Learn the ABC's of Charter Public Schools in Michigan!
Student Achievement in Charters
- Students and parents alike give their charter schools high grades. For example, a November poll showed nearly 3/4s of charter parents in
Detroit rate their schools as above average to excellent. In contrast, only 44% of parents from other schools responded so positively.
- Charter students learn the basics, plus have opportunities for advanced work, including options such as dual college enrollment.
- Charter schools often feature a character education culture that builds on the foundation parents work hard to build at home.
- Because charters are small, teachers see each student's progress and respond accordingly.
Highlights of state MEAP results released in 2010:
- Charter public schools in Detroit exceed the local district on every test.
- Charter public schools exceed similar districts in 16 out of 18 tests.
What Charters are Like
Charter schools serve elementary, middle and high school students -- or any combination of those. Every charter is different, but most share basic traits:
- They're small, so students spend more time one-on-one with their teachers.
- Charters stress high expectations for all students, and the tight-knit environments help children excel.
- They're clean, orderly and fun, with lessons taught in hands-on, engaging fashion.
- Teachers, administrators and parents together support students and learning. There's a sense of community and constant collaboration.
- Decisions and policies focus on students and learning. Because
charters are independent public schools -- not part of a larger
district -- teachers and administrators are free to act quickly and
with innovation as they monitor achievement and see what's needed to
help the children.
Who Charter Teachers Are
- Charter teachers must meet state and federal certification requirements. They are also highly qualified teachers. Despite erroneous reports, many charter schools have fully certified staffs. Sometimes teachers fall outside normal certification because they're specialists, leading advanced, unique programs.
- Many educators say charters
have revitalized their careers, thanks to the constant emphasis on
students and an ability to act swiftly to serve children, without
wading through bureaucracy.
- Charter schools are set
up so excellent teachers are rewarded and retained, in the best
interest of what works well for students.
How Accountable Charter Schools Are
- No other public schools are scrutinized like charters are. Charter
authorizers (often state universities) have large staffs that monitor
the schools and ensure compliance with lengthy, written performance
contracts. Charters keep their contracts if they are academically and fiscally sound.
- The state also has staff assigned to monitor charters. This
staff produces an annual report to the Legislature about charter
schools, providing a review that exists nowhere else in public
- Charter schools have publicly appointed
boards, and of course, they exist only if they serve families well and
parents continue to enroll their children.
View the accountability structure for Michigan's charter schools.
Accountability comparison for traditional and charter public schools.