Who is Managing Michigan Charter Schools?

Dan Quisenberry
Mar 24, 2017 10:30:36 AM
There has been a focus of late on Michigan’s charter schools and too many times there have been false references to Michigan, or specific cities like Detroit, that lead the reader to falsely believe that every charter school in Michigan is managed by “management companies that are only interested in profit”. Like evil aliens appeared from someplace just to mange schools. This is absolutely untrue and ignores the importance of who really is managing Michigan charter schools.

Facts tell us that there is great diversity in the type and structure of how and who manages Michigan charter schools. Here are the numbers:

380 separate charter schools buildings;

  • 255 schools contract with a for-profit Management Company (67%)
  • 72 of the for-profit Management Companies provide HR only (28%)
  • 49 of the non-profit Management Companies provide HR only (40%)
  • 32% of all schools are self-managed for instruction and contract for back office/HR

The most accurate statement would be to say of the 300 Michigan charter schools 183, or 48%, are operated by for-profit management companies. Nowhere near 80 percent.

Positive Economic Impact: Opportunities for Minorities and Communities Founding and Operating Charter Schools

Another intentional misconception some people repeat is that a vast majority of the charter schools in Detroit are managed by out-of-area or out-of-state companies. Again, that’s not true.

Dr. Howard Fuller, a distinguished professor of education and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning, often reminds us that it’s important for people of color in minority communities to have leadership roles in charter schools, schools serving their own communities. He is right.

In Detroit, 70% of the charter public schools are managed by Detroiters. People like Ralph Bland, New Paradigm, Dr. Constance Price of Martin Luther King Academy, Theresa Ellis-Sheffield of the David Ellis Academies, Nawal Hamadeh of Hamadeh Education, Alice Thompson with Detroit’s Black Family Development, Jalen Rose with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Bernard Parker, Timbuktu Academy and many others. Detroiters running Detroit schools.

Of the 90 Michigan charter school management companies operating in Michigan, 90% are in-state businesses working with four or fewer schools. Michigan charter schools are locally managed, educating and investing in their communities.

 New Call-to-action

Subscribe by Email

Comments (4)