Guest Commentary

At Bridge, we believe in listening to voices from all over our state. Got something to say? Contact us and join the conversation.


It’s not easy, but public trust in government can be built, and rebuilt

April 7, 2017 | Cheryl C. Farmer

A former mayor of Ypsilanti explains how that city beat back infighting and helped its residents upgrade infrastructure and attitudes.

Want to improve city finances? Give counties more to do.

April 6, 2017 | Eric Lupher

Taking a more regional approach to local government would improve the efficiency and economics of service delivery. Counties are in a better position to drive technology, elections, tax assessments and other back office functions.

How to fix Michigan's outdated education system

April 4, 2017 | Jim Brooks

A West Michigan civic group argues for an end to rote memorization, and more focus on early childhood education, promoting kids based on competence rather than the calendar, and reforming how teachers are trained. 

Michigan universities object to losing funding, but do they deserve what they get?

March 31, 2017 | Jarrett Skorup

The state’s institutions of higher education need to do better by their students and funders, including taxpayers.

Reducing waste will make energy more affordable in Michigan

March 28, 2017 | Mary Templeton

Take a moment to nominate someone in Michigan who is working to reduce energy waste

Michigan’s electric reliability: Better than the national average

March 25, 2017 | Gerry Anderson

DTE Chairman and CEO takes issue with recent Bridge findings on Michigan's power outages.

Democracy is not a one-way street. Unhappy? Start talking about it.

March 24, 2017 | Michele Corey

Granted, the latest Center for Michigan report on public trust in government is pretty grim. But making it better is a participatory sport.

‘Competency-based’ learning should end social promotion of unprepared students

March 24, 2017 | Bill Sower

It seems like common sense: Make sure students know their material before being promoted to the next grade. But many factors keep it from working. We need to fix that.

Taking a hammer, not a scalpel, to how Michigan cities are funded

March 23, 2017 | Eric Lupher

Small policy changes won’t change the downward spiral of local governments across Michigan. Here are a few alternatives.

Is the new health-care law what anyone really wants?

March 17, 2017 | Marianne Udow-Phillips

Obamacare is an imperfect system, but key indicators show it’s improving care for many Michiganders. Is the ACHA what we want to replace it with?

Lesson one for Michigan schools: We’re doing it wrong

March 17, 2017 | Shaun Black

It’s of utmost importance that we get education right, if we’re going to move the state forward. Policy and funding are only the most important pieces.

Time for Lansing to make its own records open to the public

March 14, 2017 | Jane Briggs-Bunting

New legislative bills would remove the curtain of secrecy that shrouds backroom deals and corruption, make legislators more accountable to their constituents and bring Michigan in line with other states.

The education commission’s report is only step one. Now comes the hard part.

March 10, 2017 | Karen McPhee

The 25-member group looked for ways to improve school performance in Michigan. It’s a thorny problem just to consider, but we have to find answers that work.

Help wanted. Credentials required. Are Michigan job-seekers ready?

March 10, 2017 | Antoine M. Garibaldi

The evidence is clear: The jobs of the future will require post-secondary education, but our data is pretty dismal on that front. Higher ed of all types is the answer. 

When every dollar counts, why exclude prisoners from Medicaid?

March 3, 2017 | Tyler Winkelman, Amy Young, Megan Zakerski

The locked-in are locked out of Social Security, but as prison populations and health-care costs rise, it’s far cheaper to treat them under Medicaid. 

Desperately seeking standards, or why we can’t copy and paste our way to school success

February 24, 2017 | Ron Koehler

C----- C--- is the standard-which-must-not-be-named, but we still need agreement on what students need to learn in Michigan. And we need to keep them in place long enough to know whether they actually work.

‘Moving’ the box allows job seekers to get a foot through previously closed doors

February 23, 2017 | Kevin Stotts

Not considering job applicants with criminal histories deprives Michigan employers of qualified talent

‘Placemaking’ takes hold in Michigan as ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’

February 17, 2017 | Gil White

A bottom-up, low-cost approach to sprucing up and improving public spaces is paying off in several Michigan cities.

Getting ‘rigor’ right in preschool, or avoiding rigor mortis in 4-year-olds

February 17, 2017 | Kellye R. Wood

With all the emphasis on “return on investment” in early childhood education, let’s not forget that play, and just play, is the real way children build a foundation for the schooling to come.

A registry will help fix abuses in Detroit’s home rental market

February 16, 2017 | Sarah Alvarez

People who rent homes in Detroit are often at the mercy of unscrupulous or negligent landlords. The city should stiffen inspection laws and help average Detroiters get better information on rental properties.