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Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes and Michigan Radio are partners in weekly essays examining what's hot in Michigan business and politics – and what it all means. This week, Howes says public education in Michigan is facing a crisis every bit as threatening to its future as the bankruptcies of Detroit and two of its automakers. And remedies to fix the deepening problems may prove even more difficult. More than fixing “the damn roads” -- or cutting auto insurance rates -- reforming K-12 education is perhaps the most critical, long-term policy challenge facing Republicans and Democrats, labor and business, parents and students who may think Michigan is keeping pace. It is not.

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