Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Republican Detroit Plan Invests Too Little, Fails to Regulate Out-of-Control Charter Sector | janresseger

Republican Detroit Plan Invests Too Little, Fails to Regulate Out-of-Control Charter Sector | janresseger:
Republican Detroit Plan Invests Too Little, Fails to Regulate Out-of-Control Charter Sector


To consider the Detroit Schools “rescue” plan passed by both houses of Michigan’s legislature last week and sent to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature, one can benefit from a review of some background:
  • Michigan is among the 22 states in which the governor and both houses of the legislature are dominated by Republican majorities.
  • According to Gary Miron in a 2013 report for the National Education Policy Center, Michigan is unique among the states in the number of charter schools managed by for-profit Education Management Organizations: “Michigan stands out as an anomaly with 79% of its charter schools operated by for-profit EMOs and another 10 of its charter schools operated by nonprofit EMOs.”
  • Even Robin Lake, of the pro-charter Center on Reinventing Public Education, expressed dismay after a trip to Detroit back in 2014: “Whose job is it to fix the problems facing parents in Detroit?  Our interviews with leaders in the city suggest that no one knows the answer.  It is not the state, which defers oversight to local education agencies and charter authorizers.  It is not DPS (Detroit Public Schools), which views charters as a threat to its survival.  It is not charter school authorizers, who are only responsible for ensuring that the schools they sponsor comply with the state’s charter-school law.  It is not the mayor, who thus far sees education as beyond his purview.  And it is not the schools themselves, which only want to fill their seats and serve the children they enroll.  No one in Detroit is responsible for ensuring that all neighborhoods and students have high-quality options or that parents have the information and resources they need to choose a school.  ‘It’s a free-for-all,’ one observer said. ‘We have all these crummy schools around, and nobody can figure out how to get quality back under control….’”
It seemed there was agreement in Michigan’s legislature about the need for some regulation of an out-of-control charter school sector, and the state senate had included in its plan a Detroit Education Commission whose purpose was to oversee the authorization and placement of charter schools in Detroit to ensure, for example, that schools remain available for children in all neighborhoods.  The Washington Post‘s Emma Brown explains why a Detroit Education Commission had been included in the Senate’s plan:  “Currently, charter schools can open with the approval of any one of a number of independent authorizers, such as universities, and there is little coordinated planning about which schools should be allowed to open and where they will be located.  Many Detroiters and state Democrats believe that any school rescue Republican Detroit Plan Invests Too Little, Fails to Regulate Out-of-Control Charter Sector | janresseger:


LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education