LANSING, Michigan – The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association, is welcoming new Detroit schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and encouraging him to collaborate with the charter school community in the city. MAPSA’s invitation comes after Vitti made several comments regarding charter schools to the media last week.
Vitti is beginning work as the new superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District. He gave interviews last week to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News in which he took a strong position regarding charter schools in the city.
Among other things, Vitti told the Free Press, “We have to lobby strategically and unapologetically to create better quality control of the charter authorization process. That has not been done appropriately in the state of Michigan and it’s allowed too many for-profit charters and charters in general to be able to establish schools without any track record of success.” Vitti also told The Detroit News that charter schools are “experimenting on our children.”
MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry took note of Vitti’s comments, and invited him to collaborate with the city’s charter community.
“We welcome Dr. Vitti to his new job, and we stand ready to work with him to make education better for all students in Detroit,” Quisenberry said. “We know from evidence and polling that charter schools are very popular among parents in the city, and as a result, more than half the students in Detroit attend charter schools. Charter schools have been and will continue to be part of the renaissance taking place in Detroit.
“Charter schools in the city have learned a lot about making schools work against all the odds. Research from Stanford University shows us that charter school students in Detroit gain an additional three months of learning every year in English and math, so it’s evident that charter schools in Detroit are not only popular – they’re successful. In order for Detroit’s renaissance to continue, we need all schools to be successful. It’s not about the governance – it’s about the students. We all need to keep our focus on that.
“We look forward to connecting with Dr. Vitti and we will invite him and his leadership team to visit some of Detroit’s successful charter schools, to see what’s working and why. Only by working together can we make Detroit one of the truly great educational cities in America.”