The champs in charters

Twenty-three Michigan charter school campuses claimed at least a tie for a championship in one of eight academic categories in Bridge Magazine’s Academic Charter State Championships for the 2010-11 school year. Champion districts are listed in alphabetical order. Below the winners, you will find a searchable database of all charter school results in the eight academic categories: graduation rate, college readiness, 4th Grade math, writing and reading, 8th Grade math, science and reading.

AGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School (Southfield) (4th Grade Writing, 4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 385.
Percentage of free lunch: 47.8 percent.
Key to victory: “We use the Lucy Calkins method and the ‘six traits of writing,’” said Principal Dyana Kezelian. “We do one writing exercise every day.”

Benton Harbor Charter School (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 442.
Percentage of free lunch: 97.5 percent.
Key to victory: Did not respond.

Canton Charter Academy (8th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 734.
Percentage of free lunch: 9.2 percent
Key to victory: “Collaboration with other teachers about what the student work actually looks like is powerful," said Principal Catherine Henkenberns. "Teachers are talking about those objectives from kindergarten through 8th grade.”

Central Academy (Ann Arbor) (Graduation Rate)
Enrollment: 531.
Percentage of free lunch: 76 percent.
Key to victory: “We offer individualized curriculum and instruction,” said Luay Shalabi, principal of the school which mainly serves children of Middle Eastern immigrants. “We don't base teaching on subjects, but on students.”

Chandler Woods Charter Academy (Belmont) (4th Grade Writing)
Enrollment: 712.
Percentage of free lunch: 15.6 percent.
Key to victory: “We don’t have a secret,” said Barbara Lindquist, principal. “We practice writing across the curriculum, we write daily, and we have strong lessons. I just think we're doing our best every day.”

Concord Academy-Petoskey (Graduation Rate)
Enrollment: 270.
Percentage of free lunch: 20.2 percent.
Key to victory: “Our expectation is that every student is going to college, at least community college,” said David Hill, executive director of the school, which has a fine arts focus. “The future belongs to the creative class.”

Countryside Academy-Meadowbrook Campus (Berrien County) (8th Grade Reading)
Enrollment: 492.
Percentage of free lunch: 73.6 percent
Key to victory: “Our eighth grade is probably one of our most tested of any of them," said Middle School Prinicipal Steve Rigoni. "We use the Scantron Performance Test (online reading assessment with immediate results) and we give that twice a year. We test reading, writing, and math, and by doing it at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year, we are able to track the growth of each student individually in each one of those subject areas.”

Creative Technologies Academy (Cedar Springs) (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 302.
Percentage of free lunch: 21.8 percent.
Key to victory: “We have small class sizes,” said Dan George, school leader “There are about 20-21 students in elementary-grade classrooms, along with a half-time paraprofessional for every teacher. (They get) lots of individual attention. We have wonderful teachers and a wonderful staff.”

Crossroads Academy (Big Rapids) (College Readiness)
Enrollment: 703.
Percentage of free lunch: 44 percent.
Key to victory: “When a social studies paper is turned in with huge issues in grammar, that teacher doesn't say, ‘that’s not my problem.’” said Principal Ross Meads. “The personal connection we have here is an advantage.”

David Ellis Academy (Detroit) (8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 250.
Percentage of free lunch: 58 percent.
Key to victory: “The culture here is one that preaches, teaches, talks about, and thinks about excellence," said Sylvia Green, director.

David Ellis Academy West (Redford) (8th Grade Math, 8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 815.
Percentage of free lunch: 61.3 percent.
Key to victory: “We have some fantastic teachers who are willing to differentiate lessons and who do not have traditional standards," said Principal Ticheal Jones. "They are coming up with all kinds of different techniques to ensure that our students have the basic concepts of math down.”

Hillsdale Preparatory School (4th Grade Reading, 4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 101.
Percentage of free lunch: 36.6.
Key to victory: “We have high expectations,” said headmaster Stephen Philipp, headmaster. “Our board members are big on traditional education. We still offer Latin.”

Honey Creek Community School (Ann Arbor) (8th Grade Reading)
Enrollment: 238.
Percentage of free lunch: 12.1 percent.
Key to victory: “The teachers are very familiar with the student’s abilities, and they can differentiate the work to challenge each student to achieve a greater level," said Director Al Waters. "The other piece that is just as important is that the relationships between our students and teachers are very strong and as a result, I believe our students really want to perform for our teachers.”

