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 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Benton Harbor reach tentative deal to save high school

June 26, 2019 | Ron French

The agreement would allow the impoverished community to keep its high school if the school district improves academic performance and pays down debt.

In Benton Harbor schools, a lesson for – and about – Gretchen Whitmer

June 21, 2019 | Ron French

Bold or reckless? Confounding or strategic? Whitmer’s surprise recommendation to close Benton Harbor High School offers clues about her governing style.

Michigan Teacher of the Year: Bring teachers into reform talks

June 21, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

Cara Lougheed, an English and history teacher from Rochester Hills,  says she’s skeptical of school rating systems yet understands the desire among parents to evaluate schools in their community.

As deadline passes, Benton Harbor and state negotiate fate of high school

June 14, 2019 | Ron French

Friday was supposed to be the day Benton Harbor learned if its high school would remain open. Instead, the district and Michigan officials may still be seeking a resolution other than dissolving the district.  

Whitmer faces some backlash over Benton Harbor High closing

June 11, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova, Ron French

The governor is getting pushback from city activists. Meanwhile, it appears the administration may be able to dissolve the district without help from the Legislature if local officials balk at closing the high school.  

Five years in, Michigan passes social studies standards as conservatives fume

June 11, 2019 | Ron French

With a few last tweaks (adding the Ten Commandments and a reference to sturgeon), Michigan’s controversial social studies standards are approved by a Democratic-leaning state education board  

Albion lost its high school; students did better. Is Benton Harbor next?

June 11, 2019 | Ron French

The anguish Benton Harbor is undergoing now was felt by Albion residents six years ago. Today, Albion students, attending a high school 13 miles away, are graduating at a higher clip.

Whitmer plan to boost funds for neediest K-12 students hits wall in Lansing

June 7, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

The Republican-controlled Senate and House leave the Democratic governor’s big school reform effort out of their education budget proposals.

Anguish in Benton Harbor as years of mistakes lead to a school’s likely demise

June 6, 2019 | Ron French, Ted Roelofs

Teachers blame administrators. Administrators blame the board. The board blames the state. Caught in the middle are students saddled with devastatingly low rates of achievement.

Candidate Whitmer: A right to literacy. As Michigan Guv: No need to address.

May 29, 2019 | Chastity Pratt

During the 2018 campaign for governor, Gretchen Whitmer supported a lawsuit to guarantee students’ right to literacy. Now that she’s in office, she is asking a federal appeals court to dismiss the case.

Michigan is investing heavily in early reading. So far, it’s not working.

May 21, 2019 | Ron French

Only three intermediate school districts out of 56 in Michigan are showing increases in third-grade reading. A leading educator asks for patience.

Poll: parents don’t know Michigan's 3rd-grade reading law, love A-to-F school grades

May 20, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

Parents care about improving Michigan schools. But they aren’t hung up on the “controversies” in Lansing’s education circles, according to a new poll.

Six times more third-graders may flunk next year under Michigan reading law

May 17, 2019 | Ron French

More than 5,000 students may be flagged to repeat third grade under a new law intended to ensure solid reading skills at a key age. That number sounds high, but it could have been far higher.  

Will Michigan 3rd- grade reading law hurt poor? Florida’s history says yes

May 17, 2019 | Ron French

Students from less advantaged families are more likely to be held back under Florida’s third-grade reading law than white, more affluent kids with the same low reading scores. A similar Michigan law begins this fall.

Reader FAQ: Does Michigan Lottery money really go to schools?

May 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Michiganders often express skepticism that state lottery money earmarked for schools actually goes to, you know, schools. Bridge offers insight to the most frequently asked lottery conspiracy theories.

Michigan’s next superintendent led gains in Kalamazoo, fought GOP policies

May 7, 2019 | Ron French

Michael Rice boosted low-income gains and has experience outside Michigan. And he doesn’t shy away from fights, which could lead to fireworks with the Legislature in his new post as the state school chief.

With schools flailing, Michigan seeks new leader from in-state. Again.

May 7, 2019 | Ron French

The three finalists to be Michigan’s next state superintendent are all Michigan connected. And did we mention that in 183 years Michigan has never had a female full-time state superintendent?

Comparing Michigan school superintendent finalists by test scores

May 7, 2019 | Ron French

Three people are finalists to be the next state superintendent. What do the test scores of students under their leadership say about whether they could turn around Michigan’s flailing schools?

Betsy DeVos: Michigan doesn’t have enough school choice

May 6, 2019 | Koby Levin

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says Michigan needs more choice, despite mixed record of charter schools.

One finalist drops out, one added, to be next Michigan school superintendent

May 2, 2019 | Ron French

Boston steals a superintendent finalist from Michigan’s final three list.

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