Statement On National Education Association Charter Schools Policy Position

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Contact: Jared Burkhart

July 5, 2017                                                                                         517-487-4848

 

 

STATEMENT

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.

Statement by MCCSA Executive Director Jared Burkhart regarding Adequacy Study

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, regarding Adequacy Study:

“The funding study released today shows the long standing position of the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers that there should be more equity between the highest funded and lowest funded students. We will continue to work with the legislature to continue to close the public school funding gap to ensure every student is provided with the same funding allowance.

It is very encouraging to see that longstanding programs that charter schools have used to further academic success are now being embraced by this report. Successful academic strategies such as allowing special education students to participate in general education classes and extending the school day have been a staple in charter schools for many years. This study proves that innovative programs that have been perfected within the charter school setting increases the educational opportunities for students while getting the most out of taxpayer funding.

However, the study fails to obtain the broad perspective of all public schools. Charter schools continue to provide more educational opportunities with less funding. The state must recognize the unjust burden placed upon some public schools when per pupil funds must be stretched to cover building costs in charter schools.  This study shows that by following the innovative thinking that charter schools have put in place for the past 20 years, all schools can provide quality opportunities within the current funding structure.”

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Statement regarding DPS Legislation Approved by Michigan House

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, regarding DPS Legislation approved by Michigan House:

“The Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers is pleased to see a solution that focuses on parents and students in the City of Detroit. Creating an accountability system that will close failing schools, both charter and traditional, will help students gain the best education possible. Michigan authorizers will continue to work tirelessly to ensure students from every background obtain a quality education.”

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For additional information about the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, please visit: http://michiganauthorizers.com

Charter Supporters Continue to Oppose Limits on Parental Choice in Detroit

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers:

“Even some charter school supporters that attended today’s press conference with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan do not support the flawed Senate version of the DEC. We continue to support an education system that empowers parents to make the best choice for their children, not a politically appointed commission. Our focus is not on protecting DPS but rather providing the best education for all students.”

Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers Issue Statement in response to Senate passing DPS Legislation

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2016

Contact: Jared Burkhart
M: 517-403-8533
jburkhart@michiganauthorizers.com

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, executive director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers regarding the Senate DPS Legislation:

“We are stunned and deeply saddened the Michigan Senate would actually pass legislation that will result in fewer choices for Detroit parents and fewer educational opportunities for their children. These bills protect the Detroit Public School System that has long left behind the students of Detroit academically while being financially driven into the ground time after time. The Senate’s late addition of a Detroit Education Commission only resurrects and props up the old failed DPS system.

Seventy-nine percent of Detroit charter schools perform better than DPS schools and that is a primary factor why parents choose charter schools. Those who want to reduce competition from charter schools and preserve DPS are looking out only for themselves and not the children.

The losers are the parents and state taxpayers. This legislation will limit parents’ education choices for their children and continue to throw away taxpayers’ dollars. The winner is the Detroit political system that isn’t interested in making necessary changes to provide a competitive education landscape with accountability. Additional state tax dollars without any real education reform only means the cycle will continue in Detroit.”

 

About the Council:

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

New joint report shows Michigan cyber charter schools outperform other states in math and reading

Michigan charter authorizers hold online schools accountable

Lansing, Mich. – A new joint report shows that Michigan cyber charter school students are outperforming their counterparts in other states. According to the study of online charter schools in 18 states – conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University (CREDO), Mathematical Policy Research, and Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington – Michigan online students showed more growth in reading and math than their peers.

Compared to the other 17 states, the study shows students attending Michigan online charter schools perform the highest in math and second highest in reading. According to the report, “Practices in those states who are producing positive results may hold useful lessons for the remaining states.”

“The results of the study are promising considering the student makeup in Michigan cyber schools included a significant amount of high school dropouts and other at-risk students. Michigan authorizers hold their cyber schools to the high standards we expect from every school and it shows in the results of this study,” said Jared Burkhart, executive director of the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers. “We will continue to support the high standards and accountability measures that lead to high performance.”

The study also points out that the aspects of the Michigan model of online education, which includes teacher monitoring of students academic growth, are important in student achievement. Michigan authorizers have implemented specialized ways to oversee the schools effectively including individualized enrollment monitoring and specialized financial reviews.

“Cyber schools are a growing way to provide educational opportunities,” said Burkhart. “Studies like this will help provide the research that is necessary to improve outcomes for all students.”

Michigan currently has approximately 6,800 students attending seven charter cyber schools. During much of the time period studied, Michigan only allowed charter cyber schools to operate if at least 50 percent of students were high school dropouts.

Click here to read the complete study.

Reading

The joint study included analyses of online charter attendance by state. In the full-data general case analysis, researchers used statistical methods to control for differences between states. In the online charter by state analyses, researchers examined the impact of online charter attendance by each state as compared to the state’s average student academic growth. In Figure 5 and Figure 6, the zero line is the average growth of a cyber student in the state. A positive effect size means the average online charter student had stronger growth than the average comparison. A negative effect size means growth for online charter students was weaker than the average virtual control record (VCR) comparison student.

Figure 5 shows the impact for online charter students in reading. Michigan had positive effect sizes in reading.

