Phil's column

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

Archived columns

Hosannas to Free Press for exposing charter failings

What’s the sense in financially supporting charter schools if they are not producing better educational outcomes than the failing traditional public schools students are leaving behind?

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The only cherry pie recipe you’ll need this summer

Tracing family roots to Michigan’s unparalleled sour cherry harvest.

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What Michigan voters (really) want

Polls are a snapshot of public attitudes, but the state’s 2014 political candidates need the “Michigan Speaks” report to grasp what’s driving voters this election year.

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A path through the political thicket for Bridge journalism

This publication’s reporting – and the Center for Michigan’s engagement work – led to two big wins for Michigan’s school children. Excuse us if we brag a little bit.

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Has the tide finally turned for Michigan?

The case for cautious optimism for our state, which finally seems to be moving in the right direction.

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Now, let’s fix the rest of Michigan

Beyond Detroit, Michigan’s entire system of financing local government is tottering on the brink of collapse.

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Michigan races, funded by outside billionaires

Rich donors and secret super PACS are setting the agenda in the state’s governor and senate races, making Michigan’s key political campaigns anything but local.

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Flush with lilacs, Michigan blooms anew

April may be the cruellest month, but its reward is May.

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Detroit’s last, best chance lies in current crisis

It’s going to take a long time to root out the damage Detroit has incurred over a half century. Here’s hoping the city, the region and the entire state have the fortitude, far-sightedness and patience to persevere.

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A chance to hear Michigan’s real voice

In an age of political microtargeting, Community Conversations show the face of Michigan

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Why is this lesson so hard to learn? Education should be linked to job market

Two generations of Michigan governors have urged the teaching of job skills to match the labor market, to little effect.

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Boiled duck, angry bear and the remorseless twilight of arctic life

More than 50 years after establishing a nonprofit for Inuit artists, a frigid return to Baffin Island.

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Schools must work together in lean times

As the Marshall-Albion merger shows, collaboration offers school districts the best option to conserve money while helping students.

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Pay for roads and college now, or pay later

Election-year politics shouldn’t trump legislators’ duty to do the right thing for Michigan’s future

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John Dingell got things done

For nearly six decades, Dingell worked with colleagues across the political spectrum. His departure pounds another nail in the coffin of competent government in our representative democracy, now quivering in gridlock thoroughly mixed with political narcissism.

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Adding your voice to Michigan’s future

Participate in the Center for Michigan’s web-based community conversations. Make your views heard. And help make Michigan a better place.

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Despite efforts, little progress has been made in educating poor, vulnerable kids

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Among other things, this famous Zen riddle suggests that some problems are extremely complex – and may require more than one approach to a solution. That’s an important notion when it comes to how […]

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Before election, Gov. Snyder turns eye toward college affordability

After seven years of savage budget cuts, the governor seeks a 6 percent hike in higher-ed spending, a cap on tuition and $65 million more for pre-K, moves that are politically shrewd and necessary for Michigan .

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