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.
July 16, 2018 | Ron French
California has had a citizen redistricting commission since 2008 similar to the one proposed in Michigan. One lesson from the Left Coast: be prepared for lawsuits.
July 12, 2018 | Ron French
If Michigan is going to deepen its talent pool, it needs to figure out how to get more rural high school grads onto campuses, and how to keep them there.
July 12, 2018 | Ron French
While other universities struggle to get rural and first-generation students to apply, Central Michigan University came up with a surprisingly simple solution: foot the bill to bring busloads for campus visits.
July 10, 2018 | Ron French
Why should convicted killers get free college? It’s a good question, with a surprisingly easy answer
June 29, 2018 | Ron French
Proposed changes in what’s taught as history in classrooms from kindergarten through high school are causing an uproar. The state is extending public hearings through September.
Bridge shows the surprising differences between the published price and the real cost of attending Michigan’s 15 public universities. Students from middle-class and low-income families take note.
June 21, 2018 | Ron French
Leaders from education, business, unions and philanthropy announced Wednesday that they will huddle to improve the state’s lagging public schools.
June 20, 2018 | Ron French
Public meetings that attracted just a few folks have grown bigger and louder since Bridge revealed conservative changes to Michigan K-12 social studies standards.
June 14, 2018 | Ron French
References to gay rights, Roe v. Wade and climate change have been stripped from state K-12 social studies standards. Democrats on the state school board have the votes to block the changes, and vow to do so
June 13, 2018 | Ron French
Luke Wilcox isn’t shy about sharing his opinions, with Bridge Magazine or the U.S. Secretary of Education
Abortion, climate change and gay rights are gone from proposed new social studies standards. State Sen. Patrick Colbeck and conservative groups gained influence on what will taught in Michigan classrooms.
June 7, 2018 | Ron French
Few would argue with Schuette’s point that Michigan’s public schools must vastly improve. We’re struggling, but are we the worst?
May 22, 2018 | Ron French
Michigan schools may be flailing, but major reform is tough. Just look at Kent Innovation High.
May 17, 2018 | Ron French
What does it say about Michigan schools when working at a fast food restaurant is more appealing – and more profitable – than being a veteran teacher?
May 11, 2018 | Ron French
Bridge Magazine won 30 awards from the Michigan Press Association, swept five categories, and took home its third consecutive Michigan Newspaper of the Year award.
April 26, 2018 | Ron French
Michigan’s low-income fourth-graders have some of the lowest reading scores in the nation, and few fared worse than students in Cadillac. Four years later, Cadillac fourth-graders are high-flyers. How did they do it?
Poor children in Michigan struggle compared with more affluent classmates. See how your district is faring in this Bridge school database.
Michigan schools continue to trail most states in academic achievement, floundering in the bottom third of all states, according to the national NAEP test.