Figure 5: Online Charter Effect Size by State, Reading

Online_Charter_Effect_Size_by_State_Reading

The 0.00 line for this graph represents the average Traditional Public School (TPS) Virtual Control Record (VCR), White, non-poverty, non-ELL, non-SPED student. *Denotes significant at the .05 level. **Denotes significant at the .01 level.

Math

The effect sizes by state in math are shown in Figure 6. Michigan cyber students performed higher than counterparts. In 14 states, the impacts on math growth of attending an online charter school were significantly weaker than the comparison group. Three states had effect sizes, which were not different from the comparison groups. The math and reading results show there is a large amount of variation in the effectiveness of online charter schools in promoting academic growth in students attending those schools.

Figure 6: Online Charter Effect Size by State, Math

 Online_Charter_Effect_Size_by_State_Math

The 0.00 line for this graph represents the average TPS VCR, White, non-poverty, non-ELL, non-SPED student. *Denotes significant at the .05 level. **Denotes significant at the .01 level.

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Student Funding Gap Set to Decrease

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers regarding the Senate-House Conference Committee’s final version of the $14 billion FY ’16 School Aid Budget.

“All children, not just those lucky enough to live in a nice zip code, deserve a quality education. That starts by funding all children fairly and equitably. We’re excited and thankful for the hard work done by the conference committee. This budget continues with past progress in closing the funding equity gap for all Michigan students.

“A high-quality education is the civil rights issue of our time. Parents deserve choices and information; teachers and schools deserve autonomy and flexibility with the funds they are given. That’s the pathway to a better future for all children.”

Jared Burkhart
Executive Director
MCCSA

201 Townsend Street, Suite 900
Lansing, MI  48933
P: 517-487-4848 M: 517-403-8533 F: 517-487-4855

 

Statement Regarding Gov. Rick Snyder’s Detroit Education Plan

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jared Burkhart
jburkhart@michiganauthorizers.com

April 30, 2015

Statement from Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers

Please attribute the following statement to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director, Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers regarding Gov. Rick Snyder’s Detroit education plan.

“The Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers is committed to an education plan that addresses the needs of the parents and students in Detroit.

We support elements in Gov. Snyder’s plan to reform education in Detroit, including the commitment to close and reform underperforming schools. We look forward to working with Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Legislature on the details to raise the bar for all schools in Detroit.”

Jared Burkhart
Executive Director
MCCSA

201 Townsend Street, Suite 900
Lansing, MI  48933
P: 517-487-4848 M: 517-403-8533 F: 517-487-4855

 

Michigan’s charter school environment earns an “A” from national education reform group

Extra point received for responsible authorizing

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 5.02.42 PMLansing, Mich. – Michigan’s charter school environment received one of only five “A” grades by the national Center for Education Reform. According to the Center for Education Reform rankings and scorecard, of the 42 states and the District of Columbia that have charter school laws, only one-third earned above-average scores.

The national education reform organization gave Michigan a score of 41 out of 55. Only Washington D.C., Minnesota, and Indiana scored higher.

The Center for Education Reform report highlights responsible authorizing practices in Michigan. According to the report, Michigan authorizers are “opening strong charter schools while holding current charters accountable to their contracts and closing and/or turning them over to proven operators as necessary. In addition, Michigan authorizers have come together to propose an accreditation system for authorizers to ensure accountability.”

“It is not an accident that Michigan ranks so highly in the report,” said Jared Burkhart, Executive Director of the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers. “We hold schools to high academic outcomes because all children deserve a quality public education that provides opportunities.”

“Studies like this confirm Michigan’s charter school law is a model for the rest of the country,” said Burkhart. “Michigan authorizers are committed to improving this great ranking. For more than a year, members of the members of the Council have been working with a nationally recognized accreditation organization to raise the bar and ensure accountability. This accreditation program sets high standards for authorizers throughout the state and country. As part of the accreditation program, a third party review team, with an in-depth understanding of authorizing, closely assesses each authorizers practices.”

The full report can be found by clicking here.

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Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers Issues Statement in Response to Report Released by The Education Trust-Midwest

The following statement can be attributed to Jared Burkhart, Executive Director of the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers:

“The Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers is committed to ensuring all students have access to high quality educational options while holding schools accountable. Today’s report utilizes a weak and politically driven methodology and fails to recognize effective authorizing practices currently in place in Michigan. It is clear that Education Trust-Midwest has limited knowledge of authorizing practices and chose to misrepresent many data points to arrive at a predetermined outcome about authorizers and charter public schools in Michigan. For example, the study distorted the nationally respected study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. The report from CREDO confirmed students in Michigan charter schools are experiencing nearly two additional months per year of learning gains in math and reading and three months of additional learning gains in Detroit.

It is unfortunate that Education Trust-Midwest blames governance structures for issues facing schools serving students in impoverished areas. Education Trust-Midwest had an opportunity to focus on concrete solutions that are best for Michigan students and failed to do so.

Through the nation’s first authorizer accreditation program, the Council is offering concrete solutions for holding authorizers accountable and improvement of authorizing practices. For over a year, members of the Council have been working with a nationally recognized accreditation organization to develop a rigorous system to assess authorizing practices. This accreditation program sets high standards and raises the bar for authorizers throughout the state and country. As part of the accreditation program, a third party review team, with an in-depth understanding of authorizing, closely assesses each authorizers practices.

Since the inception of charter schools, Council members have been focused on improving outcomes for all students including those that have been traditionally underserved.”

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