charter schools http://michiganradio.org en The struggles of Muskegon Heights school district http://michiganradio.org/post/struggles-muskegon-heights-school-district <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two years ago, Muskegon Heights made history by becoming the first school district in Michigan to convert entirely to a charter district, and turn the operation of its schools over to a for-profit company.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p>This week, Michigan Radio's Dustin Dwyer and Lindsey Smith take an in depth look at the changes in the Muskegon Heights School district and what that could that mean for other troubled districts in the state in a new <a href="http://michiganradio.org/programs/stateside-cynthia-canty">State of Opportunity</a> documentary called <em>Tiger Pride</em>.</p><p>Why focus on Muskegon Heights? How does it impact other struggling school districts in Michigan?</p><p>Dwyer and Smith joined us today to give us a preview of the documentary.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm to hear <em>Tiger Pride</em>.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:19:06 +0000 Jennifer White 18494 at http://michiganradio.org The struggles of Muskegon Heights school district State superintendent invites charter authorizers, advocates to meet privately this month http://michiganradio.org/post/state-superintendent-invites-charter-authorizers-advocates-meet-privately-month <p>Michigan’s schools superintendent wants to meet with charter school authorizers and advocacy groups this month as he figures out a way to hold them more accountable.</p><p>The vast m<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Schools_by_Authorizer_396738_7.pdf">ajority of Michigan’s charter schools are set up</a> by Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Bay Mills Community College.</p><p>Earlier this month <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140--332521--,00.html">State Superintendent Mike Flanagan warned these and other entities</a>, known as charter school authorizers, that he was not going to allow them to open new schools if their existing schools “do not measure up.”</p><p>Flanagan is concerned some charter authorizers aren’t being held accountable for the schools they run, academically or financially.</p><p>A state Department of Education spokesman said charter authorizers and other interested parties were invited to meet privately with Flanagan later this month to discuss his concerns.</p><p>Authorizers have come under scrutiny in the wake of a big investigative report the Detroit Free Press published earlier this month.</p><p>The report found some charter schools run by for-profit management companies aren’t transparent about how they spend taxpayer money.</p><p>Flanagan said the report and a meeting he had with charter advocates earlier this year have prompted him to make charter authorizers more accountable for the schools they set up.</p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:55:41 +0000 Lindsey Smith 18371 at http://michiganradio.org State superintendent invites charter authorizers, advocates to meet privately this month How Lansing is responding to charter school investigation http://michiganradio.org/post/how-lansing-responding-charter-school-investigation <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>A <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140622/NEWS06/140507009">recent investigation </a>by the Detroit Free Press suggested major issues with charter schools in the state. The investigation pointed to poor financial practices, conflicts of interest, and lack of transparency by charter schools and authorizers.</p><p>Now, State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan says some charter authorizers may lose their authority to open additional schools.</p><p>Joining us now to talk about this are Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Zoe Clark with Michigan Radio’s <em>It’s Just Politics</em>.</p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:59:52 +0000 Jennifer White 18334 at http://michiganradio.org How Lansing is responding to charter school investigation Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-superintendent-predicts-institutions-will-lose-authority-create-charter-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The statement comes a day after state Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said he’s ready to use his authority to revoke that ability from charter school authorizers. That’s if they fail to meet new standards for transparency set by state education officials.</span></p><p>Flanagan says he met with authorizers in February about issues involving charters. He says he’s not convinced all of them will be able to meet the new, tougher standards.</p><p>“If I had to guess, just because of the candor at the February meeting, there’s probably some that we won’t extend their ability,” Flanagan said Tuesday. “But I don’t want to pre-judge that too much. That’s only hearing the anecdotal stuff.”</p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:22:25 +0000 Jake Neher 18306 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools Charter school supporters’ response to investigations is "Soviet" in style http://michiganradio.org/post/charter-school-supporters-response-investigations-soviet-style <p></p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 14:43:22 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18274 at http://michiganradio.org Charter school supporters’ response to investigations is "Soviet" in style Schauer says he’d push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor http://michiganradio.org/post/schauer-says-he-d-push-stricter-regulations-charter-schools-governor <p>Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he’s elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a “free pass.”</p><p></p><p>“We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools,” said Schauer. “It’s the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads.”