Michigan Education Association


MEA calls on Legislature to reject flawed report
Charter school study should be sent back to Department of Education for more review

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 14, 2009 –
The Michigan Education Association is urging state lawmakers to reject a new charter school report and send it back to the Michigan Department of Education so that a more accurate analysis can be done.

“We are disappointed in the State Board of Education’s decision today to forward this flawed report to the Legislature and are hoping lawmakers honor their commitment to Michigan students by sending it back to be fixed,” said MEA President Iris K. Salters.

The report, which is filled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, purports to show that charter schools are performing better than traditional public schools, but a closer look at the study’s own data shows just the opposite. In fact, almost three out of five charter schools score worse on MEAP tests than the districts in which they reside, according to the an independent analysis in today’s Detroit Free Press.

“MEA supports good charter schools that innovate, produce results for students, and share their successes with traditional neighborhood schools – just as President Obama is calling for,” Salters said. “This report fails to help achieve that goal, and the State Board of Education’s inability to see through the politics behind it does a disservice to students across the state.”

Furthermore, the report fails to adhere to the most basic tenets of research by refusing to say how the data was analyzed. Renowned education expert and Western Michigan University Professor Gary Miron told State Board members in a letter that without some indication of the methodology used, the report’s conclusions are cast in doubt and the report cannot be subject to peer review.  

A letter from MEA Executive Director Lu Battaglieri and copies of correspondence from Dr. Miron were presented to the State Board during public comments by MEA Director of Communications Doug Pratt.  These documents are available here.

Contact:  Doug Pratt, MEA Communications Director, 517-896-4465, 517-337-5566

 “The mission of the MEA is to ensure that the education of our students and the working environments of our members are of the highest quality.”

Updated: April 14, 2009 4:32 PM