charter schools http://michiganradio.org en Muskegon Heights school system continues its struggle to meet payroll, asks state for more money http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-school-system-continues-its-struggle-meet-payroll-asks-state-more-money <p>Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System is asking the state to front $191,000 to cover paychecks that are set to go out this Tuesday.</p><p>It’s the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/officials-confident-muskegon-heights-schools-will-meet-payroll-no-solution-yet">second time this month</a> the district has asked for an advance.</p><p>The advance would come out of the district’s state aid payment April 20. Earlier this month the state advanced $231,000.</p><p>State treasury officials say the district typically gets roughly $455,000 a month after debt obligations.</p><p>School board officials have previously declined requests for comment from Michigan Radio. Reports out today say board members also declined to comment to reporters at the special board meeting today, which lasted approximately five minutes.</p><p>Charter company Mosaica Education is running the district. The company’s CEO has not returned repeated requests for comment this week.</p><p>Mosaica’s Regional VP of Operations Alena Zachery-Ross says advancements for struggling school districts aren’t completely uncommon. She says the district is working on a plan to meet payroll for the rest of the year but couldn’t comment on the details of those negotiations.</p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:29:35 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17194 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights school system continues its struggle to meet payroll, asks state for more money With so many charter schools in Detroit, how do we know the smarter choice? http://michiganradio.org/post/so-many-charter-schools-detroit-how-do-we-know-smarter-choice <p>It's no secret that Detroit schools have been failing their students for a long time.</p><p>In 2009 Detroit's public schools racked up the worst scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, and the scores haven't really improved since then.</p><p>Charter schools were launched to offer Detroit parents a choice. But my next guest believes the unregulated environment for charter schools has wound up hurting the kids who most need help and a sound education.</p><p>Robin Lake is director of the<a href="http://www.crpe.org/" target="_blank"> Center on Reinventing Public Education </a>at the University of Washington in Seattle.&nbsp; She recently visited Detroit and came away with some unsettling views of the condition of Detroit's charter schools. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:12:35 +0000 Stateside Staff 16729 at http://michiganradio.org With so many charter schools in Detroit, how do we know the smarter choice? Study: Michigan is national leader when it comes to for-profit charter schools http://michiganradio.org/post/study-michigan-national-leader-when-it-comes-profit-charter-schools <p>Nearly 80% of Michigan’s charter schools are <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131126/SCHOOLS/311260119/1361/">managed by private, for-profit companies</a>, according to a <a href="http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2013/11/EMO-profiles-11-12">new report</a> from the National Education Policy Center.</p><p>The report shows that when it comes to privately-managed public charter schools—those run by Education Management Organizations (EMOs)—Michigan is a stark anomaly.</p> Thu, 28 Nov 2013 17:35:22 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15468 at http://michiganradio.org Study: Michigan is national leader when it comes to for-profit charter schools How one Detroit charter school captured national attention — and what educators have to say about it http://michiganradio.org/post/how-one-detroit-charter-school-captured-national-attention-and-what-educators-have-say-about-it <p>This week on <em><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity</a></em>, Sarah Alvarez is taking a look at some radical decisions that have shaped the educational landscape of Detroit schools.</p><p>Today, families in the city are taking a gamble on brand-new charter schools, like the <a href="http://www.detroitachievement.org/">Detroit Achievement Academy</a>.</p><p>The academy opened earlier this year, by 28-year-old Kyle Smitley. Smitley is the first to admit she lacks formal educational experience. "I’ve been laughed out of so many rooms coming into the education world," she says.</p><p>But that hasn’t stopped the unconventional school from getting national buzz. Earlier this year, Smitley and the academy were featured on The Ellen Degeneres Show.</p><p>Still, the odds are stacked up against the academy and other charter schools that pop up in Detroit. There are more seats in Detroit schools than students. Many students in the city haven’t met benchmark requirements in their grade levels.</p><p>So what do educational experts think about these experimental schools? Check out <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/40-year-shadow-cast-detroits-failed-busing-plan">Sarah’s piece</a> for more.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:15:14 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15284 at http://michiganradio.org How one Detroit charter school captured national attention — and what educators have to say about it Should Michigan parents consider online charter schools? http://michiganradio.org/post/should-michigan-parents-consider-online-charter-schools <p>To parents who are seeking the best education for their children, it's a whole new world out there and it can be a confusing one. No longer is it an automatic choice to send your child to the public school in your neighborhood.</p><p>Today, there are charter schools. There are online classes. And, the subject of our discussion today: online K-12 charter schools.</p><p>Gary Miron is a professor of education at Western Michigan University. He recently co-authored a major <a href="http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/nepcrbk12miron.pdf">piece</a>, along with Jessica L. Urschel, for the National Education Policy Center. Its title: Understanding and Improving Full-time Virtual Schools---A Study of Student Characteristics, School Finance, and School Performance in Schools Operated by K12 Inc.