By Michael Van Beek │ Mackinac Center
MACKINAC — A couple of Michigan charter public schools are facing the harsh realities of being held accountable for performance. The Academy of Flint and Lansing’s Learn, Live, and Lead Entrepreneurial Academy are being shut down, because their authorizers determined they are failing to meet their contractual obligations. The schools are closing for different reasons, but both highlight the extra level of accountability built-in to Michigan’s public charter schools.
According to Mlive.com, Central Michigan University is not renewing the Academy of Flint’s charter because the school has failed to meet its prescribed student achievement goals. This is certainly unfortunate for the 400-some students whose parents thought this was the best option for their children, but charter schools must not only attract parents to stay in business, they must also meet the requirements of their performance contract.
The Learn, Live, and Lead Entrepreneurial Academy does not have a poor student achievement record (it’s only been open one year), but failed along other lines. According to Mlive.com, the school opened late, missed testing deadlines and failed to post fiscal information publicly. These administrative malfunctions prompted its authorizer, Bay Mills Community College, to cancel its charter. The school’s design and mission might hold promise for students, but if it cannot meet transparency and accountability requirements, it will have to shut its doors.