Our New Metro Minneapolis Case Study

Our new metro Minneapolis case study

Last year we published our first-ever state policy recommendations. Our motivation for doing so is a sense of urgency that across the political spectrum we need a different set of policy options. Ideas not about how we can turn the clock back and make the old economy work again, but rather ideas about how we can position all Michiganders for economic…

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What Skilled Trades Jobs Actually Pay Updated

What skilled trades jobs actually pay updated

Our second most read post recently is a 2016 post on what skilled trades jobs pay. I wrote the 2016 post because I was then––and am now––skeptical of the claims about the number of jobs and pay in the traditional blue collar trades. Given the interest in the topic here are updated data for those occupations. And a best place to find…

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Social And Emotional Learning Focuses On How Kids Are Actually Doing

Social and emotional learning focuses on how kids are actually doing

Test scores have become the sole fixation of our education system. At least since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, states, districts, schools, principals, teachers, and students have been labeled successful or failing based on the single, narrow criteria of how well they perform on tests measuring basic math and reading skills. This is curious for a…

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Michigan Getting Poorer

Michigan getting poorer

The Michigan Association of United Way's ALICE report is the best calculation of the proportion of Michigan households that cannot afford basic necessities. That 40 percent of Michigan households––in a strong economy––can't pay for basic necessities should be sending off alarm bells among policymakers that the Michigan economy is leaving far too many Michiganders behind. What the ALICE report doesn't…

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All You Need To Know About Student Loan Defaults In Two Graphs

All you need to know about student loan defaults in two graphs

Earlier this year, I wrote a post breaking down newly released federal data on the student loan “crisis.” There were two big lessons that came from this data: (1) Stay away from for-profit colleges. The number of students who take out loans at these institutions and eventually default is incredibly high, even if they earn a degree. (2) And second,…

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