Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy

Alarm bells needed II

We finished our last post this way: The bottom line: the Massachusetts approach has worked, Michigan’s hasn’t. Seems like its time for Michigan to learn from the state with the highest student achievement in the country. In this post lets look at the data. It comes from the just released 2015 NAEP, the nation’s report card […]


Alarm bells needed 2

Lots of new data on student achievement by Michigan k-12 students. All with a single conclusion: we are a national laggard. All kids, not just poor kids, minority kids, urban kids. The results from the new state M-STEP assessment show Michigan students in reading––at all tested grade levels––to be about 50% proficient. In math its […]

The case for a stronger safety net

Two insightful Eduardo Porter columns for the New York Times. One entitled The myth of welfare’s corrupting influence on the poor. The other entitled The Republican party’s strategy to ignore poverty. Both worth reading. The first makes the case that the evidence is that safety net programs do not significantly reduce individual’s willingness to work […]

Work requires broad skills

More evidence that work increasingly requires broad, rather than narrow occupation specific, skills. Terrific article in the Atlantic entitled The Unexpected Schools Championing the Liberal Arts: Military academies and chef schools say the humanities are essential to their graduates’ success. How can that be you ask. Aren’t the liberal arts useless skills that lead to crushing student […]

The case for building broad skills for all 1

The Partnership for 21st  Century Learning (P21) has developed an approach to education for all children that is designed to develop the skills that employers hire for. Those same skills are the foundation that all of us will increasingly need to adjust to constant change in labor markets. What follows in bullet form is the […]

Prosperity and college attainment II

In my last post we explored the alignment between state’s per capita income and the proportion of adults with a four year degree. Increasing four year degree attainment is a powerful lever in dealing with many of Michigan’s still substantial economic challenges. Here, in bullet form, is that case: Michigan Today Michigan is now structurally […]

Prosperity and college attainment 3

Data are now available for 2014 for per capita income and education attainment by state. Michigan ranks 35th in per capita income and 34th in the proportion of adults with a four year degree or more. Michigan is now structurally a low prosperity state. Every year from 2006 through 2014 the state has ranked between […]

Post secondary certificates vs. four-year degrees

Governor Snyder is in the vanguard of elected officials and business leaders who are pushing for more Michigan students to pursue occupational certificates and associate degrees with an occupational major rather than a four-year degree, particularly in non STEM fields. Supposedly we have too many of the latter and too few of the former to […]

Careers and the liberal arts

As you know we believe that successful careers going forward are going to look far more like rock climbing than ladder climbing. The notion of career ladders––known linear steps up––is increasingly out of date in a world where globalization and technology make jobs and occupations less secure. Add to that, as Daniel Pink explores in […]