Category Archives : Michigan Schools

Ideas to Transform Michigan Schools


The college completion challenge

A recent article in the Washington Monthly is subtitled “The problem is not college debt, it’s low graduation rates. Fix that, and you fix the economy.” Probably an exaggeration. But correct in both that college completion is important to reversing the decline in American living standards and far more of a challenge than too high […]


Liberal arts as an asset

Readers of this blog know that we believe that a broad education is the key to building the skills needed for successful/prosperous forty year careers. Largely because globalization and technology are constantly making obsolete––in unpredictable ways––jobs, occupations and industries. So successful people will be those who are able to constantly adjust to changes in labor […]


Worth watching 3

Great You Tube video from Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution entitled: “Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility” Highly recommended! Using legos and in less than four minutes he lays out the basic realities that America is moving farther and farther away from being a place of equal opportunity. Where your status at birth doesn’t […]


The community college challenge 1

I support President Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition free for those students who stay on track academically. Expanding education opportunity and outcomes is an essential component of raising the standard of living of all Americans. That said taking tuition off the table as an obstacle, is not nearly enough to dramatically change the […]


More wrong direction k-12 policy

Insightful Stephen Henderson Detroit Free Press editorial entitled: “Snyder hasn’t earned more leeway over troubled schools”. Henderson is writing specifically about the Governor’s decision to transfer the state school reform office from the Michigan Department of Education––which he doesn’t control––to the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget––which he does control. The case Henderson makes […]


Michigan impoverished

Two terrific editorials from West Michigan publications. Both highly recommended! The first from Carole Valade, editor of the Grand Rapids Business Journal, entitled Michigan: a state of impoverishment. Citing data from (1) the Gallup-Healthways’ latest State of American Well-Being report that ranks Michigan in the bottom 10, (2) the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget’s Winter 2015 Michigan […]


John Austin and Jim Townsend

What worries most about Michigan politics is that we have two parties who by and large are trying to make the 20th Century work again. A factory-based economy supported by farming and tourism. As we have documented in our reports, a factory-based economy has led Michigan to fall from one of the most prosperous states […]


Louisiana as an education model? 1

Ever since hurricane Katrina the press, policy makers and other opinion leaders have pointed to Louisiana as a place to look for reforming public education. Primarily because in New Orleans they did away with teachers unions and largely went to providing education by charter schools, rather than a traditional public school district. Michigan has been […]

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Skills employers want

Interesting article from Bloomberg Businessweek on the skills employers hire for. The magazine polled more than 1,300 corporate recruiters of business school graduates on what were the skills that they most looked for in hiring. The bottom line: “The most commonly named asset was good communication, which 68 percent of recruiters sought, followed by analytical […]