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.

Betsy DeVos’s Michigan legacy

The nominee for U.S. Education Secretary has used money and muscle to make Michigan a free-market lab for charter and school choice expansion. Can she sell the results?

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In state with low reading scores, a West Michigan effort shows promise

Many of today’s kindergarteners may eventually have to repeat third grade if their reading skills fall short. In West Michigan, 100 school districts have joined forces to boost early reading. The goal: to pass every student to fourth grade.




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Betsy DeVos and the segregation of school choice

Donald Trump’s selection of school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos for U.S. education secretary has focused attention on Michigan’s generous choice policy. In September, Bridge Magazine revealed one troubling side-effect: segregation.




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Dual enrollment growing in popularity and frustration

Opportunities to take college courses while in high school vary widely across Michigan, but the credits earned aren’t always what students expect.

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Will Detroit school board candidates choose to fight or unite?

Some of the 63 candidates for school board want to carry on the fight against the state’s financial oversight. Others vow to work within the state’s restrictions. See our database on each candidate.

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Mood of Michigan:

Young voters feel they’re ‘screwed either way’

Among Michigan millennials, Clinton may be the favorite, but with heavy sighs over politics as usual.




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How more affluent families get welfare for pricey private colleges

Thousands of middle- to upper-income students use federal welfare funds to attend expensive private schools. Meanwhile, only 18 percent of impoverished families in Michigan receive cash assistance.

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Private colleges, public aid

Michigan has spent more than $1 billion in federal anti-poverty money on college scholarships and grants since 2007, much of it going to middle- or higher-income students attending pricier private schools. Because costs there are higher than at public universities – with […]

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School choice producing segregation in districts across the state

More than 300,000 public school students take advantage of the state’s popular school choice program. Whether by chance or design, districts are becoming less diverse.




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Top 10 Michigan school districts impacted by school choice

The state’s school choice policies are making many districts far more segregated. Here are the districts most impacted by school choice.




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Degree of difficulty:

Is college still worth the cost? Usually

In spite of rising tuition and loan debt, experts say a college degree still looks like a wise financial investment for most Michigan students, if they choose wisely.

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Little action in Lansing to increase college degrees

A sobering report recommends a half billion dollars to improve college access. Lansing responds with a yawn.




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How other states are getting college dropouts to drop back in

From financial incentives to colleges designed for dropouts, states are finding ways to help residents get their diplomas. Could these programs help Michigan?




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Degree of difficulty:

Michigan’s college dropout dilemma

Thousands of adults are just a few classes away from a degree. So why isn’t Michigan, so hungry for skilled workers, doing more to help them finish?




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MAP: College dropout rates by county

Michigan has the highest college dropout rates in the Midwest. See rates in your county.




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Over 28? You’ll get no student aid from Michigan

Obsolete state policies favor financial aid for young students over the older, part-time students who are increasingly filling college campuses.




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