Statement On National Education Association Charter Schools Policy Position

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Contact: Jared Burkhart

July 5, 2017                                                                                         517-487-4848




From Jared Burkhart, Executive Director

Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers


The National Education Association has issued a new policy position on charter public schools. While many of their imaginings have no basis in reality, most are dangerous to students and families who want to exercise their freedom to choose the type of education where they will learn and grow.

“We recognize the NEA’s head fake towards a commitment to school accountability. We presume a true commitment towards accountability for all schools will ultimately lead the Michigan Education Association to reverse its position and back the state’s proposed A–F school accountability model. True accountability is essential as we seek to improve student outcomes in every educational institution in Michigan.

“Most troubling to us, however, is the presumption that non-district authorizers lack the ability to hold the schools they charter accountable for results. This assertion fails to understand the work being done here in Michigan, where our universities, community colleges and ISDs are overseen by publicly-appointed boards and held accountable through annual legislative appropriations. What’s more, Michigan university authorizers have led the way in reconstituting or closing public schools that fail to perform, whereas many low-performing traditional schools overseen by local boards are left open to fail Michigan students year after year. In fact, of the 38 schools identified by the state as chronically low performing schools 2 NEA schools have sued the state to stay open. At the same time the one charter school authorized by a statewide authorizer on the list has been closed.

“We look forward to engaging in the necessary job of educating students in the months and years ahead, and are eager to see union leaders do the same instead of creating political campaign talking points.”

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Members of the Michigan Authorizers seek to advance public school choice and accountability by supporting high-quality oversight and serving as a unified voice for authorizers across Michigan.

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