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.


Hispanic women struggle with just over half the pay of men

June 9, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

Hispanic women in Michigan earn barely half the income of non-Hispanic white males.

How a single, powerful senator killed serious reform of teacher evaluation

June 4, 2015 | Ron French

A bill to set rigorous statewide standards for evaluating teachers was backed by Republicans and Democrats, as well as the governor. Standing in their way: state Sen. Phil Pavlov, who has his own ideas about what's best for teachers.

Ball Q&A: Michigan kids ‘will lose’ with weak teacher evaluation bill

June 4, 2015 | Ron French

UM education dean Deborah Loewenberg Ball slams the Legislature’s latest bill to rate teachers. She urges the state to instead adopt her panel’s recommendations, which she said would be the nation’s gold standard for raising classroom performance.

One high school’s miracle revival. And what may kill it.

May 21, 2015 | Keith A. Owens

Hazel Park High’s academic turnaround plan transformed it from one of the state’s worst high schools to one of the best in just two years. Will district finances halt its success?

Michigan’s one-room schoolhouses make one last stand

May 19, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

In an era where consolidating government and creating “efficiencies” is the mantra, there are 16 one-room schoolhouses still operating across lower Michigan, often in the shadow of larger schools districts. Do they have a future?

Four siblings, a single classroom

May 19, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

The vast majority of families that pick one-room schools for their children do so through Michigan’s broad school choice law. For Paul and Jeanine Starcher, choosing Verona Mills was a way to keep their quadruplets in one classroom.

Why does U-M accept so few low-income students?

May 5, 2015 | Ron French

A girl, a college president, and the struggle to increase income diversity on campus.

Lack of college guidance keeps poor and rural students from applying

March 26, 2015 | Ron French

From ACT prep to private tutors and advisors, middle- and high-income students are groomed to follow their dreams. For bright low-income students, the first obstacle is learning where to start.

Putting a college advisor in every Michigan high school

March 26, 2015 | Ron French

Getting low-income students to think about two- and four-year colleges is the goal of a program that can lift young people from poverty and boost the state’s economy.

March Gradness: NCAA brackets built on victories in the classroom, not the court

March 17, 2015 | Ron French

Grading Michigan State University and the other NCAA tournament teams on the academic factors that matter to average (much shorter) students.

A steady doctor for babies to call their own

March 5, 2015 | Bill McGraw

More than 80,000 low-income infants and young children in Michigan don’t have access to a primary care doctor to nurture their development.

Preschool for 3-year-olds - high cost, higher reward

March 5, 2015 | Bill McGraw

Adding a second year of preschool nets long-term gains for children in poverty, and for state, studies show.

Putting a value on young minds

March 3, 2015 | Bill McGraw

In a year when state legislators are disinclined to spend, a stunning report shows that Michigan can invest now in proven early childhood programs, or spend a great deal more later.

Only 1-in-10 at-risk children enrolled in parental coaching program

March 3, 2015 | Bill McGraw

A consensus of research shows home-visitation programs for families with young children improve child development, while saving taxpayers money that would otherwise go to remedial education, incarceration and other costs.

Michigan struggles to support child care for thousands of children

March 3, 2015 | Bill McGraw

Michigan has reduced funding for low-income child care by 67 percent since 2007. Research shows that high-quality centers can boost educational performance.

When is college credit not a credit? Too often, when it’s earned at a community college

February 26, 2015 | Chastity Pratt

For thousands of low-income students, a four-year college degree is only within reach if they start at community college, saving money on tuition. State lawmakers are leaning on colleges and universities to make that process easier by ensuring students’ hard-earned credits transfer with them.

College costs have doubled, even after inflation, and other frightening facts (Chapter 1)

February 24, 2015 | Ron French

Think you can still pay for college delivering pizza? Think again. Bridge presents 6 realities facing today’s college student.

The crazy cost of college, a cultural timeline (Chapter 2)

February 24, 2015 | Ron French

Hemlines rise and fall, but tuition just goes up.

Four reasons why Michigan college prices have skyrocketed (Chapter 3)

February 24, 2015 | Ron French

The state bears blame for the high cost of higher education, but students aren’t blameless, either.

College costs: 2014

February 24, 2015 | Bridge Staff