A bill slapping letter grades on Michigan schools is closer to becoming law

A state House committee has approved a bill creating an “A thru F” grading system for Michigan schools.The bill approved by the House Education Reform committee would use existing criteria to create a letter grade system for evaluating schools. HB 5526 now moves to the full state House.

New Analysis: ‘No-Excuses’ Charter Schools Produce Huge Gains for Kids — and Could Close the Achievement Gap

A new survey of research into charter school effectiveness has linked so-called no-excuses practices in urban charter schools to sizable academic gains. Published in the Winter 2018 edition of The Future of Children, a journal jointly published by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, the survey found that spending three years in one of these schools produces gains equivalent in size to the nationwide achievement gap between black and white students.

Column: Return of the Jedi

As a policy strategy, chartering is what a growing number of political scientists call transpartisan. It eclipses the usual ideology of both right and left and offers a solution that promotes values aligned with differing, even adversarial, traditional ideologies. It can be a winner for students and communities across time.

Column: Charters do more with less

Michigan needs to get the message. Two Michigan-specific studies, released within a few weeks of each other, recommend equal funding for students in both charter and district schools. The first report – by researchers at the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative – highlights inequities in the way the state funds public school students. Since the report is an adequacy study, it made waves in the press by calling for dramatic increases in education spending. Their quest for the "right" per-pupil funding number represents guesswork and wishful thinking. But we should applaud the call to fund students more on their identified needs and less on what type of public school they attend.

School Choice Breaks Down Racial Barriers: Some districts’ residency requirements reinforce segregation

Ben DeGrow, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Opponents of school choice seem to be working overtime to discredit programs that give students in tough circumstances a better chance to succeed. These critics would be well-advised to ensure their own house is in order first.

Column: Charters thrive because parents choose them

Jim Goenner for the Detroit News

When I was younger, I used to call the pioneering efforts of Michigan’s charter schools movement “The Michigan Miracle.” Having lived through the never ending political, legal and regulatory attacks opponents used to derail charters, it seemed like a miracle that they continued to exist — and were thriving.

Report: Tough to find good schools in these Detroit neighborhoods

By Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press

The Cerveny-Grandmont, Chadsey and Finney neighborhoods in Detroit have a troublesome similarity when it comes to schools: A report out Thursday cites them among 10 areas of the city where it's almost impossible to find a quality school.

The Detroit News Column: Michigan’s optional law system

By Jared Burkhart

I have a friend who works in law enforcement. Frequently, he will come in contact with a person who has broken the law but will let that person know that it is a law that he think shouldn’t be enforced. When this happens, he usually encourages the person to speak with his legislator and get the law repealed. You see, my friend understands he does not have the power to change the law, but he does still have the responsibility to enforce it.