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Mass Shootings: One a Day in the USA

“Gun Free Zones are the problem. Let’s repeal them.” That’s the conclusion of Erich Pratt, communications director of the Gun Owners of America, in an op-ed piece published in USA Today in the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College massacre...

Third Grade Reading and Reality

Just in time for the holidays, there are a new group of action figures fighting for Michigan’s third graders.  We’re not yet sure what mom and dad think about these new heroes, who are fighting for literacy at grade...

One Size Just Does Not Fit All

Nobody needs to tell a parent every child is different. All bring different gifts to the party, and no two are alike in their interests, their physical and mental development, their aptitude and abilities. Our state pounds the same square peg...

Adequacy Study Inadequate, But So Is Funding

Late in the Lame Duck legislative session of 2014, Democrats won what they thought was a major victory in getting the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Snyder to agree to a study of how much it actually costs to educate...

Superintendent: It’s a Tough Job

There may be no tougher job than that of a school superintendent. I’ve worked with nearly 100 in Kent ISD alone over the past two decades. All were smart, caring and compassionate people. All were subject to withering criticism

What are we waiting for? Time for Michigan to fully fund its schools

The research couldn’t be more clear. The Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads report by Dr. David Arsen documents a quarter-century of decline in our schools, finding Michigan last in the nation in new dollars invested in education since 1995...

The Lost Decade

Now he tells us. In an extraordinarily introspective interview with The Bridge online magazine, state superintendent Mike Flanagan recently acknowledged Michigan was “10 years behind” high performing states such as Massachusetts and Minnesota in education achievement gains. Lost decades have typically...

Why not ask the customer?

Let's open with a quick quiz. Can you name a $13 billion enterprise that operates almost totally without regular, ongoing and actionable customer research? If you're in the manufacturing, IT, entertainment, transportation, health care, food service or tourism industries, you...

Dear Governor & Legislature: Thank You

Superintendents: they heard you. Teachers: they heard you. Parents: they heard you, too. Gov. Snyder and Grand Rapids executive John Kennedy last week joined legislators, members of the governor’s staff and Grand Rapids Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal to announce the results of...

You can’t fatten a hog by weighing it

There is no common sense in the the current state of politics. The most recent example iste record setting excess that recently concluded the 99th session of the Michigan Legislature...

Building a Talent Supply Chain

West Michigan rebounded from the 2007-09 recession by exceeding job growth in the nation as a whole by 500 percent.  To continue that trend, business and education must work hand-in-hand to help students get a better understanding of the...

Actions speak louder than words

Our lack of concern for children begins far earlier than their exposure to gunfire by individuals who can legally obtain assault weapons in virtually every jurisdiction within the U.S.

ACA Repeal Threatens Student Academic Achievement

Lost in the debate surrounding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is the potentially disastrous effect dramatic reductions in Medicaid funding will have on health care for children, one of the few universally recognized success stories in health...

Take the Quiz – How Would They Vote?

Here's a quiz: Given their track record, how do you think Michigan legislators would vote on a bill to lower school property taxes on businesses and homeowners without hurting -- and actually benefitting -- schools and their ability to...

Too Much of a Good Thing

America is all about unfettered choice and free markets. Consumers daily face a tsunami of choices everywhere they turn. At some point, however, we may want to ask ourselves if it is possible to have too much choice. Can we have...

Schools Can’t do This Alone

Hillary Clinton said "It takes a village to raise a child." Education reformer Jamie Vollmer says "schools can't do this alone." Our community agrees. We contribute to the health of our children and their families by investing in the Kent School...
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