Mackinac Island, Mich. – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush praised Michigan as a leader in the charter schools during his keynote address at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Bush talked about education reform and immigration today at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s conference. According to Bush on charter schools and parents, when you give them power to choose, they’re more engaged in their child’s learning.

“The Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers (MCCSA) is pleased that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recognizes charter schools in Michigan as a leader in charter schools, and the recent report by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) supports the 2011 decision to lift the cap,” said Cindy Schumacher, treasurer of the board of directors of MCCSA and executive director of The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools. “The CREDO report finds students in Michigan’s charter schools are making larger learning gains in both math and reading than demographically similar students in the state’s traditional public schools.”

According to the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, the CREDO report supports internal data by charter school authorizers and shows the Michigan model is working. Key features of the Michigan Model include strong statewide authorizers, the long-time use of leading edge computer adaptive testing to measure both proficiency and student growth to support academic success and well vetted and appointed board members.

The previous cap of 150 on university-authorized charters was reached in 1999. Following legislative changes in 2011, the cap on university authorizers was changed to 300 in 2012 and will move up to 500 in 2014. There is no cap for 2015 and beyond.

There are 274 charter public schools in the state of Michigan, with over 130,000 students in attendance, about eight percent of the student population. In the Metro Detroit area, 81,376 students attend 140 charter public schools.

  • 71 percent of charter school students are eligible for free and reduced priced lunch, compared to 48 percent of traditional school students.
    • In the Metro Detroit area, 78 percent of charter school students are eligible for free and reduced priced lunch.
  • The minority population in charter schools is 68 percent of the total student population, compared to only 31 percent in traditional public schools.
    • In the Detroit Metro area, 81 percent of charter school students are minorities.

Members of MCCSA include: Bay Mills Community College, Central Michigan University, Detroit Public Schools Office of Charter Schools, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, and Saginaw Valley State University.

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