The problem with 3rd grade reading mandates

Over the past few years, the question of whether 3rd graders can read, and what we should do about it, has dominated education discussions, not just in Detroit and Lansing, but across the country. 3rd grade reading laws have taken the country by storm, with state legislatures passing laws that would hold back any 3rd […]

A strong safety-net to get Michiganders back to work

Some in Lansing would have you believe that our economy is as healthy as ever, with the state’s unemployment rate as low as it’s been since the early 2000s. The problem is that the unemployment rate isn’t a great measure of how many people are working (not to mention how much they’re working or how […]

An attempt to measure what matters

In our statewide education agenda released earlier this year, we call for a new set of foundation skills to be the focus of our education system. Based on the work of learning scientists Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff in their book Becoming Brilliant, we propose that the 6 Cs – collaboration, communication, content (moving […]

A book club for college success

Over the past few months, Michigan Future facilitated a College Success book club for a group of stakeholders in the city working to get more Detroit students to and through college. The purpose of the club was to have a regular discussion with college access and success leaders about both the “content” of student success […]

Increasing wages and supports for Michigan workers

Our latest report provides a set of ideas for how we improve living standards for Michiganders not participating in the high-wage knowledge economy. Last week I wrote about our ideas for providing far more support to jobless individuals, to help them overcome barriers and get on a path towards family-supporting work. Today’s post details our […]

A safety net that promotes opportunity

Our latest report, Sharing prosperity with those not participating in the high-wage knowledge-based economy, is based on two major understandings. The first is that even in a growing economy, a large portion of the population can still be struggling. Indeed, this has been the story of our economy since the 1980s, as the economy has […]

What actually predicts college success?

There’s quite a bit that determines whether or not a student is successful in college. They need to have good study habits, be able to write well, be able to manage their own time, be a self-advocate. Academics have created the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness,  the 8 noncognitive variables needed for college […]

Education for a forty-year career

The centerpiece of our education policy agenda is that our education system should prepare students not for a first job, but for a forty-year career. The dominant narrative today seems to be the opposite – that we need to tie education far more with immediate workforce needs, preparing more young people for occupations like welders […]

Not investing is not an option

The policy agenda we released in April is built around public investment. Years of cuts to our education system, our cities, to public services, and to our social safety net have placed a drag on the economy and lowered living standards for Michiganders. To put Michigan on a path to prosperity, public investment is required. […]

The skilled trades and six-figure salaries

In just about any discussion on college access, someone will at some point mention the skilled trades. “Let’s not forget about the skilled trades,” they’ll say. “There’s such demand, and you can make six figures as a welder or electrician!” Because of the prevalence of this idea – both that there are a lot of […]