25 years ago, our state was at a public education impass. Our public schools were continually underperforming, and many parents and families lacked strong academic options outside of their assigned schools. But in October of 1993, Michigan undertook a bold opportunity to change public education in an unprecedented way. That opportunity - charter schools.
Whether it was serving small rural communities, urban populations or even the suburban neighborhoods, charter schools found a unique way to provide access to those students and families that needed it most. From arts and humanity focuses, to agricultural concentrations, charter schools continue to serve students from varying populations with specific niches and approaches to public education, acting as innovation warehouses.
But embarking on this journey 25 years ago was not an easy charge - and by no means have the stakes lessened. It took thought leaders, pioneers and innovators - and even then, it took endless grit and determination to see it through. As we reflect on how far we've come, we're also eager to showcase our charter roots.
These next few months, MAPSA will be celebrating this exciting milestone, and the legacy we've built together over the last quarter century, by sharing some amazing stories of perseverance and compassion. Through a unique new campaign, we'll be highlighting a handful of the movement's pioneer leaders, who fought at the frontlines of the good fight for a system that offered access and choice in the form of free public school options.
MAPSA has fought for the most important education reform issue in the last 25 years, including giving a voice to the many parents and teachers who have taken a chance on this thing called charter schools. The good news: charters are making a HUGE difference for students. And while we're very, very excited to kick off this milestone celebration, we're not even close to the finish line. MAPSA has been proud to ensure charter voices are heard, whether it was in the media or at the Capitol - and we plan to keep doing so.
Want to join in? Share your charter success story by following and tagging us on Facebook or Instagram, and use #ChartersLead.