Annual Report

57 Schools
2,200 Teachers
28,000 Students
280 Board Members


CMU’s partner schools are leading the way. They innovate, specialize, and empower families to select the best options for their children.

57 Schools

Learn more about the 57 CMU partner schools by selecting a county. Follow the link displayed for each partner school to view additional school-level information, including student demographics, performance data and board members.

Beverly Hills

(2018) NexTech High School of Metro Detroit
Final year of operation was 2017-18


Highland Park

(2021) ACE Academy
Final year of authorization was 2020-21
(2023) ACE Academy
Final year of authorization was 2020-21


(2020) Lakeside Charter School
Final year of operation was 2019-20
(2022) Lakeside Academy
Final year of operation was 2019-20
(2023) Lakeside Academy
Final year of operation was 2019-20


(2023) Explore Academy-Livonia
Final year of operation was 2022-23


(2019) The Midland Academy of Advanced and Creative Studies
Final year of operation was 2018-19


(2020) Global Preparatory Academy
Final year of operation was 2019-20
(2022) Global Preparatory Academy
Final year of operation was 2019-20
(2023) Global Preparatory Academy
Final year of operation was 2019-20


(2018) Jefferson International Academy
Final year of operation was 2017-18

Two New Schools Joined the CMU Portfolio

We are proud to welcome two new partners to the CMU charter public school family. From the Upper Peninsula to Southwest Michigan, they share a common vision with all schools in the CMU portfolio: they strive to provide a quality educational experience that meets the needs of the families in their communities.

Students, staff, and board members clapping in front of Copper Island Academy after the ribbon was cut at their ribbon cutting ceremony.
Copper Island Academy Located in Calumet, the school serves grades K-8. The school’s mission is to prepare all students for college, work, and life success through the implementation of highly effective Finnish education practices while embracing traditional American ideals.
Bridge Academy of Southwest Michigan's administrator smiling after cutting the ribbon at their ribbon cutting ceremony. Board members, the Center's executive director, and a student are smiling and clapping.
Bridge Academy of Southwest Michigan Located in Benton Harbor, the school serves grades 9-12. The school’s mission is to provide students an environment for new beginnings and positive educational experiences focused on career exploration and preparation.

Innovation & Vision Award

CMU annually honors its partner schools’ innovative approaches and inspiring visions for the future. This year’s winner, Countryside Academy, was selected by a vote of our 2021 annual conference attendees. To learn more about the school’s unique programming and curriculum, listen to the Charter Central Podcast episode that featured Countryside Academy as our guests. 

“We strive to give our students the best, and most unique, agricultural experience possible. Countryside Academy utilizes a FARE (Food, Agriculture, Renewable Resources, and Environment) theme. By practicing this principle, our students learn the value of hard work and agriculture.”

– Countryside Academy’s Innovation and Vision Award Presentation

The center's executive director poses next to Countryside Academy's presenter, holding the Innovation and Vision award.

CMU Partner Schools Take U.S. News and World Report Honors

Each year U.S. News and World Report releases its list of the best high schools throughout the nation. This year, the publication honored elementary and middle schools as well. Congratulations to all the CMU partner schools whose achievements put them in the top 100 public schools in Michigan!

A.G.B.U. Alex and Marie Manoogian School Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
Canton Charter Academy Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
Cross Creek Charter Academy Top 100 Elementary Schools in Michigan
Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
Eagle Crest Charter Academy Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
Holly Academy Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
South Arbor Charter Academy Top 100 Elementary Schools in Michigan
Top 100 Middle Schools in Michigan
West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science Top 100 High Schools in Michigan


Our mission is to transform public education. That is why we provide students with opportunities to choose the education that best fits their needs — because lasting change happens one child at a time.

Student Demographics

Our partner schools serve students from diverse backgrounds.

Spirit of the Future Scholarships

Because learning doesn’t end with a diploma, graduates of our partner high schools can receive financial support to attend CMU. Scholarships offered include the Dr. Leonard E. and Louise A. Plachta Public Charter School Scholarship and The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools Scholarship.

2021-22 Recipients

  • Nadiya Borys / A.G.B.U. Alex and Marie Manoogian School
  • Shelby Hollins / Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
  • Sarah Hudson / Summit Academy North
  • Theresa Leffert / Kensington Woods Schools
  • Kelli White / Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Central Michigan University campus seal

Enrollment by Grade

From kindergarten to high school, our partner schools serve more than 28,000 students.

Grade Enrollment
K 2,917
1 2,466
2 2,488
3 2,433
4 2,346
5 2,419
6 2,336
7 2,129
8 2,029
9 1,871
10 1,588
11 1,448
12 1,472

School Leadership

The board members and school leaders that serve CMU partner schools are instrumental to student success. Their choices, innovations, and resilience offer fresh opportunities for learning and growth.

