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June 27, 2014 - MAPSA Invites All Schools to Take School Accountability Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 
Buddy Moorehouse 
Vice President of Communications 
517-515-9496
bmoorehouse@charterschools.org 
 
MAPSA Invites All Public Schools in Michigan to Take a Pledge to Follow Same Accountability Standards as Charter Schools 

LANSING, Michigan (June 27, 2014) – The Michigan Association of Public School Academies is inviting all public schools in Michigan to sign a pledge that they’ll adhere to the same standards of accountability and oversight that charter public schools are following. 
 
MAPSA’s pledge comes in the wake of a week-long series on charter schools in the Detroit Free Press that has been filled with gross inaccuracies and false conclusions. Among the Free Press’ grossly erroneous conclusions is that charter public schools have lower accountability standards than traditional public schools. In fact, the opposite is true. 
 
“By law, charter public schools in Michigan operate under higher standards of accountability, transparency and oversight,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of MAPSA, the state charter school association. “The Free Press has intentionally painted the false picture that the standards for charter schools are lower. It is vital that we educate all children in Michigan while holding all public schools accountable for their performance So, if the goal is all public schools in the state operating under the same standards, then we fully support that. That’s why we’re asking all traditional public schools in the state to take a pledge that they’ll operate under the same standards as charter schools.” 
 
The pledge can be found at www.ISupportThePledge.com
 
The pledge includes these tougher standards that charter schools operate under (none of which have been reported in the Free Press): 
  • Charter public schools operate under a performance contract that says they’ll be shut down if they fail to operate to a level satisfactory to the State Board of Education. Traditional public schools do not. No traditional public school in Michigan has ever been closed for academic reasons. 
  • Charter public schools have to accept any student in Michigan, no matter where they live. Traditional public schools do not. 
  • Charter public schools prohibit hiring anyone to work in the school district that has a defined family relationship with a school board member. Traditional public schools do not. 
  • Charter public schools agree that they will automatically be closed if they show up in the bottom 5 percent of the top-to-bottom list for four straight years. Traditional public schools do not. 
“It’s been grossly irresponsible of the Free Press to report that charter schools have lower accountability standards, when in fact the standards for charters are much higher,” Quisenberry said. “Every charter school in the state has already agreed to follow these standards. It’s time for every traditional public school district to agree to follow them, as well.” 
 
Quisenberry said that MAPSA is sending the pledge to every school superintendent in the state. MAPSA will be making public the list of those who sign it. 
 
 
The Michigan Association of Public School Academies advances quality education through choice and innovation. MAPSA has been the unified voice of the public charter school movement in Michigan since 1996. MAPSA represents more than 141,000 students, 6,000 teachers, dozens of authorizers and more than 50 education service providers working in 296 public charter schools in the state. MAPSA assists the state’s public charter schools in their mission to deliver achievement, choice and accountability through advocacy, communications, technical assistance and professional development services. For additional information, please visit www.charterschools.org.

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Contact

For media inquires contact:
Buddy Moorehouse
Tel: 517-374-9167
Email:
bmoorehouse@charterschools.org

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