Talent & Education

To prosper, Michigan must be a more educated place. Bridge will explore the challenges in education and identify policies and initiatives that address them.

Articles

Michigan expanded preschool funding. Reading scores show it works.

Michigan expanded preschool funding. Reading scores show it works.

November 6, 2019 | Ron French

The good news: Low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds who enroll in the Great Start Readiness Program become better readers than those who don’t. The bad news? One-in-three qualified kids still aren’t enrolled.

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.

SLIDESHOW: How Michigan schools boosted national ranking

SLIDESHOW: How Michigan schools boosted national ranking

October 30, 2019 | Bridge Staff

Michigan’s public school students continued gains on national tests, improving their ranking just a few years after falling to nearly the bottom of the nation.

Still last among big cities, Detroit gains big in math on national test

Still last among big cities, Detroit gains big in math on national test

October 30, 2019 | Koby Levin

“These are the greatest gains that Detroit has seen since it started taking the assessment,” said one education expert. 

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.

Wayne State bets the word 'free' will lure students like it has at U-M

Wayne State bets the word 'free' will lure students like it has at U-M

October 24, 2019 | Ron French

Most low-income Detroit high school grads already can attend Wayne State University tuition-free. But by making that an explicit, Wayne hopes more city students will see a future in college. 

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.

The Test: ‘Read-or-flunk’ law looms over Michigan third-graders

The Test: ‘Read-or-flunk’ law looms over Michigan third-graders

October 23, 2019 | Ron French

Bridge begins a series following four third-grade classes as they prepare for a test determining who moves on to fourth grade, and who stays behind.

Fewer Michigan college students want to be teachers. That’s a problem.

Fewer Michigan college students want to be teachers. That’s a problem.

October 17, 2019 | Ron French

Declining enrollment in teacher prep programs means bigger teacher shortages, which leads to more uncertified teachers leading Michigan classrooms.

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.

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

October 7, 2019 | Ron French

Superintendents in some of Michigan’s most isolated districts blame Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Repubican leaders for a budget fight that they say threatens their future and treats students like political pawns.

Fewer students, tepid state funding roil Michigan public universities

Fewer students, tepid state funding roil Michigan public universities

October 7, 2019 | Ron French

Meager funding, lower birth rates and a skeptical public are forcing several Michigan universities to adjust to a world with fewer degree options, larger classes and tighter budgets.

Majority of Michigan public schools started school year short on teachers

Majority of Michigan public schools started school year short on teachers

September 26, 2019 | Ron French

A survey of superintendents confirms a teacher shortage forcing schools to turn to less-qualified long-term substitutes.

How four Detroit students hope to make it through the first year of college

How four Detroit students hope to make it through the first year of college

September 20, 2019 | Lori Higgins

Detroit graduates must navigate patchy academic preparation, culture shock, and often their own shaken confidence if they are to stay enrolled and on track to earn a degree that is their best chance to jump into the middle class as adults.

Dems break with Whitmer, pass small funding increase for Michigan schools

Dems break with Whitmer, pass small funding increase for Michigan schools

September 19, 2019 | Ron French, Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is left out of negotiations as legislators boost budget for state $15.2 billion. The budget doubles the number of literacy coaches, but critics say the funding isn’t enough to improve test scores.

As Detroit schools rebuild, a veteran and aviation academy show a way forward

As Detroit schools rebuild, a veteran and aviation academy show a way forward

September 17, 2019 | Koby Levin

Backers of Davis Aerospace Technical Academy refused to allow Detroit to shut one of the only high schools in the nation to train aviation mechanics. Their success suggests a disconnect between Detroiters and their schools is beginning to mend.

As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

September 13, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

 Studies are increasingly drawing links between heavy student cellphone use and anxiety and lower achievement. In one suburban Grand Rapids district, a phone ban may be spawning something else ... conversation.

Michigan GOP proposes 0.9% funding boost for colleges and universities

Michigan GOP proposes 0.9% funding boost for colleges and universities

September 12, 2019 | Ron French

Most universities and community colleges wouldn’t get enough of a funding hike to cover inflation under the latest budget plan in the Michigan Legislature. That’s frustrating for a state already ranked 44th in the nation in per-pupil funding of higher education.

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