International Academy of Saginaw (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 277.
Percentage of free lunch: 78.7 percent.
Key to victory: The International Academy of Saginaw uses the proprietary math curriculum of its managing company, SABIS, said school director Justin Doughty.

Island City Academy (Eaton Rapids) (8th Grade Reading, 4th Grade Reading, 4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 216.
Percentage of free lunch: 15.5 percent.
Key to victory: “Every student is tested at the beginning of the year to get an idea of where each student is starting, said Thomas Ackerson, administrator. "Students who are struggling, either we change some things up in the classroom, or we give them some additional time with the reading specialist.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy (Detroit) (4th Grade Reading, 4th Grade Math, 8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 365.
Percentage of free lunch: 22.2 percent.
Key to victory: Did not respond.

Midland Academy of Advanced and Creative Studies (Graduation Rate, College Readiness, 8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 240.
Percentage of free lunch: No lunch provided.
Key to victory: “With schools of choice, parents make a decision of where to send their children. We have a unique focus and mission to our school, and parents choose that,” said Betsy Haigh, dean.

New Bedford Academy (Lambertville) (4th Grade Reading, 8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 150.
Percentage of free lunch: 26.
Key to victory: “We’re an ability-based instruction school,” said Principal Greg Sauter. “We work in small groups at the child's ability level, so they're all successful.”

Pansophia Academy (Coldwater) (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 250.
Percentage of free lunch: 63.2 percent.
Key to victory: With a school name that translates to “all-knowing,” you’d expect principal Steven Palmer to stress the importance of best practices: “We treat students as individuals, and have paraprofessionals in each class, so it's a 1:10 ratio. We do individualized learning plans for each student.”

Ross-Hill Academy (Detroit) (4th Grade Reading)
Enrollment: 195.
Percentage of free lunch: 87.2 percent.
Key to victory: Principal Phyllis Ross (no connection to the school’s name) said that each class doesn’t start working on grade-level material until the MEAPs are taken in the fall, so that the material is fresh: “Also, we do a lot of MEAP review. We have a lot of prep materials.”

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (Grand Rapids) (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 531.
Percentage of free lunch: 62.1 percent.
Key to victory: “Small class sizes, plus academic acceleration,” said Principal Terry Larkin. Students who are falling behind are identified, put in small groups and given extra help. “It’s an awesome safety net for those kids.”

Weston Preparatory Academy (Detroit) (4th Grade Math)
Enrollment: 244.
Percentage of free lunch: 83.6 percent.
Key to victory: “We assess students throughout the year and compile an individualized plan for each student,” said Philip Yaccick, principal. “We’ve also have invested heavily in technology. We believe that this technology has provided a variety of opportunities for students to succeed.”

Woodland School (8th Grade Reading, 8th Grade Science)
Enrollment: 206.
Percentage of free lunch: 14 percent
Key to victory: “I would emphasize that (good reading scores) aren't something that happens in 8th grade, it begins in kindergarten for us, because we are a K-8 school," said Director Nathan Tarsa. "Reading is emphasized throughout the day, throughout the curriculum from kindergarten on. We have made it a focus that reading is a part of everyday, and that means making time for students to have a chance to read.”

