GVSU charter schools rank in top 10 in Mich.

Carly Simpson

Charter schools authorized by Grand Valley State University have been receiving state-wide recognition. The “2014 Best High School Rankings,” done by U.S. News and World Report, ranks Grand River Preparatory High School and Black River Public School second and seventh, respectively, among all public schools in the state.

The charter schools are tuition-free public schools open to all students regardless of where a student lives. They are governed by local community boards.

Grand River Preparatory High School was authorized in 2008 and is located in Grand Rapids. The school serves 628 students. Black River Public School began in 1996 and is located in Holland. It has 858 students currently enrolled.

The report looked at more than 31,200 public high schools. On a national scale, Grand River Preparatory High School ranked 169th and Black River Public School ranked 374th.

GVSU also recently authorized two new charter schools at the Board of Trustees meeting on April 30. Cornerstone Charter School will open the Jefferson Douglas Campus on the northwest side of Detroit. The Covenant House Academy, which serves homeless and expelled students, will open in Muskegon.

“The Academic Committee looked at this and we unanimously recommended this proposal for approval,” said David Hooker, a member of the Board of Trustees.

Not all of the charter schools are seeing success though. The university is ending its role as authorizer of Escuela Avancemos!, a K-5 school that serves 224 students on the southwest side of Detroit.

“We’re seeking to close it primarily for two reasons,” said Tim Wood, special assistant to the president for charter schools. “One, there has been a contract violation at the school, and secondly the school’s poor academic performance.”

GVSU now has 68 charter schools with nearly 34,000 students enrolled. In Michigan there are a total of 873 high schools with over 512,000 students.

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