State: KCC charter authorization in good standing

Calhoun Community High School graduates throw their caps in the air to celebrate following their commencement ceremony in 2013. Photo by Nick Garrison.

Kellogg Community College is pleased to announce that the Michigan Department of Education has removed the College’s “At-Risk of Suspension” status regarding its charter school authority.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan of the Michigan Department of Education announced last week that KCC’s oversight and efforts regarding its lone charter school are sufficient and improving.

“I am entrusting that you and your charter school office will continue with the commitment to public transparency and accountability, and academic improvement, to offer high-quality schools for the children and families we all serve,” Flanagan wrote in an email to Dr. Dennis Bona, president of KCC.

Flanagan placed 11 charter authorizers on the at-risk list in August amid concerns about oversight of the state’s charter schools. Seven of the 11 were removed from the list last week.

In recent months, KCC representatives met with the MDE and discussed KCC’s placement on the at-risk list and why the College’s one charter — an alternative high school in Battle Creek that serves students who haven’t succeeded in their home districts — is different from many other charters across the state. During the meetings, state evaluators acknowledged that KCC’s charter, which operates as Calhoun Community High School, doesn’t belong on the Top-to-Bottom academic rankings.

As to the charter agreement itself, conversations with the MDE led to clarification of what needed to be formally restated regarding the agreement’s general terms and conditions as well as KCC’s role in the oversight of CCHS. The KCC Board of Trustees unanimously approved a restated agreement during a meeting Oct. 15.

“We embraced the opportunity to engage with the Michigan Department of Education and we appreciated being removed from the state’s at-risk list, just as we had anticipated,” Dr. Bona said. “As we have demonstrated, our charter agreement is solid, our oversight is ample and we will stay in communication with the state as our charter operation continues.”

In the above photo — shot by photographer Nick Garrison — CCHS graduates celebrate following their commencement ceremony in 2013; Dr. Bona spoke to the graduates during the event.

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