Bridge's exclusive searchable database of charter scores
Charter SchoolsGrad rate (%)ACT proficient (%)4th Math (%)4th Reading (%)4th Writing (%)8th Math (%)8th Reading (%)8th Science (%)
Academic and Career Education Academy16.286
Academic Transitional Academy
Academy for Business and Technology80089.776.951.352.851.436.1
Academy of Flint65.752.211.940.767.250.8
Academy of Southfield95.691.126.784.273.291.2
Academy of Warren7058.81530.957.534.6
Academy of Waterford76722469.691.378.3
Academy of Westland79.155.615.661.677.850
ACE Academy (SDA)13.330
Achieve Charter Academy98.895.271.1
Advanced Technology Academy9027257.319.573.566.356.6
AGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School93.33810090.566.779.279.262.5
Aisha Shule/WEB Dubois Prep. Academy School72.22062.568.86.347.68171.4
Allen Academy87.3081.765.819.254.97244.3
American International Academy
American Montessori Academy86.77638.7
Ann Arbor Learning Community95.586.427.381.872.772.7
Arbor Academy91.279.452.9
Arbor Preparatory High School
Arts Academy in the Woods79.757
Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac87.560.427.1446044
Battle Creek Area Learning Center46.460
Bay-Arenac Community High School28.57
Bay City Academy
Bay County PSA79.354.817.2
Ben Ross Public School Academy73.75918.45069.445.7
Benton Harbor Charter School10073.552.955.685.257.7
Black River Public School93.55289892.24995.494.388.5
Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy2.240
Blue Water Learning Academy9.09
Blue Water Middle College
Bradford Academy0171.17021.151.273.856.2
Bridge Academy8058.533.871.490.281
Burton Glen Charter Academy83.374.421.869.479.569.4
Business Entrepreneurship, Science, Tech. Academy98.29329.189.584.266.7
Byron Center Charter School83.33692.384.638.595.595.586.4
Canton Charter Academy98.892.77297.598.895
Casa Richard Academy52.540
Casman Alternative Academy10.53041.766.733.3
Center Academy80.666.12153.863.555.8
Center for Literacy and Creativity76.261.942.9
Central Academy100686.371.434.768.385.473.2
Cesar Chavez Academy77.19195.880.536.463.864.656.7
Chandler Park Academy181.46527.650.771.363.1
Chandler Woods Charter Academy96.296.275.693.890.692.2
Charyl Stockwell Academy2898.196.366.495.793.893.6
Chatfield School98.186.864.281.393.890.6
Clara B. Ford Academy (SDA)0027.3
Cole Academy909055
Commonwealth Community Devel. Academy85.296.329.657.182.153.6
Concord Academy - Petoskey1003696.79053.384.691.784.6
Concord Academy Boyne94.448073.346.788.994.494.4
Conner Creek Academy East90.41172.754.512.640.748.839.5
Countryside Academy68.421797.977.643.869.296.276.9
Covenant House Academy Central5.880
Covenant House Academy East11.20
Covenant House Academy Southwest3.310
Creative Learning Academy of Science
Creative Montessori Academy89.690.945.585.388.288.2
Creative Technologies Academy87.1610093.34061.565.480.8
Crescent Academy88803664.981.175.7
Cross Creek Charter Academy98.796.168.894.494.390.1
Crossroads Charter Academy80.492487.981.836.487.593.893.8
David Ellis Academy86.382.445.146.471.4100
David Ellis Academy West95.884.733.895.784.3100
Da Vinci Institute441094.472.255.664.762.555.6
DeTour Arts and Technology Academy
Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences73.2077.866.728.541.461.331.5
Detroit Community Schools78.63062.341.57.54754.533.3
Detroit Enterprise Academy87.865.936.663.475.647.6
Detroit Leadership Academy56.748.410
Detroit Merit Charter Academy92.784.164.67893.279.7
Detroit Midtown Academy74.65043.270.538.6
Detroit Premier Academy88.971.643.281.67673.7
Detroit Service Learning Academy92.681.747.975.287.687.6
Detroit West Preparatory Academy64.366.719
Discovery Arts and Technology PSA62.
Dove Academy of Detroit85.777.657.176.976.992.3
Dr. Charles Drew Academy81.
Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center of Excellenc8369.320.551.471.664.9
Dream Academy48.780
Eagle Crest Charter Academy97.3926088.292.686.8
East Arbor Charter Academy
Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy80072.252.626.357.770.469.2
Eaton Academy85.42088782054.175.767.6
Edison Public School Academy9086.865.36685.483.3
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Academy868639.5
EMAN Hamilton Academy
Endeavor Charter Academy88.977.24077.189.491.7
Excel Charter Academy0269185.948.190.889.588.2
Flagship Charter Academy82.359.527.856.677.445.3
FlexTech High School
Forest Academy
Fortis Academy97.589.963.386.390.390.4
Four Corners Montessori Academy92.592.545
Francis Reh PSA91.46025.747.56032.5
Frontier International Academy90.48072.766.774.5
Gaudior Academy60.969.621.7708085
GEE Edmonson Academy
GEE White Academy
George Crockett Academy100082.573.222.55168.649
George Washington Carver Academy67.654.12742.969.646.4
Global Heights Academy73.773.75.3
Global Preparatory Academy81.0864.782.411.168.87543.8
Grand Blanc Academy86.177.128.633.358.350
Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center90.681.343.8
Grand Traverse Academy90.482795.584.745.583.69188.1
Grattan Academy84471.469.242.964.782.470.6
Great Lakes Academy91.751.422.2
Great Oaks Academy86.170.338.967.581.879.2
Hamtramck Academy91.863.937.772.779.572.7
Hanley International Academy82.462.727.549.174.182.5
HEART Academy87.880
Henry Ford Academy83.053
Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (P53.574.458.9
Hillsdale Preparatory School10010027.3
Holly Academy9993.156.992.295.396.9
Honey Creek Community School96.284.661.594.110087.5
Hope Academy84.961.615.1
Hope Academy of West Michigan
Hope of Detroit Academy81.82076.872.732.768.862.552.1
Huron Academy90.481.145.2
International Academy of Flint57.69794.775.525.578.47367.6
International Academy of Saginaw10086.540.5
