LANSING, Mich. (AP/WZZM) - State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is putting 11 of Michigan's 40 charter school authorizers on notice of possible suspension.
Flanagan said Monday the authorizers are deficient in transparency, accountability and fiscal governance. Their schools as a whole rank in the bottom 10 percent academically.
Authorizers at risk are Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan, Kellogg Community College and school districts in Detroit, Highland Park and Muskegon Heights. The state-run Education Achievement Authority and Macomb Intermediate School District also are in jeopardy.
"In 2013, Grand Valley was a top rated [charter school authorizer]; now there are some issues. So we're looking forward to identifying some of those issues," said Tim Wood with GVSU Charter Schools. "We have a strong portfolio of schools that are performing at a very high level. And then to find out today that there's some concern that we are unaware of, specifically what those concerns are, was troubling to us."
Monday afternoon, Ferris State University released the following statement regarding Flanagan's decision:
"Ferris State University welcomes the oversight suggested by Superintendent Flanagan. Our Charter Schools Office has incorporated the National Association of Charter School Authorizers Principles and Standards into its practices and procedures for a number of years. The Ferris Charter Schools Office takes this responsibility very seriously. We are confident that our practices and procedures, including actions taken in recent years related to some of our charter schools, are indicative of our commitment to providing an environment in which students can achieve academic excellence through the delivery of quality programming and instruction. We are committed to assuring the quality of education at the charter schools we authorize."
Authorizers at risk of suspension have until Oct. 22 to remediate their deficiencies. Flanagan will decide in November whether to suspend them. If suspended, the public universities, community colleges and school districts couldn't open more charter schools. Their current schools could stay open.