One of the most innovative, fundamental—but least recognized—components of charter public school performance is the Michigan authorizer. The notion that skilled education experts can lend their knowledge and experience to a portfolio of diverse schools is groundbreaking.
As authorizers, we do not operate the schools we charter. We are not the counterparts of districts or even ISDs where our charters are concerned. Rather, we bring the strength and leadership of our institutions to help charter public schools improve their practices and deliver results for students. We assess student outcomes and help share solutions for improvement.
For each of us, looking at our school portfolios from a high level helps us assess which educational practices are most effective at boosting student achievement. We know which professional activities add value. We can see budget practices, classroom activities, and administrative structures that make sense, and we can share information about how to replicate them.
The Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers is a collaborative non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing quality charter school oversight. Our members share best practices, updates, and helpful resources for boosting K–12 performance and advancing educational choice across Michigan.
Members of the Michigan Authorizers seek to advance public school choice and accountability by supporting high-quality oversight and serving as a unified voice for authorizers across Michigan. The Michigan Authorizers are governed by a ten-member board of directors, who collectively operate according to the following guiding principles:
- Choice is a necessary element in today’s system of public education.
- Quality must remain the most central focus for authorizers, school operators, and policymakers alike.
- Autonomy and innovation are essential to ensure the promise of Michigan’s charter school movement and contribute to the success of K-12 education in general.
- Accountability is crucial. Quantifiable, data-driven results must be achieved and supported at all levels of K-12 public education.
- Charter schools that fail to achieve adequate results pursuant to the terms of their charter contracts should face appropriate consequences, up to and including closure.
- Authorizers have a responsibility to provide input, advocacy and support for public discourse on K-12 education issues.
- Policymakers and authorizers alike must ensure appropriate levels of accountability and oversight for all Michigan schools.