AdvancED Completes External Review of Michigan’s Largest Charter School Authorizer

AdvancED Completes External Review of Michigan’s Largest Charter School Authorizer

Grand Valley State University Charter School Office is the first authorizer to seek accreditation from AdvancED

ALLENDALE, MI.—March 26, 2015—To address concerns by Michigan lawmakers about the extent to which the state’s charter school authorizers are providing rigorous oversight over Michigan’s 380 charter schools, Grand Valley State University Charter School Office (GVSU CSO), Michigan’s largest charter school authorizer, is seeking accreditation from the world’s largest accrediting body, AdvancED.

A seven-member national team from AdvancED, with representatives from Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, visited GVSU CSO this week to assess the university’s effectiveness in providing oversight of its 69 charter schools that educate more than 32,000 students.

AdvancED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Georgia with expertise grounded in more than 100 years of work. Each year, AdvancED completes hundreds of research-based, rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems and has recently been working with the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers (MCCSA) to demonstrate how external review is a meaningful process that can be used as a vehicle to provide deeper accountability of the state’s 40 authorizers.

While AdvancED has accredited more than 300 charter schools nationwide, this is the first time a charter school authorizer has gone through the process for accreditation. AdvancED’s process for accrediting charter school authorizers includes a systematic and balanced review of how well these agencies define and monitor the effectiveness of charter school academic and instructional programs, operations, governance and financial performance. The process also determines the extent to which authorizers hold schools accountable for rigorous Standards for Quality and assess stakeholder feedback, learner outcomes and evidence of school effectiveness.

“GVSU CSO has demonstrated their commitment to their role as a charter school authorizer mission of enhancing students by providing oversight, compliance and professional development to the charter schools they authorize,” says Dr. Angie Koppang, Vice President, AdvancED Midwest Region and Lead Evaluator of the GVSU CSO External Review Team. “Their leadership and staff are committed to meeting the AdvancED Standards for Quality and a focus on continuous improvement in supporting the schools they serve in quality learning.”

AdvancED is continuing to work with MCCSA to assist the council in educating lawmakers in the Senate and the House so that they can better understand accreditation as a solution for charter school authorizers. MCCSA is also in the process of developing legislation that will require the accreditation of charter school authorizers to ensure accountability among all Michigan charter school authorizers.

“We recognize the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers for their commitment to a quality assurance process by an external accreditor. Bringing this type of accountability to charter school authorizers is timely as we see more and more charter schools across our nation,” says Dr. Annette Bohling, Chief Accreditation Officer at AdvancED. “We have already received interest from other charter school authorizers across the country, and we look forward to working with them as they work toward providing the best educational experience for all learners attending their schools.”

For more information about AdvancED Performance Accreditation, contact Blair Edwards, Director of Public Relations at 678.392.2285 ext.5713. 

About AdvancED
AdvancED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site school quality reviews of Pre-K through 12 schools and school systems to help educators and their communities ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While their expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in accreditation, AdvancED is also committed to help schools improve. Combining the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change, we serve as a trusted partner to over 34,000 schools and school systems—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 71 other nations.
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