HomeSign In Contact Us
Board Members
Academies
Authorizers
ESPs
Online Surveys
Training
News
MACSB Messages
Legislation
Directors
Education
Sponsors
Outside Links
Governance
Feedback: Schauer needs to be schooled on cyber charters
Detroit Free Press
By: Sandy Smith
September 12, 2013

As the parent of children receiving a great education in one of Michigan’s cyber charter public schools, I was dismayed to read a column in the Free Press by Mark Schauer attacking my family’s decision to pursue the best possible education for our kids.

Schauer, a candidate for governor, does a great disservice to Michigan children, Michigan parents and hundreds of great Michigan public school teachers when he lambasts charter public schools — dismissing their quality, impact and importance — and tells parents they should not have the opportunity to pursue the educational option that is best for their children if that option is not a traditional brick-and-mortar public school.

This governor and the Legislature have consistently emphasized the importance of high quality public school options for parents. Charter schools — a key choice offered to families — on average, have been performing at higher levels.

This summer, an independent study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University pegged Michigan as a national leader when it comes to the quality of charter public school education — especially in reading and math. The study estimates that, on average, Michigan charter school students gained an additional two months of learning every year in reading and math compared to their peers in similar traditional public school districts.

In Detroit, the difference was even greater. The CREDO study estimates that charter school students in Detroit gained three months of learning compared to their peers in traditional public schools, and researchers concluded that public school options most benefit “low-income, disadvantaged, and special education students.”

My husband and I made the decision to enroll our children in the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy after our family faced some serious medical issues, and we have been thrilled with the results.

If Schauer had his way, our children would be trapped in a system that didn’t work for them. Instead, they are excelling.

Contrary to Schauer’s assertions, our kids, like every child enrolled in a cyber charter school, have access to and daily interaction with fantastic public school teachers who are helping them reach new academic heights. A cyber charter school may not be right for every child, but it is working for our children, and no student should be denied access to that opportunity.

That’s why we were so encouraged when policy-makers lifted the enrollment cap and expanding options for parents whose students learn best in an interactive, online environment. Before this action, the state had a waiting list of more than 5,000 parents who wanted the cyber option for their children. Beginning this school year more Michigan families have the opportunity to take advantage of online learning.

Gov. Snyder and lawmakers deserve a great deal of praise for getting so much right. By putting kids first, expanding school choice for parents and embracing new technologies and new teaching methods, this back-to-school season is more exciting than ever before for thousands of families across the state.

Sandy Smith

Michigan chapter, National Coaltion for Public School Options

More Info
Other News
01-03-2015
As Conventional Public Schools Fail Transparency Law, Charters are Targeted Pontiac Public Schools posts teachers' contract that expired in 2011
09-05-2014
Central Michigan University chartered schools
rank high in MEAP scores
05-21-2014
Substitute teacher accused of assaulting first graders banned from all NHA charter schools
04-26-2014
Muskegon Heights ends contract with charter school company
04-24-2014
MI gubernatorial candidate wants to dismantle charter schools
04-22-2014
Charter school CEO says Muskegon Heights schools owes company $2 million
04-21-2014
Must question charter school legislation
04-20-2014
Our View: Michigan can learn from other states how to end its 'education recession'
12-23-2013
Charter Schools Serve More Low-Income Students Than Conventional Districts
12-23-2013
Arts education: A look at how Michigan's schools teach music, drama, painting and more
12-06-2013
Contrary to Report, Charter Schools Get Less Money Per Pupil Than Conventional Schools
11-20-2013
Charter school students to give testimony at candlelight vigil to support homeless youth
11-20-2013
Parent: 'Even after my kids graduate I'll still come back and help this school'
11-20-2013
Nexus Academy of Royal Oak Continues to Welcome Students to Innovative School
11-19-2013
Michigan schools' financial crisis growing
10-30-2013
Shannon to step down
10-27-2013
Disinvestment, structural flaws harm Michigan schools
10-23-2013
Should Michigan parents consider online charter schools?
10-22-2013
Jackson Preparatory and Early College charter school receives $500,000 start-up grant
10-16-2013
Do Charter Schools Hurt Public School Finances?
10-15-2013
Detroit's Aisha Shule charter school to close Oct. 31
10-14-2013
Charter school grows
10-12-2013
Michigan bill seeks to combat cyberbullying in school
10-11-2013
West Michigan educators react to Mackinac Center study on 'flawed' school ranking system
10-03-2013
3 Metro Detroit teachers finalists for Charter School Teacher of the Year
10-02-2013
Muskegon's newest charter school combines Montessori methods with environmental research
10-01-2013
Count Day nears for Michigan schools, with vital funds at stake
10-01-2013
Poll Finds School Chiefs Lukewarm on School Boards
09-25-2013
Michigan Laborers to protest Bay City Academy's handling of asbestos removal
09-25-2013
Muskegon Heights charter schools monitor 'very impressed' by high school
09-24-2013
Charter Enrollment Increases by
24 Percent in Washtenaw County
09-20-2013
See which charter schools are attracting Ann Arbor students
09-19-2013
Oakside Scholars Charter Academy Dedicated to the Community
09-19-2013
Amid growth of Michigan charter schools, teachers often less experienced
09-17-2013
Pressure on Mosaica to improve Muskegon Heights schools growing, documents show
09-13-2013
See the 56 Michigan school districts with budget deficits
09-12-2013
Feedback: Schauer needs to be schooled on cyber charters
09-03-2013
Michigan ranks 11th in education reform group's list of 'parent power' states
09-03-2013
School Year Begins With 298 Public Charter Schools in Michigan, Including 34 New Schools
09-03-2013
Detroit area districts plug into digital era with iPads, laptops