School Board Members

There are 280 board members transforming public education through their service at CMU partner schools.

Professional Development

At CMU, we’re proud to provide our partner schools with professional development resources that help them fulfill their schools’ missions and support educational achievement.

Opportunities Include:

  • Webinars and in-person events that support school leaders and board members with governance, social-emotional learning, and funding. 
  • Professional supports focused on leveraging academic data to impact instruction, formative assessments, accelerating learning recovery, literacy, and special education. 
  • Roundtables for board presidents to discuss topics important to their work.
  • Information-packed orientations for new board members to ensure they can be successful in their new roles.

2021 Annual Conference

Every August, we host an annual conference that brings together teachers, board members, school leaders and education stakeholders for a day of professional development to kick off the school year. In 2021, our theme, Working Together for Tomorrow, celebrated a return to our in-person event with the largest attendance in our history. Conference attendees gained valuable resources from a diverse group of speakers.

324 Attendees
44 Schools
28 Sessions


In pursuit of our mission to transform public education, our team’s Research, Evaluation and Data Analytics efforts are aimed at informing policy and practice.

Continued Examination of Student Achievement and Growth

For decades to come, researchers will seek to understand the pandemic’s impact on student achievement. Our Research, Evaluation and Data team already is leading the way, providing an analytical review of student assessment results from March 2020 to the present. This groundbreaking research helps inform schools of their unique results so they can improve their interventions—and forms the basis of future historical analysis.

View Results

Sharing Research at the State and National Levels

As we continue to share our insights with a host of research interests, from the Michigan Legislature to the most influential education organizations, we are honored to be called upon to share our work. All our presentation materials can be found on our Research and Analysis webpage. 

2021-22 Presentations:

  • American Educational Research Association
  • Michigan House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Dept. of Education
  • Michigan Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee
  • Research Council on Mathematics Learning

Examining the Impacts, Changes and Innovations Schools Have Experienced During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We engaged The Learning Collective and Venn Education to examine the pandemic’s impact and related school response. Following extensive research and feedback from individuals working in CMU partner schools, researchers Adam Aberman and David Hartman investigated this very important topic and authored a final report with recommendations to help inform future decision making.

View Results

Leading the Conversation on Individualized Accountability

Every CMU partner school serves a diverse student population, including some of our partners that primarily serve opportunity youth who are over-aged for their grade level and under-credited in their academic progress. The work schools do to serve opportunity youth is critically important in showing students the possibilities that await if they complete their education. As an authorizer, we have explored what a fair and balanced accountability system means for schools serving opportunity youth and are pleased to share our findings with members of the state and national research communities.

“Insight School of Michigan proudly embraces students by meeting them where they are academically and when they are able to meet, including nights and weekends, working with them to cross the finish line and earn a high school diploma. Working with The Center for Charters at CMU to formalize our work with Opportunity Youth has been a great process and wonderful collaboration. Most importantly it helps us do great things for students.”

– Teresa Boardman, School Leader at Insight School of Michigan


Unique partnerships provide opportunities to students in CMU partner schools.

Charter Educator Tuition Program

CMU is committed to furthering the education of teachers and school leaders in CMU partner schools. That’s why we offer a 50 percent tuition award to pursue graduate degrees in education at CMU. To date, 84 award recipients have received graduate degrees through this program.

Connecting Counselors to Resources and Colleagues

This year we launched Counselor Connection, a series of professional development sessions for the counselors at CMU partner schools. The sessions focused on topics critical to their important work and offered opportunities for professional networking and support. The topics covered included substance abuse, suicide prevention, and student and staff mental health.

Black History Literacy Project

This year we partnered with the CMU Detroit Office and the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs to offer the Black History Literacy Project. For five weeks, a live virtual book reading was offered for K–3 students with the recordings made available for further use by schools. The initiative kicked off on January 17, reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and celebrating his legacy. To view the recordings, visit our Black History Literacy Project webpage. We look forward to continuing this as a signature partnership in service to our schools.

Charter Central Podcast

The podcast provides a unique platform to communicate monthly insights into topics important to charter public schools from experts in their fields. Each month a special guest joins us to discuss their work and perspectives on education.

Topics Covered:

  • Board Member Public Service
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Innovative School Programming
  • Literacy
  • Pandemic-Related Academic Research
  • Safe School Drinking Water 
  • Special Education Services
  • Strategic Communications and Engagement

Central Michigan University became Michigan’s first charter public school authorizer—and the nation’s first university authorizer—in 1994.

Our decades of visionary leadership have brought us recognition as a change agent, thought leader, and catalyst for educational innovation. We use our research-driven insights to enrich the work of educators, schools, authorizers, and policymakers alike for the benefit of all.