Are we allowing poorly performing charter schools to expand in Michigan?

May 24, 2013

Education Trust-Midwest, "a statewide nonpartisan policy, research, and advocacy organization," released an analysis on the 32 charter schools set to open in Michigan this fall.

They say while some newly approved charter schools are run by operators with a strong track record, many others are run by operators that are “chronically low-performing.”

According to ETM’s David Zeman, the data demonstrates that “Michigan needs to seriously consider holding charter authorizers more accountable for school quality.”

The report singled out several charter school operators that ETM claims have poor track records. You can see their full analysis on poor performing operators here.  ETM also released a more comprehensive list of the 32 new charter schools set to open in Michigan this fall.

Here are three operators they specifically called out.

Leona Group, L.L.C., a for-profit operator based in Arizona:

  • Open since 2005, only 6 percent of its students met state standards last year in math. At Leona’s Cesar Chavez Academy in Southwest Detroit, students performed worse than Detroit Public Schools in reading on the 2012 MEAP.

CS Partners in Brighton:

  • The school performed worse than 90 percent of Michigan schools in the state’s 2012 accountability system. Only 2 percent of its students met science standards, compared with 15 percent statewide and 17 percent in Coldwater public schools.

Midwest Management Group:

  • Opening a new school in Flint, even though its Woodward Academy in Detroit performs below the average for Detroit Public Schools in reading and math, and far below the statewide average.

Sarah Alvarez with Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity team also posted on this story. You can check out her story by following this link. Be sure to check out their site.

-Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom