What You Read in 2016: Our Top Stories of the Year
Our most popular stories in 2016 included articles about radical student groups, absurd overreach from the federal government, and discrimination against school choice. Here are the 10 most popular stories with readers in 2016.
A 2013 video showed Michigan State University Professor William Penn berating students with an anti-Republican classroom rant. Penn said that Republicans are “a bunch of dead white people, or dying white people” who raped the U.S. to get “everything out of it they possibly could.” Our follow-up story showed that he stayed on staff and saw his salary go from $147,410 in 2013 to $149,910 in 2014 to $152,310 in 2015.
A faculty committee at the public university in Detroit proposed dropping the university-wide mathematics requirement and adding a three credit hour course in diversity. The recommendations were adopted by the school.
In order to expand their regulatory power, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new rule that would refer to the little dirt mounds resulting from farm plowing as “mini mountain ranges.” This would give the federal agencies much greater jurisdiction over private land use, likely requiring permits for normal farm work.
The sheriff’s office for Saginaw County seized a classic muscle car, among other items, from a couple while investigating their son for an alleged drug crime. Gerald and Royetta Ostipow were never charged with a crime, but law enforcement officials seized and drove the vehicle, and ultimately sold it, along with other property.
The head of the Forest Hills School District wrote a published “letter to the community” saying that students at a high school football game injected “hate” and “hostility” because they waved a historical flag which represents the original 13 colonies.
The face of an iconic rock in Ann Arbor was painted with the words “Kill ’em All” and a picture of the mascot of the Republican Party shortly after Donald Trump was elected president. Students, reportedly on the left side of the political spectrum, found out about it and painted over that and other profanities.
An investigative reporter with the ACLU and Michigan Radio who worked with an out-of-state university professor was the main driver in uncovering the water crisis in Flint. The story dominated the news in 2016, leading to new laws, criminal investigations, and thorough reviews of local, state and federal agencies.
HBO talk show host John Oliver criticized school choice by picking out stories of bad charter school actors going back to 2000. But the far-left comedian completely ignored scandals in traditional public schools in order to feed a narrative.
When a student at Wayne-Westland Community Schools wanted to bring a friend from church to homecoming, the district used an “accreditation” policy to prevent it.
In the wake of Donald Trump winning the presidency, a radical student group at the University of Michigan staged a series of class walkouts and send the administration a list of demands.
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.