Project Editor/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 email@example.com, or call him at 517-657-3501.
May 7, 2019 | Ron French
Three people are finalists to be the next state superintendent. What do the test scores of students under their leadership say about whether they could turn around Michigan’s flailing schools?
May 2, 2019 | Ron French
Boston steals a superintendent finalist from Michigan’s final three list.
May 1, 2019 | Ron French
A bill allowing students to opt out of algebra 2 for other, more practical math classes has been introduced in the Michigan Legislature a month after a study lauded the positive impact of the requirement.
April 24, 2019 | Ron French
The state education official in charge of the five-year odyssey to update school social studies standards is tired of her department being used as a political punching bag
April 19, 2019 | Ron French
How willing are politicians to raise taxes on roads when the idea is unpopular and voters don’t trust Lansing? We’ll soon find out.
Dearborn schools dominate many of the champs lists, as Bridge Magazine recognizes winners at schools from Grand Rapids to Detroit and the Upper Peninsula
April 16, 2019 | Ron French
The public has one more round of public meetings to offer its views on updating subjects covered in social studies classes across the state. Check out the schedule for a hearing near you.
April 15, 2019 | Ron French
It’s been 20 years since two students killed 13 people at Columbine High School. Today, Michigan schools use hockey pucks, hornet spray and gun sensors to train for the unthinkable. Are they ready? And at what cost?
Most Michigan schools visited take active shooter security seriously. Just don’t ask the state what each school is doing – it doesn’t keep track. And the Office of School Safety the Legislature created? It remains unfunded.
April 9, 2019 | Ron French
Last year, a draft of state social studies standards drew outrage after references to climate change, gay rights and Roe v. Wade were cut. A new draft restored them. Guess who is outraged now?
April 5, 2019 | Ron French
Three finalists are long-time superintendents from Michigan, and two others would bring an outside perspective to the state’s chief of schools
March 26, 2019 | Ron French
A public outcry followed conservative efforts last year to revise ‒ and in some cases, limit ‒ what is taught classrooms. Those changes were largely reversed in a new draft to the state education board.
March 20, 2019 | Ron French
Those inside Michigan’s classrooms have some very different views on what works and what doesn’t work to improve education, according to a massive survey of educators across the state.
Students from poor families are, on average, more than two years behind their wealthier classmates. Poverty plays a huge role in student scores, but can boosting teacher quality also help?
In some counties, there are three funerals for every birth. That’s not a trend that bodes well for the state.
March 5, 2019 | Ron French
The $24 million budget increase for literacy coaches wasn’t the biggest headline out of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal, but it could have a huge impact on Michigan schools, particularly for third grade.
March 4, 2019 | Ron French
Brandy Johnson, founder and executive director of the Michigan College Access Network will bring a college and career focus to the new administration, and a history of “getting stuff done.”
Michigan’s governor’s first budget offers a fairly radical change in how the state spends money on public school students, with questions still on where the money would come from.
A new scholarship proposal could get more students into Michigan colleges. But which campus they go to plays a big role in whether they graduate and how much they - and the state - will benefit.
February 27, 2019 | Ron French
The governor’s ambitious revamp of college aid could be a game-changer for Michigan, but the state’s poor won’t benefit much. Here’s why.