</p><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:30:35 +0000 Stateside Staff 14965 at http://michiganradio.org Should Michigan parents consider online charter schools? Students making gains under first-of-a-kind charter; school leaders set bigger goals http://michiganradio.org/post/students-making-gains-under-first-kind-charter-school-leaders-set-bigger-goals <p>On average, students under the state’s first fully privatized public school district are learning at a faster rate than under the old system. That’s according to data released Monday night by the charter company running the Muskegon Heights district.</p><p>Muskegon Heights schools’ <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/check-out-details-michigan-s-first-privatized-public-school-system">emergency manager set up the charter system </a>in the summer of 2012, when the existing district couldn’t afford to open. Highland Park Public Schools is under a similar arrangement.</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 08:35:39 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14557 at http://michiganradio.org Students making gains under first-of-a-kind charter; school leaders set bigger goals Tennis great coming to Michigan to celebrate new charter school http://michiganradio.org/post/tennis-great-coming-michigan-celebrate-new-charter-school <p>Retired sports stars sometimes like to make a social impact with their money. In the case of Andre Agassi, he's put some of his money into a fund that helps charter schools build new schools across the country.</p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 18:25:36 +0000 Mark Brush 14444 at http://michiganradio.org Tennis great coming to Michigan to celebrate new charter school New Detroit charter school is changing the education paradigm http://michiganradio.org/post/new-detroit-charter-school-changing-education-paradigm <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What if something other than jobs could rebuild Detroit?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What if the purpose of education was to help children reach their highest human potential?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What if we had a conversation about the meaning of service to our community?</span></p><p>These are just a few of the many questions being raised at a new charter school in Detroit. It’s called the <a href="http://http://boggsschool.org/">James and Grace Lee Boggs School</a>. They opened their doors this week.</p><p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 19:13:19 +0000 Zak Rosen 14311 at http://michiganradio.org New Detroit charter school is changing the education paradigm The Living Room: Back to School http://michiganradio.org/post/living-room-back-school <p>Today on The Living Room, we get a dose of back-to-school advice from young students in Kalamazoo. After that, a report from a new charter school that’s trying to create its own education paradigm in Detroit.</p><p>It’s called the James and Grace Lee Boggs School.</p><p>Today marks the beginning of a yearlong series from the school by producer Zak Rosen. The Living Room is produced by Allison Downey and Zak Rosen. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:52:52 +0000 Stateside Staff 14292 at http://michiganradio.org The Living Room: Back to School Detroit Public Schools pinning budget hopes on 5,000 new students http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-public-schools-pinning-budget-hopes-5000-new-students <p>Consider this some free advertising.</p><p>Right now, Detroit Public Schools is proposing its most optimistic budget in years:</p><ul><li>No teacher layoffs</li><li>The return of after-school programming, at least in some schools</li><li>Minimal increases in class sizes</li><li>New parenting resources</li><li>A little more money for instruction: about $2 million in total&nbsp;</li></ul><p>But it’s all riding on whether the district can lure 5,000 students away from competitors.</p><p>That’s a big bet to make.</p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 18:38:56 +0000 Kate Wells 13276 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Public Schools pinning budget hopes on 5,000 new students "We have to teach ourselves:" students at Detroit's Catherine Ferguson Academy file federal lawsuit http://michiganradio.org/post/we-have-teach-ourselves-students-detroits-catherine-ferguson-academy-file-federal-lawsuit <p>Some students and staff at Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy say their education is so lackluster, it&nbsp;violates their civil rights.</p><p>The Detroit Public Schools handed the school for pregnant and parenting girls over to a charter operator in 2011, after students and teachers <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110617/NEWS01/106170456/Protesters-cheer-final-hour-reprieve-Catherine-Ferguson-Academy-pregnant-parenting-teens">fought to keep it from closing</a>.</p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 19:39:37 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12878 at http://michiganradio.org "We have to teach ourselves:" students at Detroit's Catherine Ferguson Academy file federal lawsuit Are we allowing poorly performing charter schools to expand in Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/are-we-allowing-poorly-performing-charter-schools-expand-michigan <p><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.edtrust.org/midwest">Education Trust-Midwest</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, "</span>a statewide nonpartisan policy, research, and advocacy organization," <span style="line-height: 1.5;">released an</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/publications/files/Ed%20Trust-Midwest%20Analysis_Approved%20Charters_May%202013.pdf">analysis </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">on the 32 charter schools set to open in Michigan this fall.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">They say while </span>some newly approved charter schools are run by operators with a strong track record, <span style="line-height: 1.5;">many others are run by operators that are “chronically low-performing.”