A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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Mackinac Minute: Recent Education Reform

Mackinac Center Director of Education Policy Michael Van Beek discusses the introduction of recent bills to reform education in Michigan. Among proposed legislation is the so-called "Right to Teach" bill, as well as a bill that removes the limits on the number of online charter schools in the state. … more

Michigan Charter School Wars

In Sept. 2011, Michigan basketball standout Jalen Rose opened a new charter school in his hometown of Detroit. He's one of the few to be able to do so under current state law that limits the number of charter schools in the state. Michigan lawmakers can change that. They have before them several bills to address education reform. Among them, a bill to lift the "cap" on charter schools in Michigan to give students more educational opportunities. This attempt is not a first. Twice over the past dozen years, legislators failed to approve lifting these restrictions. Both times, by just a few votes. Are legislators destined to repeat history?

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School Opportunity in Detroit: Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

After a successful professional basketball career, Jalen Rose is setting his sights on becoming an education entrepreneur. In 2011, the former University of Michigan basketball standout and Detroit native opened a brand new charter school — the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. Expectations are high here, but Rose says he's committed to giving these high school students an opportunity to succeed.

“I’m a Detroit native and I know that unions are Big Business. All adults know that. Based on the number of schools, the number of kids, the number of dollars that flow through that situation. But a lot of the people that are standing on the table with that argument can’t necessarily pose the reason why that’s valid other than money. Look at the numbers of graduation rates that we have here lately: 30 percent for 9th graders graduating. In Detroit we have 47 percent of the adults that are functionally illiterate. So there is obviously something that is not happening in the right manner.” … more

Our Kids Deserve the Best and Brightest Teachers

Democrat Rep. Tim Melton of Auburn Hills explains what it means to treat teachers like professionals. … more

Michigan School District Bucks Spending Cuts Trend

Many school districts in Michigan claim state budget cuts have forced them to make drastic reductions in programs and course offerings. This is not the case in Oxford Community Schools, which has added sports teams, doubled its entire fine arts program and created an orchestra and world language programs.  … more

Michigan School District Opens School In China

Oxford Community Schools are doing something unprecedented in the state of Michigan, opening the Northeast Yucai Oxford International Senior High School in China this fall. In the video, you'll meet the principal of the school and the superintendent who believes this school will eventually help his district become financially independent from the state.

See related article at www.MichCapCon.com/15582 … more

Michigan Film Incentive: Part IV

When Michigan government gives money to subsidize film makers, it has to take it from somebody else. Here's one such story. … more

U of M Graduate Students Target of Union Grab

Melinda Day is a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) at the University of Michigan and the target of a new unionization push from the University's Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), which is a local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. While the GEO successfully organized U of M's Graduate Instructors in 1975, the state determined in 1981 that research assistants are not 'employees' and therefore cannot be unionized.  … more

Gary Johnson Says Michigan "The Worst" Political Environment on Prez Campaign Trail

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson says that compared to New Hampshire, Michigan is "the worst" political environment on the Presidential Primary campaign trail as he talks to New Hampshire Watchdog's Grant Bosse about the debt ceiling, the economy, and running for President. … more

Rubber Chickens and Benefits in Balance: How Michigan can save $5.7 billion annually

The burden of government can slow down the private sector and prevent it from providing the goods and services people want -- as well as rendering it extremely difficult to hit people on the head with chickens. … more

In this premiere episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the economics of Academy Award winner Dallas Buyers Club. Subjects include public health and safety regulations, crony capitalism and the role of regulatory capture, the emergence of black and grey markets, and commercial exchange as a means for increased social tolerance.

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