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.

State education board urges Legislature to transform how schools are funded

The board’s report cites the recent Bridge series, “The smartest kids in the nation,” which chronicled how other states saw gains when they targeted funds to the schools that needed help most.

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State schools chief: Michigan is 10 years behind leading states

Superintendent Mike Flanagan tells Bridge he is baffled by Michigan’s poor scores on national tests, has been slow to act on key reforms, and may have stayed in his job too long.

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Smartest kids: What Michigan schools can learn from leading states

Students from Minnesota to Florida are learning more. Is Michigan ready to do something about it?

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Smartest kids: Four school advocates raise their hands

We asked four fierce, very different education advocates how to improve Michigan schools. They hit on many reforms successfully used in leading states.

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National education leader: Business must lead fight in Michigan

Bridge sat down with Kati Haycock, founder of the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., to talk about reversing Michigan’s decline and what schools can do for low-income kids when parents aren’t in the game.

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Teachers need smaller classes, time to collaborate and meaningful training to make a difference

American education reforms of the past decade have not worked. Student achievement is not appreciably improving. Frequent high stakes testing allows less time to actually teach; teachers are evaluated on student test scores for things they were never told to teach; and […]

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Educate and train our teachers so they can help our students thrive

Michigan needs a good teacher in every classroom. Research shows students with well-prepared teachers can gain four months or more additional academic growth each year, helping struggling students catch up. Students with poor teachers never catch up. Michigan’s $12,644 per pupil funding […]

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Third graders must have solid reading foundation to succeed later

We’re having a vigorous debate in Michigan about how to address the fact that nearly one-third of our elementary school students are not proficient readers. Given the critical importance of early literacy to future academic success, Michigan is considering whether to join […]

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High standards and a coherent education strategy are critical

Over the last two years, our organization has studied leading education states to share these lessons with Michiganders about how we can raise student learning in our public schools. We’re glad that Bridge is working to share many of these lessons across […]

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How Tennessee, Michigan compare

How Michigan, Tennessee compare Tennessee has made great strides on national tests in recent years, a byproduct officials say of better teacher training and blah blah blah 4th grade math, all4th grade reading, all4th grade math, poor* students 4th grade math, not […]

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Smartest kids: Ignoring outcry, Massachusetts leaders chose excellence

Tough standards, targeted funding and a difficult test that every student must pass have elevated Massachusetts to the top of the class.

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Smartest kids: Massachusetts charter schools are few but mighty

Charters in the Bay State are fulfilling the promise of bringing innovation and performance to public education. The state keeps a tight rein on who can open charters and sets high standards for schools to remain open.

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How Michigan, Massachusetts compare

Use our interactive graphs to compare Michigan and Massachusetts across a wide range of test scores.

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Smartest kids: In Florida, early reading and frequent testing bring results, and pushback

Emphasis on literacy and testing to monitor progress are credited with a rise in student learning in Florida, particularly for low-income and minority students. But some ask, how much is too much?

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How Michigan, Florida compare

Florida students, including low-income students, have risen dramatically in national academic rankings while students in Michigan are being left behind.

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Community colleges pushing skilled trades, but students aren’t buying

Despite sunny promises, most community college students are shunning careers in manufacturing, technical and skilled trades, leaving Michigan employers and the colleges themselves bewildered.

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Troubling times for Michigan’s community colleges

Struggling students and falling enrollment are presenting challenges to Michigan’s 28 community colleges. Their leaders are aiming to reverse fortunates with innovative job programs.

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Smartest kids: Teaching starts early, with special focus on the poor, in Minnesota

Minnesota traces its elite status to tough academic standards, the nation’s most extensive early childhood education program and higher investment in low-income schools.

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