</span></p><p>According to <a href="http://www.edtrust.org/midwest/press-room/press-release/failing-charter-operators-keep-expanding-in-michigan">ETM’s David Zeman</a>, the data demonstrates that “Michigan needs to seriously consider holding charter authorizers more accountable for school quality.”</p><p> Fri, 24 May 2013 16:44:33 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12727 at http://michiganradio.org Are we allowing poorly performing charter schools to expand in Michigan? 32 new Michigan charter schools set to open in fall 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/32-new-michigan-charter-schools-set-open-fall-2013 <p>This fall, 32 new charter schools are scheduled to open in Michigan.</p><p>To check out where these schools will be located, look at this <a href="http://www.charterschools.org/school-services/faq/1-general/4-how-many-charter-schools-are-there-in-michigan">Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) link.</a></p><p>According to MAPSA, there are currently 232 charter public schools in Michigan with over 100,000 enrolled students.</p><p>This year, there number of charter schools opening is due in part to a <a href="http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/04/michigan_house_narrowly_approv_1.html">controversial law</a> that lifted restrictions on charter schools.</p><p><a href="http://charterschools.org/press-room/1338-may-22-2013-32-new-charter-schools-opening-in-michigan-this-fall">More from MAPSA</a>:</p><blockquote><p><em>Michigan law allows new public schools to be chartered by state universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts.<br><br>“Michigan’s system of charter school authorizing and oversight is considered a model around the country, and as we look at the new schools opening this year, we can see why that is,” [MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry<em>] said. “Once again, the authorizers have done an excellent job of making sure that only the best, most promising schools will be allowed to open. You’ll notice that we aren’t seeing the supposed ‘flood’ of new charter schools that some critics feared. The authorizers aren't going to charter any new school that doesn’t offer a high-quality, innovative approach.”</em></em></p></blockquote><p> Thu, 23 May 2013 23:39:54 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12704 at http://michiganradio.org 32 new Michigan charter schools set to open in fall 2013 In this morning's news: Michigan Medicaid expansion, charter schools, Flint school layoffs http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-michigan-medicaid-expansion-charter-schools-flint-school-layoffs <p><strong>Michigan Medicaid expansion uncertain</strong></p><p>Legislation that will determine the future of Michigan Medicaid is at a standstill. On Thursday, the state Senate passed a budget bill that did not include Medicaid although the federal government is offering to pay the state to add hundreds of thousands of people to the program.</p><p>Later on Thursday, a Legislative panel heard testimony on a House Republican plan that opts to overhaul the program before expanding it. Senate Republicans say they’re willing to consider the House plan.</p><p><strong>Michigan Board of Education asks state to more closely monitor charter schools </strong></p><p>The Michigan Board of Education wants to see new laws enacted that would allow the state to more closely monitor the business practices of charter schools. Republican lawmakers are eyeing the request skeptically. The Board has a Democratic majority. The Board’s President, John Austin, stated that the board has a responsibility to keep an eye on all public schools, including charters.</p><p><strong>Flint School District will lay off nearly 140 teachers and staff</strong></p><p>Next month, the Flint School District is expecting to lay off nearly 140 teachers and staff. This is the latest in a series of cutbacks. Eric Scorsone, an economist with Michigan State University, said this could be the tip of the iceberg. More school districts could topple because of uncertain revenue streams and rising costs. Scorsone says it would take a major shift in school funding and an increase in the state’s sales tax to turn things around.</p><p> Fri, 17 May 2013 14:55:07 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12618 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Michigan Medicaid expansion, charter schools, Flint school layoffs Former President George W. Bush to give keynote in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/former-president-george-w-bush-give-keynote-grand-rapids <p>Former President George W. Bush will be in Grand Rapids this Wednesday, May 15. He will be delivering the keynote address at the second annual West Michigan Aviation Academy’s "Leaders of Tomorrow Gala."</p><p>The <a href="http://www.westmichiganaviation.org/">West Michigan Aviation Academy</a> is a charter school founded in 2010 by Grand Rapids businessman, Richard DeVos, Jr. In addition to teaching core curricula, the school specifically focuses on aviation with a general emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).&nbsp;</p><p>The Gala is meant to raise money for the school’s summer Navigator’s camp, aviation related capstone events, incentive flights, simulators, and flight training.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/05/george_w_bush_to_give_keynote.html">Monica Scott at MLive</a>, the event begins at 4:30 p.m. and Bush is expected to speak before the dinner served later in the evening. It will take place at the Alticor Hangar at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.</p><p>According to the Gala's website, Bush will speak to a sold out crowd of more than 850 guests.</p><p><em>-Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom</em></p><p> Tue, 14 May 2013 14:54:48 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12555 at http://michiganradio.org Former President George W. Bush to give keynote in Grand Rapids Three little-known facts about charter schools in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/three-little-known-facts-about-charter-schools-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Today, on <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity</a>, I report on a troubling fact of charter school expansion in Michigan: <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/some-charter-schools-focus-quality-others-focus-marketing-guess-which-ones-are-winning">Some of the state's best charter schools are struggling to compete against low-performing charter schools</a>. The reason, simply enough, is marketing. Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:03:51 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 12266 at http://michiganradio.org Three little-known facts about charter schools in Michigan Report: Education in Michigan 'lackluster,' relying too much on charter schools http://michiganradio.org/post/report-education-michigan-lackluster-relying-too-much-charter-schools <p>Michigan is falling behind most other states when it comes to improving student achievement.<br><br>That’s the conclusion <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/michigan/files/201304/ETM_AR_v6.pdf">of a new report from Royal Oak-based Education Trust-Midwest</a>.<br><br>The report looks at the improvements in student achievement in Michigan from 2003 to 2011 and compares it to the improvements other states have seen.</p><p>On almost every measure, Michigan lags well behind the national average.</p><p>From the <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/michigan/files/201304/ETM_AR_v6.pdf">report</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Sadly, we have little to be proud of today. Our state’s educational performance is lackluster by practically any reliable measure.</p></blockquote><p>Amber Arrellano of The Education Trust-Midwest says part of the problem is Michigan has relied primarily on charter schools to improve student outcomes, and not all charter schools have been successful.<br><br>"We're actually putting tens of millions of dollars and subsidizing the growth of some of our worst schools in the state. And that’s just not a good use of our taxpayer dollars," she said.<br><br>Arrellano says more school choice can improve outcomes, "but when the Legislature decided to lift the state cap on charter schools a few years ago, they did not include any performance standards for who gets to expand here."<br><br>Arrellano says there are high-quality charter schools that improve student performance in Michigan, but she says the lower quality charter school operators are expanding more quickly.<br><br>Arrellano says research from Stanford University shows that charter school operators with less successful track records are actually expanding more quickly than those with better track records. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:40:18 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 12217 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Education in Michigan 'lackluster,' relying too much on charter schools Former charter school director gets probation for lying about student enrollment http://michiganradio.org/post/former-charter-school-director-gets-probation-lying-about-student-enrollment <p>A charter school in Muskegon County will have to repay the state close to $30,000 that, technically, the school shouldn’t have gotten in the first place.</p><p>The more students a school has the more money it receives from the state.</p><p>Barbara Stellard, who directed Waypoint Academy from 2002 to 2010, was charged in October with multiple criminal charges for reporting more students than actually attended the charter school.</p><p>Michigan Attorney General’s office spokeswoman Joy Yearout says another employee at Waypoint told tipped the state off to the scam.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:34:57 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11679 at http://michiganradio.org Measuring how charter schools perform in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/measuring-how-charter-schools-perform-michigan <p>In 2011, Governor Snyder signed a law to increase the number of charter school contracts around the state.</p><p>This bill allowed the state to have up 300 charter schools by the end of 2012.</p><p>And by the end of 2015, have unlimited caps.</p><p>When it comes to the topic of charter schools in Michigan, the question to be answered is whether there is an academic difference in charter schools operated by for-profit companies versus charters run by non-profits?</p><p>That question is the focus of a piece appearing in today's Bridge Magazine.</p><p>We spoke with Bridge writer Ron French and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Williams, from Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>They&nbsp; gave us a rundown on charter schools in Michigan and how they compare with other states.</p><p><em>To hear the full story click the audio link above.</em></p><p></p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/podcasts/8935/rss.xml" target="_blank"> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 20:14:54 +0000 Stateside Staff 11472 at http://michiganradio.org Measuring how charter schools perform in Michigan Stateside: Uncertified teachers at Muskegon Heights charter school system http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-uncertified-teachers-muskegon-heights-charter-school-system <p><em>The following is a </em><em>summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above. </em></p><p>Lester Graham is filling in for Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/investigation-uncovers-non-certified-teachers-muskegon-heights-new-charter-school">In her recent report</a>, Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith found that teachers in the new charter school system in Muskegon Heights were hired without teacher certification.</p><p>The entire public school system in Muskegon Heights was recently turned over to a private company.</p><p>While there are teachers who do have certification, there are others who do not.</p><p>The question is, what will happen with those teachers that have not been certified?</p><p>We sat down with reporter Lindsey Smith, who joined us from Grand Rapids.</p><p>She told us how it became evident that there were uncertified teachers working in the school system. She also tells us what it was like speaking to the parents in Muskegon Heights and their reactions.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/podcasts/8935/rss.xml" target="_blank"> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:04:44 +0000 Stateside Staff 11209 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside: Uncertified teachers at Muskegon Heights charter school system