Sports reporter shouldn’t have taken an unfair hit at charter schools – Michigan Capitol Confidential

Michigan journalist Mick McCabe was one of the nation’s most respected sportswriters. McCabe is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame who had been a full-time sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press, beginning in 1970. He told several great stories during his career and now covers high school sports for the Daily Metro as a freelancer.

In a November 22 column, McCabe weighed in on the news that for the first time a charter school — Michigan Collegiate in Warren — will be playing for a state high school football championship. Michigan Collegiate will face Lansing Catholic on Nov. 26 in the Division 6 state championship game. But McCabe hinted that charter schools routinely cheat when participating in high school sports.

McCabe wrote:

“People often look askance at you when you mention charter schools and athletics. Many charter schools have a rocky reputation when it comes to academic performance, and it’s even worse when athletics It is believed that some charter schools take the rules of the Michigan High School Athletic Association as mere suggestions.

McCabe cited an example in his article of a charter that broke the rules of athletics, Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods. The rule at issue then was whether a transferred player was eligible to play.

“What I wrote was neither unfair nor inaccurate,” McCabe said in an email. “In addition to what happened at Chandler Park, this goes hand in hand with the school’s actions a few years ago when the school pulled out of their Week 9 game because they were in trouble. qualified for the state playoffs after Week 8. If she had played Week 9 and lost, she probably wouldn’t have made the state playoffs. been illegal, it goes against everything high school athletics is supposed to be.A few years ago, Melvindale AB&T had to forfeit a state championship he had just won because he was using an ineligible player The Detroit community has had to forfeit games because of ineligible players The Detroit Edison football team has seen several football games canceled because of ineligible players.

McCabe added: “These are examples that I found off the top of my head. If I had needed it, I’m sure I could find many more examples.

McCabe’s examples include multiple sports and date back to 2009.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association investigates numerous cases of player eligibility each year.

There have been reports this year in the media of mainstream public schools using ineligible players, such as in the Roseville and Ann Arbor soccer programs.

What is not known is whether charter schools are more likely to violate MHSAA rules than standard public schools.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association said in an email that it does not track violations based on whether the school is public or non-public and does not maintain a database of violations.

But McCabe’s claims that charter schools have a checkered record for academic achievement aren’t supported by academic studies of charter schools nationwide. Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has documented a higher level of academic performance in charter schools in Michigan compared to traditional public schools in the state that serve the same population or populations. demographically similar.

The Michigan Association of Public School Academies issued a notice on November 15 Press release reporting that in terms of academic performance, the 13 top-ranked Detroit open-enrollment elementary and middle schools in Detroit were all charter schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

On the other hand, the Detroit Public Schools Conventional Community District was rated the worst public school district in the nation by the National Education Progress Assessment in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. This is every time Detroit has participated in the analysis over the past 11 years in the half-year results which are described as The nation’s newsletter.

McCabe’s claim of widespread cheating has angered charter school supporters, who believe the Detroit Free Press used the news story of a charter school vying for a state football championship to carry out an attack on the charter school system, to which he has a history of hostility.

Michigan Collegiate, a charter school in Warren, plays for a state championship, and neither McCabe nor anyone else has claimed the team cheated on player eligibility.

“It was unwarranted. He is using this to inaccurately and unfairly attack all charter schools,” said Buddy Moorehouse, vice president of public relations and media for the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

“Mick McCabe, better than anyone, should know that there are bad actors at every level of high school sports. If he’s trying to say that charter schools cheat more than traditional schools, that’s news to us and we would love to have that conversation with him,” Moorehouse said. “We don’t take any rules as mere suggestions. We follow the rules and to suggest otherwise is wrong and has no place in an article like this- this.

For decades, public and private schools have been accused of cheating using illegal transfers. Jack Roberts, then president of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, once called a Lansing State Journal reporter in the 1990s to ask if a player who had been interviewed for a story had told the reporter anything that would help the MHSAA investigation into the player’s claims. was an illegal transfer.

Jackson Public School officials were upset when Lansing-area Waverly High School won the 2000 state basketball championship with a player who left the Jackson school district to play with the star of the Marcus Taylor preparation. MHSAA did not declare transfer student Kortney Scott ineligible, and Scott later played at the University of Iowa.

In 1996, Walter French Academy was a new charter school in Lansing that hired Jerry Ernst as its basketball coach. Some of Michigan’s best midfield players came to the school in its freshman year. This created an uproar in the high school basketball community, with Ernst being accused of improper recruiting.

But the Walter French Academy had no intention of playing under MHSAA rules or being affiliated with the association. Ernst said at the time that the goal was to have a traveling national team that played across the country, much like Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, which had produced many NBA players.

But funding never materialized for a traveling elite high school team, and Walter French later had a standard high school basketball team and began competing in the MHSAA tournament until it closed in 2004.

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