The state Superintendent of Public Instruction met behind closed doors Monday with some of Michigan’s largest charter school authorizers. The meeting was intended to review the rules that are supposed to ensure charter academies are doing what they’re supposed to do.
It’s the first of two meetings this week with the entities that are supposed to hold charter schools accountable. There are very few details about what happened at this private gathering with representatives of universities, community colleges, and other charter authorizers.
A workgroup of lawmakers and educators is using the Legislature’s summer recess to try to develop an “early warning” for schools in financial trouble.
A year ago, two small Michigan school districts, Inkster and Buena Vista, were dissolved because they had run out of money.
State Senator Howard Walker (R-Traverse City) leads the workgroup. Walker says his goal is to create an “early warning” system that would allow the state to step in more quickly when a district shows signs of financial stress.
One of the many decisions made by state lawmakers during their budget actions last week was to keep the MEAP in place for another year.
The more than 40-year-old MEAP exam stays put even though Michigan adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010. And the state's education department has been working for the past three years to bring in the new testing that is aligned to the Common Core. That new test is called the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
The state lawmakers' recent decision could mean that educators and students have to hit the reverse button and go back to MEAP. But State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in April that the MEAP was simply “not an option."
Brian Smith has been reporting on the Common Core and Smarter Balanced vs. MEAP tussle. He said that as the issue moved forward, the Department of Education started to talk to testing vendors and see what could possibly be done.