I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Do Charters Serve ALL Children?

I was just watching the Education Nation conflagration on MSNBC. A teacher from the Flint International Academy got up and claimed that his school is a "public charter school"  and that their door is open to everyone.


I went to the Michigan Department of Education and looked up some numbers. The website says:
The Michigan Merit Examination (MME) assesses students in grade 11 and eligible students in grade 12 based on Michigan high school standards. It is administered each March, and consists of three components:
  • ACT Plus Writing® college entrance examination
  • WorkKeys® job skills assessments in reading, mathematics, and "locating information"
  • Michigan-developed assessments in mathematics, science, and social studies
In 2012, 44 students at FIA took the MME.

There is another high school test, taken in the fall of 9th Grade: the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). By my reckoning, most freshman students who took the MEAP in fall of 2009 would take the MME as juniors in the spring of 2012.

In 2009, 121 students at FIA took the MEAP.

In other words: 64% of the freshman in the Class of 2013 at Flint International Academy did not take the state-wide test in their junior year. Why? Did they drop out?

Now, I will be the first to say that this is not a direct measurement of FIA's attrition rate. I would very much like to know what, exactly, that rate is, and I will keep digging to find it.

But let's be honest - this is quite... curious. Stand by for more.

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