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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 517-657-3501.
December 2, 2014 | Ron French
Michigan does not require school counselors to receive training on giving college advice to students.<br />
A bill now in the legislature would require such training for counselors entering the field. But with all the focus on road funding, will lawmakers get to it? </p>
November 20, 2014 | Ron French
The board’s report cites the recent Bridge series, “The smartest kids in the nation,” which chronicled how other states saw gains when they targeted funds to the schools that needed help most.
November 6, 2014 | Ron French
By all accounts, finding money to fix Michigan’s roads is a priority. But what after that? A school bill? Or something nuclear, like changing how we count presidential electoral votes?
With the state House perhaps up for grabs, uncertainty for tea party candidates and what could be a close race for governor, Lansing’s approach to road funding, education and other key issues is unsettled.
October 30, 2014 | Ron French
Incumbent Rick Snyder and challenger Mark Schauer differ on a lot of issues. Here’s a primer before you step into the voting booth.
October 21, 2014 | Ron French
Superintendent Mike Flanagan tells Bridge he is baffled by Michigan’s poor scores on national tests, has been slow to act on key reforms, and may have stayed in his job too long.
Students from Minnesota to Florida are learning more. Is Michigan ready to do something about it?
September 30, 2014 | Ron French
Emphasis on literacy and testing to monitor progress are credited with a rise in student learning in Florida, particularly for low-income and minority students. But some ask, how much is too much?
September 16, 2014 | Ron French
Minnesota traces its elite status to tough academic standards, the nation’s most extensive early childhood education program and higher investment in low-income schools.
September 12, 2014 | Ron French
A Bridge article revealing possible oil leasing under the virgin pines produced a backlash from environmental groups, and from the family that donated the land. The DNR says it may still allow drilling in other parts of the park.
August 7, 2014 | Ron French
The state may allow an oil lease under the largest stand of virgin white pine in the Lower Peninsula. Experts say drilling wouldn't harm trees. But critics fear a booming oil rig at Hartwick Pines State Park.
August 7, 2014 | Ron French
Revenue and jobs? Or undisturbed quiet? Make your voice heard on drilling proposals. Also, see if you live near a proposed drilling site.
July 31, 2014 | Ron French
Support from Republicans and Democrats. More than $8 million in spending. No organized opposition. Why is the public skeptical?
July 8, 2014 | Ron French
Cherries dumped in ditches? Polish imports? With the National Cherry Festival in full swing, one cherry producer is left with a sour taste.