Phil's Column

Phil Power is the founder and chairman of the Center for Michigan. 


On the summer solstice, a meditation on gardens and life.

June 23, 2015 | Phil Power

A promise of beauty and wisdom amid the wonders of Michigan.

The time is now to reform prisons, save taxpayers money

June 16, 2015 | Phil Power

Momentum is building among conservative policymakers to reduce costs in the state’s expensive prison system

After preschool gains, Michigan should now turn to 0-3 child policies

June 9, 2015 | Phil Power

Programs that help vulnerable families with pregnancy and infant care, as well as child-care options, are shown to pay dividends for early learning.

A roads solution for Michigan

May 19, 2015 | Phil Power

Like the aftermath of a sudden spring snowstorm, the ground is blanketed with various proposals to fix Michigan’s roads. And most have something else in common with spring snow: They’re likely to have melted into the ground once the sun comes out.

Proposal 1 crash shows lawmakers out of touch

May 12, 2015 | Phil Power

In today’s digital world, old school political leadership mechanisms don’t work well anymore.

Finding a haven for the moderate middle

May 5, 2015 | Phil Power

Common-sense solutions should constitute a third force in Michigan politics, which could move our two entrenched political parties toward collaboration for the public good.

Leaving elections in the hands of plutocrats

April 28, 2015 | Phil Power

There is something deeply disgusting when a very few people dominate financing of our ostensibly “democratic” political system without even the pretense of public engagement.

A broken back, polio and the test of character

April 21, 2015 | Phil Power

A book recounting how FDR’s struggles with polio helped shape his worldview reminds the author of a turning point in his own life.

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children

April 14, 2015 | Phil Power

The CMU event, open to the public, will bring experts on early childhood development from around the world to Michigan.

Could a public boarding school model work in Detroit?

April 7, 2015 | Phil Power

A program in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Miami holds promise for low-income students, but going big with this reform carries its own risks.

Third-grade reading improvement and other fixes for Michigan classrooms

March 31, 2015 | Phil Power

The Michigan Legislature needs to get moving by passing critical reforms that will reverse the state’s declining performance

Who wins when residents don’t know the people making policy?

March 24, 2015 | Phil Power

When political parties control who gets nominated for the state board of education and other policy offices, the candidates that emerge are too often the product of special interests.

Put politics aside, and invest in the tools that help children learn

March 10, 2015 | Phil Power

There’s compelling evidence that investing in infants all the way through age eight brings disproportionately high returns.

Wisdom trumps politics in getting a second Detroit bridge to Canada

March 3, 2015 | Phil Power

Canadian officials overcome the Ambassador Bridge owner and the empty promises of Washington to get key economic project pushed through.

Governor’s budget shows planning for the long term

February 17, 2015 | Phil Power

Gov. Snyder’s push to put more money in higher education and early education programs shows an interest in what’s best for Michigan over the long haul.

GOP’s broad ambitions should be subordinate to one: improving education

February 9, 2015 | Phil Power

States like Tennessee have shot past Michigan in student performance by setting long-term policy goals and sticking with them.

Giving parents the tools to truly compare schools

February 3, 2015 | Phil Power

Our in-depth analysis goes even deeper this year because we’ve crunched student data in more grades than ever

Gov. Snyder goes big, bold in reimagining government programs

January 27, 2015 | Phil Power

Governor cuts through the clutter and inefficiency of government operations to envision a more ‘human-focused” future for Michigan residents

Crime, crime everywhere

January 20, 2015 | Phil Power

A recent study co-written by the Mackinac Center shows how Michigan lawmakers have larded the criminal code with thousands of (often arcane) offenses that many folks wouldn’t consider inherently wrong.

Turning to families to improve children’s future

January 13, 2015 | Phil Power

Plenty of evidence that gains in learning during a child’s development go right back to the day a baby is born.