Phil's column

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

Archived columns

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.

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Proposal 1 crash shows lawmakers out of touch

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Gov. Snyder goes big, bold in reimagining government programs

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

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Crime, crime everywhere

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.

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Turning to families to improve children’s future

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

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Paying Jim Harbaugh millions to coach U-M makes business sense

Even at $5 million a year, hiring a big-name coach like Harbaugh – especially one the fan base thinks will walk on water – makes enormous sense when you consider ticket sales and Harbaugh’s professed interest in academics as well as football talent.

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