Charter Schools in Question

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

There is big debate on the number of charter schools in Michigan. Gary Naeyaert from the Michigan Association of Public School Academies told us the House wants to restrict the number and close the bottom 5% every year. The Senate wants an unlimited number of charter schools.

Ed Sarpolus from the Michigan Education Association said restricting the number of charters is a good idea because only one out of five is doing better than regular public schools.

"You're just adding to the problem," said Sarpolus. "For example, we have budget cuts right now. Adding more buildings is not going to fix or improve education."

Naeyaert disagrees.

"Charter school students on average overperform academically students in similar traditional school districts," said Naeyaert. "So we are taking students who are behind grade level and we are bringing them farther along in terms of proficiency and growth, and helping them become college and career ready."

Naeyaert also said charter schools serve as a better alternative for low income families who cannot afford to send their children to private schools. He's looking for a compromise between the House and Senate plans.

"What we want is modest charter school expansion based on quality," said Naeyaert. "Federal guidelines for the 'race to the top' competition, you will not many points if your state is hindering the growth of high quality charters."

Sarpolus said he thinks the charter schools have a hidden agenda.

"It has to do about expanding business. What we are saying is expansion needs to be based on quality," said Sarpolus.

Both sides agree the legislature needs to compromise to improve education in Michigan.

Should There Be A Limit On The Number Of Charter Schools In Michigan?

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  • by anonymous on Dec 13, 2010 at 01:08 PM
    my step children go to A charter school,and I do not recommend it,they are failing and have missed A large amount of days and the principle wont report the truth.He told my husband and I he is afraid of losing the cash,that the mother will switch schools...its should be about wanting the child to succeed,not about the cash option...
  • by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2010 at 09:13 PM
    I figure that Charter schools are doing a good job of educating their students... just as good as public if not better. And as a tax payer why not support charter schools? Its not like the state gives them a ton of money toward their students, versus public schools which the state funds completely. I support charter school 100% they get results and thats what I care about most.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 18, 2009 at 10:35 AM
    Charter schools should not be compared to public schools because they don't have to follow the same rules and laws that public schools have to follow. They don't have to take specail ed students, they don't get the lowest preforming students that don't care because those pareents for the most part don't care. Charter schools have much more free reign on what they are allowed to do.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 18, 2009 at 09:34 AM
    There are more charter schools because more business are trying to make a buck off the state by getting money for each student they enroll. Seems to me a lot of parents have their children jump from school to school each year. Why because they think that the pasture is green on the other side of the fence. As for protecting bad teachers, bad ones go but more could go if the administration would just take care of giving them the bad evaluations. But why should a teacher be labeled as bad because a student doesn't care what he/she gets on a standardize test and that is what 60% of their evaluation will come from under the new system. And you can't compare it to the business world, because you can fire someone who doesn't care, the teacher can't fire the student.
  • by joyce Herron-Taylor Location: southfield on Dec 18, 2009 at 07:53 AM
    What's wrong with modest expansion? Let the MEA concentrate on adjusting those tenure laws that protect bad teachers in the traditional public schools.
  • by Rosco Location: Lansing on Dec 18, 2009 at 03:59 AM
    This sounds like Public School officials becoming intimidated. They know that Charter Schools MUST perform, or they will fold. They obviously are performing well, as their numbers are increasing. I send my children to a Charter School, and rank it superior to their former Public School in every aspect. Continue to offer parents school of choice options.
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