Ron French, Bridge Magazine

Ron French

Bridge Magazine

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Recent articles by Ron:

Fewer students, tepid state funding roil Michigan public universities

Meager funding, lower birth rates and a skeptical public are forcing several Michigan universities to adjust to a world with fewer degree options, larger classes and tighter budgets. → Read More

Majority of Michigan public schools started school year short on teachers

A survey of superintendents confirms a teacher shortage forcing schools to turn to less-qualified long-term substitutes. → Read More

Michigan GOP budget contains 7 big surprises for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Tucked inside the $59.9 billion budget, Michigan legislators have proposed big cuts to the Department of Education unless it creates A-F school grades, shifts money for redistricting and requires the construction of a controversial psychiatric facility in Caro. → Read More

Michigan school budget with small funding increase heads to Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer left out of negotiations as legislators boost budget for state $15.2 billion. The budget doubles the number of literacy coaches, but critics say the funding isn’t enough to improve test scores. → Read More

Michigan GOP proposes 0.9% funding boost for colleges and universities

Most universities and community colleges wouldn’t get enough of a funding hike to cover inflation under the latest budget plan in the Michigan Legislature. That’s frustrating for a state already ranked 44th in the nation in per-pupil funding of higher education. → Read More

Michigan schools would get 2.4 percent hike in GOP budget plan

Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, who campaigned on the promise to improve Michigan’s struggling public schools, didn’t get as much as she wanted in next year’s state education budget. → Read More

As Lansing debates funding, schools struggle to pay teachers, fix roofs

Amid political disagreements about school funding, Michigan’s smallest district and its most geographically expansive face common problems: Not enough money to boost disadvantaged students. And roofs that need replacing. → Read More

M-STEP shows no progress for Michigan’s struggling third-grade readers

With the state’s read-or-flunk law beginning this year, Michigan’s efforts to help young readers appear to be falling flat. → Read More

M-STEP shows no progress for Michigan’s struggling third-grade readers

With the state’s read-or-flunk law beginning this year, Michigan’s efforts to help young readers appear to be falling flat. → Read More

Michigan M-STEP test scores are inching upward. See how your school compares.

Results from the state’s annual standardized test, given to students in grades 3-8, show faint signs of improvement. See how state students overall performed in the tests given last spring, and look up your own school. → Read More

Benton Harbor schools may be open for now, but test scores are the pits

The good news is Benton Harbor High will remain open this year despite threats by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to close it. The bad news is its test scores are among the state’s worst. → Read More

Michigan schools say they can’t find enough substitute teachers

More and more public schools are struggling to find someone to lead classes when teachers are out – a sign of a growing teacher shortage and a humming economy where people can find more lucrative jobs. → Read More

Teens raped in Michigan prisons can get day in court, Supreme Court says

The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal made by the state in a lawsuit filed by former teen inmates alleging the Department of Corrections didn’t do enough to prevent them from being raped. → Read More

Six times more third-graders may flunk next year under Michigan reading law

More than 5,000 students may be flagged to repeat third grade under a new law intended to ensure solid reading skills at a key age. That number sounds high, but it could have been far higher. → Read More

With schools flailing, Michigan seeks new leader from in-state. Again.

The three finalists to be Michigan’s next state superintendent are all Michigan connected. And did we mention that in 183 years Michigan has never had a female full-time state superintendent? → Read More

One finalist drops out, one added, to be next Michigan school superintendent

Boston steals a superintendent finalist from Michigan’s final three list. → Read More

Michigan teachers: Standardized tests are useless and classes are too big

Those inside Michigan’s classrooms have some very different views on what works and what doesn’t work to improve education, according to a massive survey of educators across the state. → Read More

Rich-poor achievement gap won’t budge. Is investing in teachers an answer?

Students from poor families are, on average, more than two years behind their wealthier classmates. Poverty plays a huge role in student scores, but can boosting teacher quality also help? → Read More

Whitmer budget would triple literacy coaches to help Michigan students read

The $24 million budget increase for literacy coaches wasn’t the biggest headline out of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal, but it could have a huge impact on Michigan schools, particularly for third grade. → Read More

Gov. Whitmer: Boost Michigan schools by $507 million, with more for neediest students

Michigan’s governor’s first budget offers a fairly radical change in how the state spends money on public school students, with questions still on where the money would come from. → Read More