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Home Bulletins Weekly Updates MAPSA Weekly Update - May 8, 2013
MAPSA Weekly Update - May 8, 2013
May 8, 2013

Good Things Happening in Our Schools:

Good Things Happening in Our Schools:

Michigan Schools Join the Celebration During National Charter Schools Week
President Barack Obama has declared May 5-13 as National Charter Schools Week, and charter schools throughout Michigan are joining in the celebration.

At Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids, two West Michigan legislators paid a visit on Monday to get a first-hand look at the school’s innovative blended-learning model. State Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, and State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, had a chance to tour the school and meet with students, teachers, parents and board members.

“We are talking a lot about education reform in Lansing, so when the invitation came in, I certainly wanted to see this program,” Hildenbrand told “I am very impressed, but this isn’t for every family. In my work in the Legislature, I talk a lot about empowering parents to create opportunities in education for parents, so they have the flexibility to look at what works best for their student.” For more on the story, click here.

At Threshold Academy in Orleans (near Ionia), students and staff are taking part in a variety of National Charter Schools Week activities. The celebration began on Monday with the school’s annual year-end awards, and concludes on Friday with Spirit Day, which will include a staff-vs.-students challenge.

In his proclamation declaring this National Charter Schools Week, President Obama said, “These learning laboratories give educators the chance to try new models and methods that can encourage excellence in the classroom and prepare more of our children for college and careers.”

For the president’s complete proclamation on National Charter Schools Week, click here.

Shown here, from back left, District Liaison Adam Erber and State Rep. Brandon Dillon, and State Sen. Dave Hidenbrand, front, are given a tour of Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids by Principal Doug Greer on Monday, during National Charter Schools Week. Photo by Emily Zoladz,

Please submit any announcements, news or event information for MAPSA's "Good Things Happening in Our Schools" feature to Buddy Moorehouse at

MAPSA Documentary “Creating Hope” Promotes Conversation on Quality Choices in Education

National Charter Schools Week is celebrated just as the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, the state charter school association, released a documentary called “Creating Hope: A Year in the Life of a New Charter School.”

The documentary, which premiered on Monday evening at the Detroit Institute of Arts, provided a look at the first year of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit through the eyes of one student and her family. The film was written and directed by MAPSA Vice President of Communications Buddy Moorehouse, a two-time Emmy nominee.

As the documentary showed, the student – a freshman named Unique Bailey – enrolled at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in 2011 when her family felt frustration that the local school district wasn’t meeting her educational needs.

“We wanted to produce this documentary to help promote a conversation that needs to take place now,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of MAPSA. “Specifically, what does a parent do when their current school is not working for their child? The documentary told this story through the eyes of one student, Unique Bailey. But there are 113,000 other students just like Unique in Detroit, and 1.5 million students just like her in Michigan. Just like Unique, these students all have parents, or grandparents, or loved ones who care for them and who desperately want the same thing that Unique’s family wants – the ability to find the best possible education.

“As we celebrate National Charter Schools Week, that’s the message we want to send. When it comes to public education, the adults spend a lot of time arguing and pointing fingers. We all need to remember, though, that this isn’t about the adults – it’s about the children. And every single one of those children deserves to attend a quality school that works. We don’t need good schools in our state – we need great schools. So the question shouldn’t be, ‘Who’s running the school?’ The question should be, ‘Is the school excellent?’ ”

The documentary premiere on Monday also featured a panel discussion. For highlights of it, click here.

Shown here, from left, Jalen Rose, MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry, Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov and JRLA Superintendent Joe Tenbusch participate in a panel discussion at the DIA following the premiere of “Creating Hope.”

Cesar Chavez Academy Named One of Country’s “Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report issues an annual ranking of the country’s high schools, evaluating the schools based on test scores and other data.

Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit received a Bronze Medal in the rankings this year, earning as designation from the magazine as one of the “Best High Schools.” This marks back-to-back honors for Cesar Chavez Academy, which was also honored in the 2012 rankings.

For more on the rankings, click here.

Detroit Regional Chamber Hosts College Readiness Roundtable

The Detroit Regional Chamber is hosting a College Readiness Roundtable on Thursday, May 16, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. at Detroit Cristo Rey High School, 5679 W. Vernor Hwy. All charter school educators in the area are invited to attend. Those interested should RSVP by May 14 to Brooke Franklin at or by texting the number of people attending to 313-449-7327.

A citywide effort to improve FAFSA completion rates is part of the larger Drive Detroit movement. Drive Detroit is a partnership of community leaders from the education, business, faith, non-profit, philanthropic and civic sectors. The group is committed to working together to transform “cradle to career” outcomes for every child in Detroit. In addition, the group is reaching out to assist in enrolling your students into college with the maximum amount of financial aid available to them through the Detroit Scholarship Fund.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

We are thrilled to recognize the hard work of teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Is your school doing something special this week to honor your teachers? Please share your school's photos and stories highlighting teacher appreciation to Buddy Moorehouse at We will be featuring selected stories on our Facebook page over the next couple of weeks!

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The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) has been the unified voice of the public charter school movement in Michigan since 1996. MAPSA represents over 119,000 students, 16,000 public school academy employees, dozens of authorizers and more than 50 education service providers working in 276 public charter schools in the state. MAPSA assists the state's public charter schools in their mission to deliver achievement, choice and accountability through our advocacy, communications, technical assistance and professional development services. For additional information, please visit

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