This fall, 32 new charter schools are scheduled to open in Michigan.
To check out where these schools will be located, look at this Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) link.
According to MAPSA, there are currently 232 charter public schools in Michigan with over 100,000 enrolled students.
This year, there number of charter schools opening is due in part to a controversial law that lifted restrictions on charter schools.
Michigan law allows new public schools to be chartered by state universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts.
“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] 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.”
The expansion of Michigan’s charter school system has received national attention.
Michael Van Beek of the Wall Street Journal reported on lessons the nation can learn from Michigan’s system.
In his report, he quoted Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.
Perhaps the most notable finding was that from 2007-11 the typical Michigan charter-school student made annual academic gains in both reading and math equivalent to about two additional months of learning, compared with his or her peers in conventional public schools. The longer a student stayed in a charter school the greater the annual gains. After five years the average charter-school student made cumulative learning gains equivalent to an entire additional year of schooling.
But others contend charters are not being held accountable in the same way public schools are in the state.
Education Trust-Midwest analyzed the 32 schools scheduled to open and found that "chronically low-performing operators are continuing to expand rapidly in the state, regardless of what’s best for students."
"Sadly, too many of the new charter schools opening are run by operators who are failing to do right by our parents and students," [says Amber Arellno, executive director of Education Trust-Midwest].
"Some of these operators’ student achievement levels are worse than our most struggling public school districts, such as Detroit and Flint public schools," Arellano added.
Education Trust-Midwest says the state needs to hold charter operators more accountable.
Here's a look at how charter schools have expanded in the state:
Education Trust-Midwest also has an analysis of charters opened in 2012. You can see that analysis here.
- Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom