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Home Bulletins Weekly Updates The MAPSA Connection - March 2014
The MAPSA Connection - March 2014

105 W. Allegan, Suite 300, Lansing, MI 48933 |

In This Issue
MAPSA Member Spotlight
School Spotlight: Detroit Achievement Academy

Struggling for ways to market your school? Let your students tell the story. Watch what happens when a student from Detroit Achievement Academy is asked, "Tell me about your school."
Detroit Achievement Academy: What Makes My School Special?
Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
Charter Enrollment Continues to Grow
New figures from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools show that 9.3 percent of all students in Michigan are now enrolled in charter schools- about 141,000 total students (up from 130,000 last year). See the full story here.
A Look at East Arbor Charter Academy
A video in last month's MAPSA Connection on East Arbor Charter Academy in Ypsilanti had the incorrect name of the school. Here's the correct video- and the correct name of the school: East Arbor Charter Academy!
Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
Importance of Physical Activity in Schools
Are you interested in learning about the critical role recess and physical activity play in schools? Join Playworks and the Detroit Lions for an educational forum on April 1, 2014 from 8:30am-12:00pm at Ford Field. This is a free event, but you must register before March 25th.
Click here for more information on the forum and how to register.
4th Annual My Green School Art Contest!
The contest offers students in grades K-5 the opportunity to use artwork to demonstrate how their school is or could become more green. All entries are due March 31, 2014. Click here for more information.
Building Healthy Communities Program
Apply to participate in a program that fights childhood obesity by surrounding children and families with healthy eating and physical activity. Applications are due by March 14, 2014. Click here for more information.
Find out more about MAPSA's Cooperative Providers in our Virtual Marketplace by clicking on the logos below:

Hertz Logo

General Agency Logo
March 5, 2014
Dear Angi,

So much of what of what we accomplish depends on what we expect to. In 2013, the Wallace Foundation published the second edition of the Wallace Perspective and in it presented five key practices from their research that effective school leaders do well:

  1. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students, one based on high standards;
  2. Creating a climate hospitable to education in order that safety, a cooperative spirit, and other foundations of fruitful interaction prevail;
  3. Cultivating leadership in others so that teachers and other adults assume their part in realizing the school vision;
  4. Improving instruction to enable teachers to teach at their best and students to learn at their utmost; and
  5. Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement.

It should be of no surprise to anyone that number one on the Wallace Foundation's list pertains to an area of leadership that requires vision, high standards for self and others, clear and consistent communication, and a willingness to push the limits.

"Although they say it in different ways, researchers who have examined education leadership agree that effective principals are responsible for establishing a schoolwide vision of commitment to high standards and the success of all students."
"In a school, that begins with a principal's spelling out "high standards and rigorous learning goals," Vanderbilt University researchers assert with underlined emphasis. Specifically, they say, "The research literature over the last quarter century has consistently supported the notion that having high expectations for all, including clear and public standards, is one key to closing the achievement gap between advantaged and less advantaged students and for raising the overall achievement of all students."
Andrew C. Porter, Joseph Murphy, Ellen Goldring, Stephen N. Elliott, Morgan S. Polikoff and Henry May, Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education: Technical Manual, Version 1.0, Vanderbilt University, 2008, 13.
2013, The Wallace Foundation Perspective The School Principal As Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning

We all want what's best for kids and have big dreams for their lives. Defining their path to success, regardless of disadvantage, is the work of effective school leaders. He or she is the lead advocate for each and every student's emotional and academic development. They own it. Their vision for success and ability to articulate those expectations, coupled with a dogged persistence for the improvement and excellence of student work, is the fuel that drives the educational engine.




Chris Thompson

VP School Initiatives, MAPSA

Best Practice of the Month: Building Leadership from Within

Vision doesn't become reality without a shared understanding and commitment. Focusing on the quality of student work helps to foster enthusiasm and bring detail to the reality - brutal (as Jim Collins in Good to Great would say) or otherwise. Having teachers regularly present student product for peer feedback is a great way to build that common understanding. It also creates an environment that allows developmental levels to be explored and limits on expectations challenged. Build the leadership from within by having teachers create and nurture the process. Students benefit when teachers grow.

Lansing Connection
Right now, Lansing lawmakers are determining how much funding students will receive next year. Over the past 20 years, they have worked to close the funding gap and have yet to accomplish this. At their current pace, it will likely take another 20 years. That is unacceptable! All children deserve to be funded fairly and equitably.

Click here to learn more and send an email to your lawmaker telling them it's time to close the opportunity gap for Michigan's children.
New School Development: Volunteers Needed
The Public School Academies Unit (PSAU) at the Michigan Department of Education is currently seeking applications for the Charter School Program Planning Grant. The due date for completed applications is March 5, 2014. To prepare for the anticipated response and large numbers of applications expected, the PSAU is actively seeking volunteer peer reviewers to read, score, and make recommendations for funding of applications submitted which propose planning activities and related expenditures to develop new charter schools. A required consensus review meeting of volunteer readers/reviewers is scheduled to occur on Thursday, March 27, 2014 in downtown Lansing. 

If you are interested in participating in this planned peer review of applications or have additional questions please contact Kim Sidel at 517-373-3345 or
Marketplace Spotlight
Procurement Resources are now available at MAPSA's Virtual Marketplace.
Did you know MAPSA's improved Virtual Marketplace has great tools to assist you in finding a quality provider for your school? Not only can you submit a request for a proposal directly through the website, but tips and tools in creating your scope of work are also available. Find out how to build an effective rubric, and learn about procurement policies that work.
In addition, the Virtual Marketplace also provides the following benefits:
  • The opportunity for providers to share resources with you, including best practices, tutorials, or other materials educating you on how their product or service may be a good fit for your school. Just visit a Provider's profile to access any resources they have made available to you.
  • A more advanced rating system and ability to read feedback from your colleagues on the experiences they have had with a certain provider.
  • An expanded search function, making it easier for schools to find exactly what they are looking for.

We hope that you will utilize this invaluable tool for finding the product, service or provider that best meets the needs of your school. Visit the Virtual Marketplace today!

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Michigan Association of Public School Academies | 517-374-9167 | |
105 W. Allegan
Suite 300
Lansing, MI 48933
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Our mission is to improve educational outcomes for Michigan's children by advancing quality education through choice and innovation.

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