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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University regents authorize 5-year contracts with 3 new charter schools

By Danielle Arndt

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show Global Tech Academy is opening in the fall of 2014.

The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents recently voted to enter a five-year contract with new Ypsilanti-based charter school Global Tech Academy.


Eastern Michigan University's campus. The college's Board of Regents recently authorized three new charter schools to be overseen by EMU's Charter Schools Office. file photo

The charter will open in the Willow Run School District — soon to be part of the Ypsilanti Community Schools district — in the fall of 2014. The YCS district is launching at the start of the 2013-14 academic year, after residents voted to merge Ypsilanti and Willow Run in the Nov. 6, 2012, election.

Global Tech Academy is the second charter that EMU has authorized in Washtenaw County. It will be at 1715 Forest St. and will offer grades K-5 to about 250 students.

The Board of Regents authorized two more charters last week with schools opening in the Detroit Public Schools district this fall. All three contracts will expire on June 20, 2018.

These are the first charter schools the university has authorized since 1999, four years after it began opening charter schools.

"My office, in conjunction with the executive leadership team and the Board of Regents, completed an extensive review process before selecting these schools," Malverne Winborne, director of the Charter Schools Office at Eastern, said in a news release.

Global Tech Academy and the two Detroit schools, the Detroit Public Safety Academy and the Boggs Education Center, were selected from 21 initial applicants that appealed to EMU for charters.

"We have worked hard to bring on-line public school academies that would introduce innovation to K-12 education, with a strong focus on the at-risk communities," Winborne said.

The Board of Regents first empowered the Charter Schools Office in October to negotiate with the organizations interested in opening the schools to develop the charter contracts. The three new public school academies authorized by the university last week will make 11 charter schools the EMU office now oversees in Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw and Genesee counties.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Danielle Arndt

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Heard back from EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom with additional information on the fall 2014 opening. He said Global Tech Academy will not open in the fall of 2013 "simply in recognition of the establishment of the new Ypsilanti-Willow Run district."

Danielle Arndt

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

Some additional information on the change. All three schools originally were scheduled to open in the fall. (More info here: Officials with the EMU Charter Schools Office told me today that Global Tech's contract with EMU still will stretch the five years, effective July 1 like the other contracts; Global Tech just will no longer be operating the first year of its contract.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Danielle, what company will run the school?

Danielle Arndt

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

This story has been corrected to show the new charter in Ypsilanti will open in the fall of 2014. My apologies for the error.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

This is absolutely shameful.

Linda Peck

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:47 a.m.

I don't understand the name Global Tech. It implies a technical school, but it is for K-5. Am I missing something here?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:24 a.m.

I am amazed by the vitriol towards the students of EMU because of the decisions of a bunch of political appointees. Do you know that most of the students at EMU are from the area? Most of the student teachers end up in the area when they finish their education? So, based on the infinite wisdom of the posters here, you are willing to sacrifice a generation of teachers due to the misguided charter decisions (they really are horrible choices) of the board of regents of their school, most of whom they will never meet? Maybe this is why the two districts failed in the first place. Knee jerk reactions instead of thinking out a logical solution after the passion of the moment has passed?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

I wonder if this will be a lab school, where student teachers will get to do all the work, pay tuition to do it, and put a contract workers out of jobs. EMU pumps out how many new teachers every semester? I wonder what is the employment rate of graduates of the teacher ed. program. YPSD has been training EMU pre-service teachers and student teachers for years, and to be repaid by siphoning off students at this critical time is a slap in the face.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Absolutely DISGUSTED with EMU! Please do NOT send anymore of your (EMU) student teachers to Ypsilanti PUBLIC schools; they don't need to "work" with your student teachers. U of M has been assisting my child's class by providing a student teacher (a superior one at that) for the past year.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:29 a.m.

I am very pleased that EMU has decided to hold off opening their charter until 2014. It shows they have at least listened to, and honored to some degree, the public education system.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

Interesting. Your gut reaction is to punish the EMU student teachers for the actions of their board of regents. So, you would choose to have a new generation of teachers not student teach in the new YCS? So you would prefer that they go elsewhere for their jobs just because you have an issue with the board of regents misguided decisions? Very interesting that you would take your angst against a non-teaching, non-student based group out on the students themselves.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

Well, isn't that special.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

A superior one! Well, isn't that special.

A Voice of Reason

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

It just does not make any sense that a great teacher's college like EMU that has done such a good job with their other charter school, is even considering possibly giving at-risk-kids a chance of a better life. Shame on them for even attempting to educate these kinds of kids and potentially getting them out of poverty.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

No, not very convincing. If you want to play the selective quote game, then check this one out: "And yet, this study reveals in unmistakable terms that, in the aggregate, charter students are not faring as well as their TPS counterparts." You've also failed to address why it is that the modest successes of Michigan charters span only two subjects. To call charters a success, they must consistently deliver what they promise in all areas, but the data shows that they their record is inconsistent in Michigan and elsewhere. It is very difficult to rationally argue that public schools should be deprived of resources to fund charters with inconsistent results.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:07 a.m.

ypsilanti: If you're going to keep quoting Stanford's CREDO research, you're going go lose this argument. Here is EXACTLY what the CREDO study says: "Compared to the educational gains that charter students would have had in a traditional public school (TPS), the analysis shows that, on average, students in Michigan charter schools make larger learning gains in both reading and mathematics." That clear enough for you?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

The link cut off, here it is again:


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 3:28 a.m.

Hey Wolverine: WRONG. Objective data proves charters are no better than traditional public shools. Try the study, not the news report. One has academic credibility, the other does not.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Um, actually, the research shows that charter schools DO deliver better results than traditional public schools. The scoreboard don't lie.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

Puh-leez . . . The data shows that charter schools are big on promises of "giving at-risk-kids a chance" but rarely deliver what they promise.

tom swift jr.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

For the most part, the schools chartered by EMU have not been any more successful (and, in some cases less successful) than the public schools. Your response is typical right wing rhetoric based on misconceptions and lies.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

This is an outright affront to Ypsilanti. EMU sucks away public resources from the city, and now it wants to actively suck away students from the public school district that has actively and profitably partnered with it for years. The backstabbing regents who voted in favor ought to be ashamed.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

This is clearly in the very first stages of development, but do we know about when we or how we might hear about job openings at these schools?

tom swift jr.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

250 less students for the new consolidated district, that translates to an instant loss of $1,750,000 in operating revenue for YCS. Nice job, EMU, way to support the community.

Sandy Castle

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

@The82Wolverine, The public school advocates don't advocate for a good education for students. That's why we as parents must make sure our kids are getting the education they deserve, wherever that may be.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

I don't see any comments that mention what's best for the students. The new Ypsi/Willow Run school district doesn't have an inherent right to those students. If their parents feel the new charter school is a better option, why shouldn't they be able to send them there?


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

Snyder appointees on the board now. Following their marching orders from Lansing.