</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:37:18 +0000 Jake Neher 18174 at http://michiganradio.org Schauer says he’d push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor Education spending, charter schools and retirement plans make political headlines http://michiganradio.org/post/education-spending-charter-schools-and-retirement-plans-make-political-headlines <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Week in Michigan Politics, </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jack </span>Lessenberry<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and Christina Shockley discuss new </span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/why-michigan-charter-schools-need-more-regulation-and-oversight" style="line-height: 1.5;">investigations</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> into charter schools, the new education spending bill and the</span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-economists-warn-against-ending-pensions-public-employees" style="line-height: 1.5;"> impacts</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> after the removal of state pension plans.</span></p><p></p><p></p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 12:32:30 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 18139 at http://michiganradio.org Education spending, charter schools and retirement plans make political headlines Gov. Snyder wants more transparency in spending by schools, but not charter companies http://michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-wants-more-transparency-spending-schools-not-charter-companies <p>Governor Rick Snyder says he’s for more transparency in school spending, but he’s not ready to apply those standards to private companies that run charter schools.</p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:59:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 18138 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder wants more transparency in spending by schools, but not charter companies Why Michigan charter schools need more regulation and oversight http://michiganradio.org/post/why-michigan-charter-schools-need-more-regulation-and-oversight <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">There are those who say newspapers are dead, a relic of journalism’s primitive days before Google, before phones&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">in our pockets connected everyone to everyone else.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Well, there is no doubt that the traditional economic model that allowed “dead tree journalism” to flourish is in trouble. There’s little doubt that lots of us no longer have the reading habits needed for so-called “long-form” journalism.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">But there’s also no doubt that this is a tragedy, because at their best, newspapers do something other media can’t. That’s on display this week in the Detroit Free Press.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The newspaper spent a year investigating Michigan’s charter schools and how the state oversees them.</span></p><p></p><p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:01:01 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18105 at http://michiganradio.org Why Michigan charter schools need more regulation and oversight Muskegon Heights schools rejects for-profit charter bids in favor of (some) local control http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-schools-rejects-profit-charter-bids-favor-some-local-control <p><strong>Updated: <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/emergency-manager-says-new-arrangement-muskegon-heights-schools-will-be-more-economical">Emergency manager says new arrangement will be more economical than charter school company</a></strong></p><p>Muskegon Heights schools will not hire another for-profit charter company to run the district. Instead, the district plans to hire its own superintendent, a staffing company and the intermediate school district in Muskegon County to run schools for the next three years.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:03:19 +0000 Lindsey Smith 18030 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon Heights schools rejects for-profit charter bids in favor of (some) local control State leaders question oversight role when charter companies run entire school districts http://michiganradio.org/post/state-leaders-question-oversight-role-when-charter-companies-run-entire-school-districts <p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the consequences of turning&nbsp;entire school districts over to for-profit charter school companies deserves more consideration from state lawmakers.</p><p>Flanagan told a state panel last week it’s not clear if the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/muskegon-heights-school-district">Muskegon Heights school district</a>, or the for-profit charter company that ran it the last two years, will face any consequences for running up a deficit big enough to require an emergency loan worth $1.4 million and two cash advances to keep schools open through June. It’s unclear exactly what the deficit is for the 2013-2014 school year.</p><p>The Muskegon Heights school district is now looking for a new operator. That’s after the district and its emergency manager <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-ends-contract-charter-school-company">agreed to end its contract with Mosaica Education Inc.</a> when the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/charter-school-ceo-says-muskegon-heights-schools-owes-company-2-million">company couldn’t turn a profit.</a></p><p>“Now that (Mosaica) is leaving, they pretty much told us they’re not going to do (the district’s) deficit elimination plan. To follow up on that, we should wait for the new management company and deal with them,” Dan Hanrahan, Michigan Department of Education’s director of state aid and school finance, told the panel. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:34:45 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17910 at http://michiganradio.org State leaders question oversight role when charter companies run entire school districts Staff at Detroit's first unionized charter school have a tentative contract http://michiganradio.org/post/staff-detroits-first-unionized-charter-school-have-tentative-contract <p>Teachers and staff at Detroit’s first unionized charter school have <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140606/NEWS01/306060124/charter-Cesar-Chavez-contract-Detroit">reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement</a>.</p><p>Teachers at Detroit’s Cesar Chavez Academy formally joined the American Federation of Teachers in February 2013.</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 01:27:15 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17907 at http://michiganradio.org Staff at Detroit's first unionized charter school have a tentative contract 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