Ron’s Story

Ron French wrote a curated story about Betsy DeVos, that is used as an example for journalism students to study . Within his story he uses multiple sources to create a narrative where his subsequent paragraphs all have an introduction to his sources and contextualized links.

Unlike Bestsy DeVos, he had multiple sources included in his article. One source is from National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). This source includes how Michigan schools compare in subjects like math and reading as opposed   to other schools.


Another great source Ron French used in this article besides is Professor Brian A. Jacob who is the professor of education policy, professor of economics and professor of education at the University of Michigan. This professor created an analysis that researched testing scores that have declined over the last 12 years.

The way he uses contextualized links as a way to introduce articles and people is nothing short of genius. He gives a quick summary of the points that are the main focus of the linking article and person. Rather than simply saying “click here” as if click bait, he uses phrases in the sentences to link. In my opinion this also helps the audience understand what they are going to be reading about.

Overall, Ron French made great use of curation techniques within his story that enables the audience to read through the article seamlessly, all while being able to check his sources to ensure they are facts and not speculation.




Curated story on Betsy DeVos

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When reading Ron French’s curated story about Betsy DeVos, he presented facts that backed up what he was saying. For example, when answering how Michigan schools are really doing, he linked an article to the following statement, Michigan is “dead last among states in improvement in math and reading.” When looking on the article, we can see that Michigan, as well as West Virginia, South Carolina, and Alaska are struggling with maintaining the average growth.

French contextually linked articles and websites throughout his story. When reading, I didn’t know what the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) was, until he linked the website. It is a detailed data base of national and state assessments.

I liked that his story can be easily readable. It wasn’t overly complicated with statistics or bunched up with his own opinions. He presented the story as it is, with facts that backed up his word.

Michigan schools fail to improve

Michigan schools are not improving. Even worse, they seem to be in decline.

Ron French’s story on Betsy DeVos’ “60 Minutes” interview aggregated stats that indicate Michigan’s school systems by and large have been in getting worse.

In some instances Michigan has been seen in last place among improvements in math and reading, according to French’s source at Third-grade reading scores have also been shown to be in decline, according to

What these sources show is that according to experts and other reporting, despite Michigan spending money to improve, it is not working.

What French’s story shows is that studies from a variety of places, and statistics from multiple sources as well as experts, indicate the lack of improvement among Michigan’s schools.

Whats the Real With Betsy DeVos

Ron French digs deep into U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos !

Senior writer for Bridge,Ron French, used information and used a interview with U.S. Secretary of Education , Betsy DeVos, asking about the current state of the educational crisis with in the State of Michigan. A special interview was conducted by “60 minutes”  correspondent Lesley Stahl , where she asked the question to DeVos,” Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better”. DeVos responds saying, ” I don’t know , overall I cannot say that they have all gotten better”.

Ron French proceeds to give supporting details by bringing in out sources that in fact contribute to the statements in which DeVos is saying. Some of his main sources are extracting data from the NAEP ( National Assessment of Education Process) which gives statistical data between the years of 2003-2015, the State of Michigan has been last in its math and reading proficiency. French then brings in other sources of information such as educational budgets , and other professional input.

French introduces continually linked people towards his story such as gaining insight from people such as Brian Jacob, a University of Michigan professor of economics and education, and having a linking story to his biography , and some of this other research pertaining to this data set.

Ron French on Betsy DeVos interview

Recently Ron French curated a story for about the 60 minutes interview with Betsy DeVos over the state of Michigan schools, as well as gun control, and her bad reputation. The interview was… well… it wasn’t good, it was in fact pretty bad. DeVos stumbled through almost every question that was asked and really showed how much she didn’t know about Michigan schools.

What was good was the way Ron curated the story using links to previous Bridge articles to let readers get extra information on the story that they might not know. A good article he links to is Michigan’s K-12 performance, but many other links in the article are used.


Other than links directly in the article to relevant stories on Bridge there are also links in between the breaks to sources that were used to create the article. A good link for those who are looking to find out more about their school districts is Stanford University’s district comparison chart.