When it comes to integration charter schools in Michigan score poorly

Apr 12, 2019

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“He is a mixed child. I mean he could see himself in either a Latino or an African American, and all his teachers have been white so.’

That’s Naomi Silas, whose son Christian goes to second grade at Knapp Charter Academy in Grand Rapids.  

And Silas’s concerns match the result of a national study from the Century Foundation, a policy think tank. Here is Halley Potter, co author of “Scoring States on Charter Schools Integration”.

“Michigan came out on in our rankings as the eighth worst performing state, so there’s a lot of room to improve the policies and practices around charter school enrollment.  

Buddy Moorehouse of the Michigan Association of Public Schools Academy, which represents chargter schools, says charter schools by their very nature are the most inclusive of all public schools in Michigan..

“Because we are the only public schools that are open to every single student in the state no matter where they live or what their circumstances are.”

But Potter says that choice without the right supports isn’t any real choice at all. 

“Which means you need to ensure that transportation is in place, and you should guarantee that every school is required to provide free and reduced priced lunch for students.”

And Moorehouse agrees with Silas, in that the majority of teachers working in charter schools are white. 

“Teaching staff by in large could certainly be more diverse and its only a product of the fact that we need to get more minority students, students of color into the teaching profession."

Nonetheless, next year Christian will be enrolling at Grand Rapids Public Schools. 

“Hoping to move him to C.A Frost Environmental Science Academy or one of the Montessoris.”

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.