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Posted on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

2 Ann Arbor schools make list of highest-performing charters in Michigan

By Cindy Heflin

Two Ann Arbor-area charter schools are among those lauded by Bridge Magazine as academic champs in its statewide analysis of charter school performance.


Teacher Shannon Smith answers questions in a class at Central Academy in Ann Arbor in this 2008 file photo.

File photo

Central Academy of Ann Arbor earned a spot on the list for its 100 percent graduation rate. Honey Creek Community School in Scio Township also made the list for its 100 percent score in eighth grade reading on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test.

Bridge grouped schools in two socioeconomic categories (student body at 39 percent or less free lunch and student body at 40 percent or greater free lunch) and then analyzed their performance in eight academic categories. Those included graduation rate, college readiness and grade-level proficiency in math, reading and writing on the MEAP. The highest-performing schools in each category made the list.

Besides the list of highest-performing schools, Bridge has a searchable database of charter schools, and articles about how the winners help students achieve in reading, writing and math.

Bridge Magazine is an online publication of the Center for Michigan, a nonprofit think tank founded by former newspaper publisher and University of Michigan Regent Phil Power.



Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

I am so proud of Central Academy for making this list. I attended Central Academy and graduated from a top university. Everything about Central Academy was so good to me. They prepared me for college and the outside world as a whole. I would highly recommend Central Academy especially for those who care about their childrens education and future. Good Job Central.. Keep it up!


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Maybe it's as simple as a parent driving there children to school, buses cost money.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

Honey Creek only has 12.1% on free/reduced lunch. They better do well with that number! Public or charter, good test scores usually follow low free/reduced lunch percentages.

Freight Train

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

@ mike. Of course she is not saying that low income people are not smart. She is referring to statistics that show people who struggle in school/do not have support typically do not earn as large of salaries as those who thrived. There are many reasons people do not perform well. Family/cultural support, apathy, lack of role models, health issues, genetics, etc. These students also have a higher probability of raising children who struggle in school and earn accordingly. Follow the free and reduced lunch and you will typically see a direct correlation between family income and academic performance (averaged of course). Some Michigan school districts have f/r lunch percentages north of 70%. With such a disparity in students/districts it is pretty difficult to identify when teaching and administration styles contribute to success or if it is simply the raw ingredients.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

Why would that be? Are you assuming lower income people aren't smart?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Central Academy a Top Performer? I went there, and I know many people that went there after I left, and we openly admit that the school does a horrible job of preparing students of the reality of College..., the staff are more concerned with Behavior Education rather than Academia, and Parent Involvement is very low. Extra Curricular Activity is severely Lacking ( Although I have heard their Boys Basketball team is doing much better since I went there.) In All fairness when I went there it was still a fairly new school, and Im happy to hear that they may be on the right track... However, I know they have a loooong way to go, and where they can start is by holding teachers more accountable for not giving up on the students who do not have supervision ( when it comes to school work) at home.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

Their bus drivers are not top rated either. School might be great, but I wonder how much they put in for the drivers? Not much.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

It's curious to me that in the 2011 Michigan "Top to Bottom" rankings for all public school districts, the State of Michigan had a markedly different opinion of Central Academy. In terms of charter schools in Washtenaw County: South Arbor Charter Academy - top 6% statewide Washtenaw Technical Middle College - top 16% statewide Honey Creek - top 18% statewide Ann Arbor Learning Community - top 49% statewide Fortis Academy - bottom 42% statewide Central Academy - bottom 25% statewide Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy - bottom 21% statewide Victory Academy - bottom 12% statewide New Beginnings - bottom 9% statewide If a "high performance" designation can be earned on the basis of a single criterion, then I guess every school should probably be considered a "top performer" at *something.*


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 6:38 a.m.

I wonder how charter schools would do if they received as much money as the public schools? It's curious that they receive only about 7 thousand per student vs. the nine thousand AAPS receives.

Linda Peck

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

I am happy to see this. Honey Creek Community is where my grandchildren attend and it is a very good school. I like charter schools and support politicians and community leaders who support them, too.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

They are attached to WISD. No thank you.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

If it's a dress code, then maybe we should follow, it works.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

That sentence is incomprehensible. Change into nicer clothes and try again.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

So what Washtenaw County schools are at the bottom of the list?

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:20 a.m.

True, but there is missing data, it's not easily searchable, etc. If we have a best list, then we should have the worse schools for Washtenaw County front and center in this article as well.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

You can see the whole analysis at the link in the first sentence of this story.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Could it be the dress code - shirts with a collar AND a tie?


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

At Honey Creek also home to WISD. Gee, after what they did to AAPS transportation? I really wouldn't want my kid there. Glad mine is elsewhere.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Good, involved parents, students and teachers beat conservative fantasy costumes any day.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

No dress code at Honey Creek, just fantastic teachers, students and parents!