Island City Academy10010073.183.310088.9
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
Japanese American School of South East Michigan
Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe Academy96.684.742.486.490.995.5
Joy Preparatory Academy69.66328.338.961.148.1
Kensington Woods High School47.193
Keystone Academy96.386.363.880.882.282.2
Knapp Charter Academy97.690.462.782.186.679.1
Landmark Academy66.67989.578.924.274.686.686.6
Lansing Charter Academy75.567.324.5
Laurus Academy85.984.655.166.378.874.7
Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy
Legacy Charter Academy67.849.25.1
Life Skills Center of Pontiac6.19
Lighthouse Academy22.50254530
Lincoln-King Academy92.980.446.4
Linden Charter Academy92.287.85067.569.148.8
Macomb Academy0
Madison Academy08680485057.748.1
Marshall Academy75138052.62082.182.178.6
Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy10010067.69590100
Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts86.36382.472.833.667.883.969
Merritt Academy66.671490.981.845.574.494.989.7
Metro Charter Academy93.890.261.776.180.682.6
Michigan Connections Academy97.489.536.87587.578.1
Michigan Mathematics and Science Academy66.769.469.4
Michigan Technical Academy73.9187.270.318.374.579.164.5
Michigan Virtual Charter Academy9908048.473.890.576.2
Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy86.463.69.142.966.761.9
Midland Academy of Advanced and Creative Studies10050959547.49095100
Mildred C. Wells Preparatory Academy9078.911.1
Morey Public School Academy84.62
Mt. Clemens Montessori Academy97.995.872.9
Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy61.54072.745.59.12533.350
Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit70.879.2256074.373.5
New Bedford Academy92.910035.766.791.7100
New Beginnings Academy68.473.721.1
New Branches School90.287.545
New Paradigm Glazer Academy
New Paradigm Loving Academy
Noor International Academy
Northpointe Academy73.356.716.755.655.666.7
Northridge Academy73.1487.734.371.442.9
North Saginaw Charter Academy8067.816.958.169.847.6
North Star Academy52094.182.417.661.561.553.8
Northwest Academy656
Nsoroma Institute91.360.91342.173.755.6
Oakland Academy97.191.264.7
Oakland International Academy77.78085.169.419.46072.356
Ojibwe Charter School71.43
Old Redford Academy84.44190.969.72251.575.960.6
Pansophia Academy80410094.416.762.581.381.3
Paragon Charter Academy97.488.348.17895.195.1
Paramount Charter Academy92.570.137.381.875.866.7
Pierre Toussaint Academy65.947.519.536.261.754.3
Plymouth Educational Center092.984.140.75374.454.7
Pontiac Academy for Excellence73.68089.973.627.480.264.538.8
Presque Isle Academy II33.330
Prevail Academy91.780.640.378.486.582.4
Quest Charter Academy83.172.930
Reach Charter Academy85.970.629.4
Regent Park Scholars Charter Academy
Relevant Academy of Eaton County
Renaissance Public School Academy87.282.151.362.581.362.5
Richfield Public School Academy90.377.522.575.680.580.5
Ridge Park Charter Academy94.580.845.284.278.970.2
Riverside Academy81.58088.565.446.276.96564.1
Ross-Hill Academy75092.310023.1
Saginaw County Transition Academy0
Saginaw Learn to Earn Academy21.435
Saginaw Preparatory Academy96.28751.959.36359.3
South Arbor Charter Academy96.391.367.591.695.289.2
South Canton Scholars Charter Academy
St. Clair County Career Prep Academy
St. Clair County Intervention Academy00
St. Clair County Learning Academy
Star International Academy76.561295.283.852.481.190.183.8
St Clair Co. Academy of Style
Summit Academy949450809085.7
Summit Academy North92.66895.891.641.172.783.779.2
Sunrise Education Center
Taylor Exemplar Academy85.381.342.7768674
Taylor International Academy64.764.729.4
The Dearborn Academy76.347.513.655.666.750
The Greenspire School
Three Lakes Academy92.392.330.8
Three Oaks Public School Academy083.867.613.5
Threshold Academy96.763.320
Timberland Academy84.667.315.447.45047.4
Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology69.466.72.831.653.839.5
Traverse City College Preparatory Academy73.68
Trillium Academy80480.782.542.173.587.873.5
Triumph Academy93.584.458.475.585.781.6
Universal Academy88480.876.923.178.378.371.7
Universal Learning Academy92.272.741.6
University Preparatory Academy (PSAD)94.17191.870.442.277.989.471.8
University Preparatory Science and Math (PSAD)81.18384.9
University Yes Academy
Vanderbilt Charter Academy94.687.349.18166.757.1
Vanguard Charter Academy94.8916191.590.190.1
Victory Academy Charter School83.356.36.3
Virtual Learning Academy of St. Clair County2.133
Vista Charter Academy90.182.727.262.784.160.2
Vista Meadows Academy31.580
Voyageur Academy91.36189.169.14066.178.675
Walden Green Montessori96.893.838.7
Walker Charter Academy96.390.15893.893.896.9
Walton Charter Academy82.669.928.963.479.372
Warrendale Charter Academy848429.15769.663.3
Washington-Parks Academy70.488.914.87585.775
Washtenaw Technical Middle College91.9526
Wavecrest Career Academy30.860
WayPoint Academy56066.787.566.7
Wellspring Preparatory High School
West MI Academy of Arts and Academics89.493.661.776.591.288.2
West MI Academy of Environmental Science66.67310087.141.971.978.171.9
West Michigan Aviation Academy
Weston Preparatory Academy79.3110088.940.748.671.457.1
West Village Academy086.169.430.659.172.765.9
White Pine Academy94.188.258.8
Will Carleton Charter School Academy80090.977.327.390.595.290.5
William C. Abney Academy85.777.834.9
Windemere Park Charter Academy92.185.532.970.586.470.5
Windover High School44.230
Woodland Park Academy90.981.82570.280.976.6
Woodland School71.485.761.994.1100100
Woodmont Academy78.777.445.9
Woodward Academy87.960.613.637.553.848.4
Youth Advancement Academy20

