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State Superintendent Warns He’ll Suspend Charter School Authorizers That Don’t Measure Up

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LANSING (WWJ) - Some organizations that run local charter schools could soon be out of business.

Following a series of reports, Michigan Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan says he wants to prevent charter authorizers that don’t measure up from contracting new schools.

Staff at the state Department of Education will put together a list to measure the transparency, academic, and financial practices of charter schools. The results will determine which authorizers would lose their chartering capabilities.

“We are getting serious about quality choices for Michigan students,” Flanagan said, in a media release. “It’s my authority in state law and I will be using it.”

Flanagan is strongly encouraging Michigan’s charter school authorizers, who have not already done so, to minimally adopt the principles and practices set forth by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers as a good faith effort.

“There are many good charter schools in our state, which operate in the best interest of the students they serve and not to the best interest of the adults who run them,” Flanagan said. “The news articles over the past several weeks have heightened attention to the issues that have shrouded charter schools with suspicion and contempt among some in the education community and the public – sometimes deserved, sometimes not.”

He said the state legislature needs to review and strengthen education transparency and accountability laws for all public schools, traditional and charter schools alike.

“Let’s support what works and change what doesn’t,” Flanagan said. “We look forward to working with the state legislature to improve our state laws to prevent abuses and foster wholesome and positive education options for the families and children of Michigan.”

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