Michigan is preparing to ease rules on charter schools even further. Supporters have argued that charter schools have been very successful in Michigan. Many claim they are better than traditional public schools and increasing them would improve educational outcomes for the state.
In reality, charter schools perform the same or worse than traditional public schools. However, they have been very successful is in making profits, so successful that a Western Michigan professor says they should more accurately be called “corporate” or “franchise” schools. According to the Grand Rapids Press, Western Michigan professor Gary Miron made this statement during testimony before a state Senate Committee that was weighing whether to make it easier for charter schools to open in Michigan. (Miron, it should be noted, is an advocate of charter schools, at least conceptually).
Of course investors and other education profiteers are the ones crying the loudest for an easing of restrictions on charters. What do they care about quality of effectiveness? A profit is a profit.
Michigan’s plan for increasing the number of charters includes lifting the cap on the number of charter schools that colleges and universities can run, increasing the number of cyber charters, and making it easier for parents to petition districts to convert their traditional schools into charters.