Allen Academy, A K-12 School Is Closing Down; Here's Why!By Vinay Patel, UniversityHerald Reporter
Allen Academy has faced financial issues and concerns regarding their academic performance for quite a long time, eventually forcing Detroit's oldest and largest charter schools to shut down.
Allen Academy is slated to close down Thursday, June 30 - just weeks after the university that authorizes it, voted to terminate its contract with the school.
Aside from Allen Academy, four more Michigan charter schools are slated to close, a state charter school association divulged Tuesday, June 28.
According to the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, the popular K-12 school located on the city's west side with 900 students will be shut by Ferris State University, it's authorizer in the wake of poor academic performance, The Detroit News reported.
The decision to close the school comes in the wake of substandard performances on tests (including the ACT and M-STEP), the rate at which teachers left the school in 2015 and enrollment hitting the skids, Ferris State spokesman, Sandy Gholston explained.
He added that Allen Academy has continuously been outclassed by Detroit Public Schools in numerous grades as well as subjects for quite a long time now, specifically in English language arts and math.
To make matters worse, Allen encountered financial stress this year citing the loss of over 100 students from fall 2015 to fall 2016.
Until 2015, Allen was on the state's list of bottom 5% of schools.
The school had 844 students this spring, down from pinnacle of over 1,000 students just a few years ago, Detroit Free Press reported.
As far as the existing students of the school are concerned, a charter advocacy group called Michigan Association of Public School Academies, conducted an enrollment fair on Wednesday, June 29 to assist families find new schools for 2017.
The other schools slated to be closed down, according to MAPSA include:
- Academy of Waterford in Waterford Township
- Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit
- Dream Academy in Benton Harbor
- Experiencia Preparatory Academy in Detroit
Clarifying its decision to close Allen, MAPSA noted that several schools nearby were continuously outperforming Allen Academy.
This move will allow its students to enroll in schools that are performing comparatively better. Besides, the school's ACT composite score for 2014-15 was as low as 14, as opposed to the state wide average which were 19.9.
In terms of proficiency in English language arts at the end of third grade, only 7 percent of Allen Academy students qualified, as compared to 50.1 percent state wide.
With the school closing down, it's quite vague what will happen to its historic building.
According to the director of charter schools for Ferris State Ronald Rizzo, a charter management company has expressed its interest in buying the building and putting another school there.