Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest, wrote a column for Huffington Post titled, “Michigan: The Poster Child for How Not to do Charter Schools.”

The subhead read: "Behind the Detroit schools crisis lies a troubling charter school sector."

Arellano wrote: “Michigan's overall charter sector performance is a national embarrassment.”

ForTheRecord says: Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) is seen as the leader in the evaluation of charter schools across the country. Its scholars have performed dozens of studies, not just in one state, but in many states and for the nation as a whole. For example, in July 2015, a CREDO study found that Texas’ charter schools showed less progress in both reading and mathematics than conventional public schools there.

Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education from 2009 to early 2016, is one of those who have acknowledged CREDO’s expertise in this area.

And CREDO tells a very different story about Detroit charters. It gives them gold stars. CREDO reported that students in Detroit charters received a better education in reading and math than their peers in Detroit Public Schools. Its analysts stated that students in Detroit charter schools receive the equivalent of at least a few weeks — and in some cases, as much as several months — of additional learning in reading and math compared with their peers at Detroit Public Schools.

CREDO stated that Detroit, Boston, the District of Columbia and Newark had charter systems that other communities should replicate.

“These four communities of charter schools provide essential examples of school-level and system-level commitments to quality that can serve as models to other communities,” the March 2015 CREDO report stated.

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Having a job — any job — is connected to lower poverty, better income mobility, lower crime rates, fewer children born out-of-wedlock and a host of other positive results. But today the right to earn a living is becoming more difficult. In 1950, only around 5 percent of workers needed an occupational license – today, more than 20 percent of workers in Michigan are required to have this special government permission to work. Licensing requirements typically include mandated educational degrees, hours of training, upfront fees, testing, continuing education and more. But reform may be coming. The Obama and Trump administrations have both focused on licensing rules, working to encourage states to lessen the burden. Research from scholars across the political spectrum are in agreement that these regulations stifle innovation, raise prices, reduce the number of jobs, encourage income inequality and raise incarceration rates. This event will feature three scholars talking about their research on occupational licensing and what lawmakers and citizens should consider when thinking about the issue.

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