West Michigan Charter Shows Impressive Improvement

The following excerpt is from Accountability for All: 2016. For more on Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, click here.

Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) considers its one charter, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, as “part of the district’s portfolio of school choices,” Mary Jo Kuhlman, assistant superintendent of organizational learning at GRPS, said. “GRPS is working with Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center to explore more ways to connect the school and district to leverage central office support services such as professional development, evaluations, information technology services and more.” Like Honey Creek Community School of Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center is the only school authorized by the charter authorizer.

And while the school has struggled in the past, it has made some major strides in recent years. For example, between 2010 and 2013, low-income student proficiency rates on the math state assessment has nearly doubled. To put this in perspective, low-income students and Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center far out-pace low-income students in Kent Intermediate School District and the state overall. Undoubtedly, the strong relationship between the charter school and their authorizer helped facilitate such significant improvement.

For more on Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, click here.

Capitol Update

House Appropriations Committee met on Wednesday to hear testimony on the House Republican plan to address Detroit Public Schools. Video of the hearing is available here. Bills considered included: House Bills 5382 (Pscholka – R), 5383 (Price – R), 5384(Garcia – R), 5385 (Poleski – R), 5386 (Jacobsen – R) and 5387 (Garcia – R).

SB 571 “Fix” Passes House. On Tuesday, the House passed HB 5219(Lyons- R), which amends Public Act 269 of 2015 (SB 571). The 2015 law concerned many – including The Education Trust-Midwest – due to restrictions on school districts and other municipal governments to provide nonpartisan communications about local ballot measures, including millages and local bond measures. The new legislation aims to address concerns raised about the 2015 law.

Upcoming Meetings:
House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee. Tuesday, March 1 at 10:30 am. Room 426 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: State Reform/Redesign Office and District Financial Data Analysis Tools.

Senate Education Committee. Tuesday, March 1 at noon. Room 210 of the Farnum Building. Agenda: Senate Bills 754767, which are aimed at reducing red tape for schools and streamline reporting requirements. Bill sponsors include Senators Pavlov, Booher, Colbeck, Hansen, Horn, Knollenberg, MacGregor, O’Brien, Schmidt, Shirkey, Stamas, and Zorn.

Senate K-12, School Aid and Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Wednesday, March 2 at 8:30 am in rooms 402 and 403 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: Great Start Readiness Program workgroup update, Michigan Department of Education Innovation Council update, Michigan Virtual University, Eidex, Munetrix, and Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program.

House Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Wednesday, March 2 at 10:30 am in room 426 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: Overview of the Great Start Readiness Program.

State Board of Education. Tuesday, March 8 at 9:30 am. Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room, Fourth Floor, Hannah Building. The agenda will be available here.

For full update, please click here.