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.

The five-year four-year degree

Michigan college students take longer to earn a diploma than students in other states. The result: More pizza, more books, and bigger bills for students and parents

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Paying students to graduate

Grand Valley may have found the secret to on-time graduation: Financial incentives.

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Dude, where’s my advisor?

Lack of academic advising may be costing Michigan college students – and their parents – big time.

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Where can Johnny get his diploma the fastest?

Hope College and U-M will get most students a degree in four years. Saginaw Valley? Not so much.

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F is for frustrated – disorganization at Detroit EAA schools leaves students scrambling to graduate

Seniors graduating this month from high schools in the state reform school district complain of missing or inaccurate transcripts. Some are being told days before commencement they don’t have the required classes to graduate.

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In a diplomatic snub, reflections of a distant relationship

The mayor of Detroit probably didn’t mean to snub the president of South Korea. But Asian immigrants are choosing to settle elsewhere.

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Legislature green-lights second straight major preschool expansion

More than 10,000 additional needy four year olds will likely find seats in public preschool next fall thanks to final legislative approval this week of Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to double the size of Michigan’s public preschool programs. This caps two years of work by local school districts, private preschool providers, and early childhood advocates to solve a major preschool shortage.

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Bridge reporting leads to tougher teacher testing

Aspiring teachers will soon face tougher tests after the Michigan Legislature last night approved $1.8 million for certification test upgrades.

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Officials’ mistake cancels Head Start in Detroit schools; ‘sin and a shame’ for district

Detroit Public Schools missed a deadline, and now must bow out of the preschool program for low-income children, imperiling nearly 1,000 seats for 4-year-olds.

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Long-term fixes to Michigan school funding unlikely this year

As election season heats up, lawmakers recognize that the state school funding formula needs an overhaul. But long-term changes to the Proposal A funding system will likely not be addressed. This leaves plenty of middle-class districts to struggle.

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Study to measure cost of education unlikely in election year

State-funded adequacy studies are hailed by education groups and Democrats as a way to measure the true cost of educating Michigan students. But Republicans deride these studies as an effort to wring more money from taxpayers.

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Searchable database: How are your schools funded?

Michigan’s school districts and charter academies vary widely in the amount of money each gets from state, local and federal sources. Use our tool to find your own.

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School funding fight turns on two visions of Michigan

Charter and school-choice proponents want all districts to get an equal share of state funding. The state board and leading education groups say that rural, urban and low-income districts often need more resources to provide a quality education.

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How much does it cost to educate a child? In Michigan, nobody knows

Most states pay for so-called “adequacy studies” to calculate how much they should be spending to give students a quality education. Michigan is among a minority of states that have balked at such studies, while questioning their usefulness.

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A brief history of Proposal A, or how we got here

Proposal A was a bipartisan solution that offered property tax relief to Michigan residents while cutting the gap between poor and more affluent districts. A primer on how it works and why it needs an overhaul.

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A school funding glossary for civilians

Education policy carries its own jargon, with some of the lexicon more accessible than others. Here are some commonly used terms in the school funding debate.

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Gridlocked on change, state may bring back reviled MEAP next fall

The legislature’s inability to decide on a test that accurately measures student growth may impact students and teachers next fall.

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My school’s great, it’s Detroit that’s failing – and other myths

Detroit, Flint and other poor, mostly African-American school districts get the bulk of the blame for the state’s declining test scores. But the latest research shows Michigan students of all stripes are falling behind their peers nationally – yes, even white, middle-class students. A Bridge Special Report.

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