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Larry Cobler
Tue, 02/07/2012 - 8:33am
Would it be possible to provide a database that allows the comparison of charter and public schools in these data fields. One of the criticisms of charter schools and recent legislation to remove caps on the number of charter schools, is that there is no data to substantiate that they are better than public schools. Having data to compare them would give both sides of the issue the "facts" to argue from.
Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:28am
Larry, there is a problem with any attempt to compare traditional schools against charters by using academic scores. When you compare one against the other, one eventually wins while the other loses. Maybe we should compare both types against a standard so that both can win. Otherwise we end up with the "we suck but they suck worse" situation. You should know that charter schools receive less funding than the traditional district. If you listen to traditional districts and the unions, the amount of money a school receives really matters. So, one could argue that if a charter school has the same academic performance as a traditional district, the charter school must be better because they are doing the same with less. And finally, as we see all over the state, good schools are not being defined by sound academic achievement but by parent satisfaction. Thus, almost by definition, the fact that 255 charters exist in Michigan says they are better that their resident districts because parents have chosen to pull those children from the traditional districts and then send them to the charters. So, a better question might be, are charters doing what we want them to do?
Tue, 02/07/2012 - 12:12pm
Ahem – in the caption, it should be "pore" over, not "pour."
Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:09am
I was struck by the disparity between graduation rates and ACT proficiency in the case of many of the charters in your database. Could this be evidence of a stress on graduation rates, period, regardless of how well-prepared those graduates are? This issue deserves further scrutiny as the last thing that Michigan needs is more diploma mills.