Phil's column

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

Archived columns

Make this cherry pie for Fourth of July

Five generations of the Power family are tied to the Montmorency “sour” cherries of northern Michigan. Now, put them in your belly!

Read more

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

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

Read more

The time is now to reform prisons, save taxpayers money

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

Read more

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

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

Read more

A roads solution for Michigan

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.

Read more

Proposal 1 crash shows lawmakers out of touch

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

Read more

Finding a haven for the moderate middle

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.

Read more

Leaving elections in the hands of plutocrats

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.

Read more

A broken back, polio and the test of character

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

Read more

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children

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

Read more

Could a public boarding school model work in Detroit?

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.

Read more

Third-grade reading improvement and other fixes for Michigan classrooms

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

Read more

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

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.

Read more

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

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

Read more

Wisdom trumps politics in getting a second Detroit bridge to Canada

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

Read more

Governor’s budget shows planning for the long term

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.

Read more

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

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

Read more

Giving parents the tools to truly compare schools

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

Read more

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.