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ERIC Number: ED570157
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Accountability for All: 2016. The Broken Promise of Michigan's Charter Sector
Joy, Sunil; Arellano, Amber
Education Trust-Midwest
In Michigan, schools and educators are held accountable for performance more than ever before. Charter school authorizers--the entities responsible for opening and overseeing new and existing charter schools--face almost no accountability for their performance. In Michigan's current charter landscape, the enormous responsibility of authorizing has largely been taken for granted. Indeed, much as teacher tenure was once seen as an entitlement, the role of charter authorizer is now seen as an entitlement. This must change. In this report, Education Trust-Midwest (ETM) proposes Michigan's first performance-based charter authorizer accountability system and updates their 2015 scorecard for charter authorizers. The analysis includes 16 authorizers, who together represent 95 percent of charter students statewide. Through increased scrutiny of authorizer performance, ETM seeks to inform an honest dialogue about authorizer performance. This updated scorecard follows the same methodology and commitment to transparency as 2015. However, given that Michigan is transitioning to a new assessment system with higher standards, this 2016 authorizer scorecard does not incorporate new state accountability data. Rather, the updated scorecard incorporates recent authorizer decision-making about school openings and closings. Still, there is both good and unpleasant news. The good news: (1) The data suggest efforts to bring greater public scrutiny and transparency to authorizer performance are helping to marginally improve authorizer practices; (2) Eastern Michigan University improved its scorecard grade by closing a poor-performing school, moving to a "D" grade from an "F" grade; (3) In total, six authorizers received "A" grades; and (4) Some of Michigan's largest public universities and colleges received "B" grades. The bad news: (1) Michigan still has a very serious authorizer performance problem. Four authorizers received a "D" or "F" grade; (2) About 20 percent of Michigan charter school openings between fall 2011 and 2015 were by "D" and "F" authorizers; and (3) While some poor-performing charter schools closed recently, other authorizers' failing charter schools continue to operate for years. This report includes recommended principles for a statewide accountability system.
Education Trust-Midwest. 301 East Liberty Street Suite 650, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Tel: 734-619-8008; Fax: 734-619-8009; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Trust-Midwest
Identifiers - Location: Michigan