AYP for Charter
School Management Companies?
managed by six companies fail to perform as well as low-scoring
traditional public schools.
The Associated Press, October 26, 2003
For more articles like this
(AP) — Six companies responsible for teaching 17,000 Michigan's
charter school students fail to produce test scores that match
even low-scoring traditional public schools, records show.
The companies manage about $123.7 million in tax money each
The low-performing companies include three of the biggest
for-profit charter school managers in the state, The Detroit
News said Sunday.
They are Mosaica Foundation, The Leona Group and Charter School
Administration Services. Together, they manage schools with more
than a quarter of the 63,000 students in charter schools in the
The other three are Alpha-Omega Education Management, Black Star
Education Management and CAN Associates, which have one school
The students at these schools often fall far below minimum
standards in reading, writing and math, state education records
show. The companies' schools also spend a smaller share of their
budgets in the classroom than others.
In the 10 Michigan schools run by Mosaica Education, only two of
every five fourth-graders was able to read as well as the state
says they should. And one in five met the state's minimum
standards in writing and math, according to the Michigan
Educational Assessment Program tests.
One of those schools, Detroit Advantage Academy on the city's
west side, fired Mosaica last year after board members
complained that the company was not making promised
improvements, missed reporting deadlines and failed to give
school board members timely updates on how tax money was being
Mosaica and other management companies say they take their own
measurements of students' progress, and each claims to be making
gains. Companies contend parents who aren't satisfied would
leave. Enrollment waiting lists, they say, are evidence of
There was no answer Sunday at Mosaicas office in New York.
Management companies oversee nearly every aspect of 151 of the
state's 200 charter schools, including what is taught and who
teaches it, making Michigan one of the nation's biggest venues
for private control of public education.
The state leaves oversight of the schools to the universities
and other institutions that charter them. The state Department
of Education lacks a full list of which companies run charters
in Michigan, the newspaper said.
"Nobody has asked whether they're doing a decent job," said
Nancy Van Meter, the director of the American Federation of
Teachers' Center on Privatization. "Nobody has a handle on this,
and it's a question taxpayers in Michigan need to ask: Are you
satisfied with this use of your tax dollars?"
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