MAPSA believes that every child in Michigan deserves a choice for a quality education. In the next five years, we will lead the effort to ensure access to quality education choices for all Michigan children by advocating for and supporting an environment that empowers creative thought, fosters innovation, and leads to the implementation of practices that deliver meaningful educational outcomes.
We believe that charter schools provide the opportunity to change the trajectory of education in Michigan. We see it as our vision to help the charter vision come to life. It’s a vision that is half-lived now by the actions inside of each school. We strive to see it all lived out in the next five years.
As you enter into any charter school across the state of Michigan, you quickly understand that kids are at the heart of it. You don’t know quite how to explain how you know it, but you feel it. Welcomed by a smile that leads to small talk around the achievement poster hung in the entry, be it with a leader, teacher, parent or student, you hear the pride that comes with being part of the charter school community. Looking around, you feel the creativity and passion that inspired the student work that is covering the walls and a peek inside a classroom of students actively engaged in learning brings a quick and lasting smile. And, you can’t help but to be a bit envious of the team that gets to spend their day with these amazing kids!
As you take a walk around town and engage with members of the community, they will tell you they value having the choice of unique models of education to best serve the students of the community. Parents will brag about the success of their charter graduates and the opportunity a different approach to learning granted them. And, without fail, they will sing the praises of the magic that teachers deliver every day and the impact it has had on building a strong community of educated kid. Soon after, you’ll remember that envy you felt of those teachers that get the opportunity to teach these amazing kids and wish you had their gift.
As you take in the landscape of education around Michigan, you realize that charter schools have found their place in successfully contributing to the success of all schools in Michigan. Charter schools dream big for students and lead on innovation, successfully fulfilling their purpose of inspiring solutions that aren’t yet even imagined.
Innovative strategies that are proving to raise achievement for all students are prevalent across charter and traditional schools. You recognize a charter educator wherever you go because they are the first person to admit that we haven’t achieved success until we’ve achieved failure. They have learned to celebrate the setbacks of innovation, embracing them as the first step to discovering greatness, and are revered in the community for the ability to lead through defeat.
As the charter school community and stakeholders discuss the future of charter schools, it is clear that when true innovation is embraced, supported and owned as a responsibility to kids, the unimaginable can be achieved.