When charter schools were introduced in Michigan 23 years ago, the expectation was that the additional competition would force Michigan’s public schools to improve their game. But 23 years later, that dream is on the verge of collapsing.
Today, Michigan is a den of low quality charter schools, churning out academically raw students. Take the case of Detroit. There were 298 charter schools in Michigan during 2013-2014. Of these 94 schools were located in Detroit itself. Many of these charter schools are registered with just one entity- the Grand Valley State University.
After the cap on the number of charter schools that a university could authorize was removed in 2012, as many as 24 new charter schools have been set up in the city. 11 existing charter schools expanded their operations or set up new schools.
The result is, now there are almost 30,000 more seats between charter schools and public schools, than the city needs.
It is well known that the schooling system in Detroit is in decline, both financially and academically. The problem has been exacerbated in the last five years due to divisive politics, educational ideology and money issues. These factors have combined to create a low quality educational system which is unparalleled in the US.