Column: Charter schools are top schools

Dan Quisenberry
May 16, 2017 1:23:00 PM

Originally posted on May 16, 2018 in the Detroit News.

For more than two decades, Michigan’s charter schools have been quietly delivering some very exciting results. Student growth and achievement, program innovation and vital connections made with traditionally underserved populations have helped breathe new life into the state’s K-12 landscape.

These outcomes received fresh recognition this week as three charter public schools topped the U.S. News & World Report rankings of Michigan high schools. Nationally, four of five best high schools in the country are charter schools.

U.S. News releases the rankings every year, and they’re considered the gold standard of high school rankings. Michigan’s top three high schools are: Wellspring Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids; Arbor Preparatory High School, Ypsilanti; and Black River Public School, Holland.

The rankings also speak well of the accountability and oversight practices established by Michigan authorizers and educational service providers. Bay Mills Community College authorizes both Wellspring and Arbor Preparatory High Schools, which both use PrepNet to manage their operations. Grand Valley State University authorizes Black River High School.

In addition to the top three, numerous other charter schools were ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report, including West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Grand Rapids (No. 17); West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids (No. 72 in Michigan); and Star International Academy in Dearborn Heights (No. 80 in Michigan).

We firmly believe these achievements serve to shatter several longstanding myths surrounding Michigan’s charter public school sector.

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