As students head back to school, Central Michigan University chartered academies will again begin the yearly MEAP test preparation.
Canton Charter Academy, a CMU chartered school, has been consistently named as the top MEAP performing school in the state since 2010.
The data, provided by the Michigan Department of Education, also names three other CMU chartered schools to the list, including Ypsilanti’s South Arbor Charter Academy, Holly Academy and Byron Center’s Cross Creek Charter Academy.
All aforementioned schools rank among the top 25 of all schools statewide.
Brad Wever, Director of Public Policy for The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools at CMU, attributes the achievements to the fact that CMU has been working with chartered schools for 20 years.
“We were the first university in the country to authorize a charter school,” he said. “We feel like over the past 20 years, we have developed systems and processes that are leading to good results for kids.”
Wever said the center requires schools to administer computer adaptive tests and offer blended learning experiences, where students attend brick and mortar schools part of the time, but also have the options to take part of their courses online.
“We like to look at programs that are offering innovative and different approaches to education as well,” Wever said. “That’s part of the goal of the charter school movement is to provide opportunities, different opportunities, (because) not all kids learn the same.”
Wever said students are MEAP tested in grades three through eight, providing information on competency levels in math, reading, science, social studies and writing, though not every subject is tested each year.
The test measures proficiency of a student at a grade level at a certain period of time, and standards are set by the state’s Board of Education.
“To see our schools rank so highly in comparison to both their traditional and charter peers is a point of pride for the entire CMU community,” center executive director Cindy Schumacher said. “We are very pleased with the work of our partner schools.”