely watched Detroit case is heard by a three-judge federal panel in Cincinnati. At stake could be nothing less than a complete overhaul in how Michigan schools are funded.

Is literacy a constitutional right? A Detroit legal case could decide

Is literacy a constitutional right? A Detroit legal case could decide

October 23, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

 Education advocates hope to overturn the dismissal of a case that argued that access to literacy was protected by the U.S. Constitution. The implications for Michigan and the nation are sweeping.

Rich districts profit by sending substitutes to Michigan private schools

Rich districts profit by sending substitutes to Michigan private schools

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan’s exploding use of long-term substitute teachers isn’t confined only to charter and poor schools. Richer districts also profit through a program that allows them to send uncertified teachers to private schools.

Who’s leading classes? Uncertified teachers for thousands of Michigan kids

Who’s leading classes? Uncertified teachers for thousands of Michigan kids

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

New data show permits for long-term substitute teachers are on pace to equal or surpass last year in Michigan, continuing a surge in the use of lower-paid teachers who can have as little as two years’ education.

Check to see how many long-term subs are in your Michigan school

Check to see how many long-term subs are in your Michigan school

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The use of long-term substitute teachers – who may have as little as two years of college – has soared in Michigan. Use this database to search how many are in your school so far this academic year.

Hate Michigan roads? Your neighbors’ may be way better. (with database)

Hate Michigan roads? Your neighbors’ may be way better. (with database)

September 26, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Yes, Michigan has bad roads, but their quality varies widely throughout the state, according to 2018 rankings of road conditions, which may inform lawmakers’ debate about whether to raise taxes for upgrades.

Talk about Pure Michigan: Outdoor pursuits generate $10B, report says

Talk about Pure Michigan: Outdoor pursuits generate $10B, report says

September 23, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A new federal report for the first time puts a dollar figure on the boating, RVing, hiking and skiing that Michigan loves. The amount is less than industry groups have touted, offering an opportunity for growth.

Algae is again fouling Lake Erie. Thanks a lot, Ohio.

Algae is again fouling Lake Erie. Thanks a lot, Ohio.

September 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

As water quality fears rise, many Michigan farmers are doing their part to stem the flow of algae-producing nutrients, widespread measures that Ohio can only dream of.

Michigan M-STEP test scores are inching upward. See how your school compares.

Michigan M-STEP test scores are inching upward. See how your school compares.

August 29, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Results from the state’s annual standardized test, given to students in grades 3-8, show faint signs of improvement. See how state students overall performed in the tests given last spring, and look up your own school.

Database: See how your Michigan school scored on M-STEP test

Database: See how your Michigan school scored on M-STEP test

August 29, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Use this database to check out how many students tested as proficient on Michigan’s M-STEP tests.

Taught by substitute teachers, Michigan students relied on YouTube for lessons

Taught by substitute teachers, Michigan students relied on YouTube for lessons

August 27, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The Universal Academy in Detroit received notoriety in June when a video went viral of the co-salutatorians criticizing the value of their education. Concerns over schools’ reliance on subs remain.

Check out wait times at your Michigan Secretary of State offices

Check out wait times at your Michigan Secretary of State offices

August 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Lines have gotten longer so far this year, compared with wait times in 2018. This Bridge database allows you to see how times have changed in branch offices near you.

 

Michigan school leaders decry explosion of untrained teachers in classrooms

Michigan school leaders decry explosion of untrained teachers in classrooms

August 9, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

School leaders including new state Superintendent Michael Rice say time and money are needed to reduce growth of long-term substitutes, following Bridge Magazine investigation.

Alarmed by long-term subs, Detroit raised teacher pay and offered bonuses

Alarmed by long-term subs, Detroit raised teacher pay and offered bonuses

August 8, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The pay incentives, after years of cutbacks, allowed the state’s largest school district to hire hundreds of additional certified teachers, often plucking them from charter schools.

Database: How many long-term subs are in your Michigan district?

Database: How many long-term subs are in your Michigan district?

August 7, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The use of long-term, uncertified substitute teachers has exploded in Michigan as a teacher shortage has intensified. Search to see how many of the teachers are in your school district.

Michigan leans on long-term substitutes as its schools struggle

Michigan leans on long-term substitutes as its schools struggle

August 7, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

In the last five years, the number of long-term substitutes taking over public classrooms has risen tenfold in Michigan. Critics say reliance on subs is an embarrassment for a state with lagging school performance.

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