Breaking News: I’ve Been Approved to Open 5 Charters for 2017-18

Inspired by many, many deep and important conversations during the past year, I am proud to announce that I will open five new charter schools in my hometown of Lansing, Michigan. Well, kind of in Lansing, because they will be mostly online.

In Michigan, “any parent, teacher, group or entity may apply for a charter.” So why not me!? Urban High School Academies (UHSAs) are chartered under MCL 380.521 – 380.529, commonly referenced as Part 6C of the Michigan Revised School Code. These schools can only be authorized by state public universities.

So I have GOOD news for teachers from neighborhood public schools that are now looking for a job — South Eastern Michigan University (Go SEMU Pirates!) has approved petitions for my five new for-profit charter schools to open in the 2017-18 school year.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.12.25 PM

The charter applications for the 2017-18 petition cycle were submitted to SEMU in February of 2017. It only took four weeks to approve the sites. Cooking with gas. SEMU, is an independent charter school authorizing entity. Here are my schools that they approved:

  • SELL Academy: SELL Academy will be primarily online and have a statewide attendance zone and serve grades 9-12. The school plans to implement an online real estate and sales curriculum through partnership with Trump University. The school aims to integrate sales into project-based learning experiences to allow students to develop critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of sales— including real estate deals. Tremendous! There will be a brick-and-mortar location at a Trump property to be determined later.
  • Perfect Graduation Academy for Boys: Perfect Academy for Boys will be primarily online have a statewide with a brick-and-mortar location on land to be purchased by school and then leased back to me by my Charter Management Organization at a “great” price. Perfect will serve grades 9-10. The school will be a single-gender charter school that provides a rigorous, college preparatory program for grades 9-12. We will have a 100% graduation rate for everyone that is still at our school after four years. I promise. Perfect Academy for Boys will offer an extended day, week and year religious-based educational program. The focus is on boys, because, well, you know boys.
  • Exodus Academy for Girls: Exodus Academy for Girls will be primarily online have a statewide with a brick-and-mortar location on land to be purchased by school and then leased back to me by my Charter Management Organization at a “great” price (see above). I am actually thinking I might sell this school before it opens or mid-year. I’m taking offers— I’m ready to exodus.
  • Computer Hall: Computer Hall will have an Ingham County brick-and-mortar location and attendance zone serving grades 9-12. The school will offer an educational program with an emphasis on computer science, design-thinking and literacy.  Specifically, the school will offer 400+ minutes a day in front of computer screens. Other innovations include big kids rewarding littler kids with coupons for sitting absolutely still in class, 5-minute recess, and limited pee breaks.
  • SUP: School for UnderPerforming Kids that Want to Read Good Too will have (insert text here before submitting application) “I am glad to lead efforts to bring a charter school to this area… and now we are ready to get to work.”

Betsy with her homeboy

I am opening these for-profit (online mostly really) schools with the full blessing of Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, who really, really impressed me with her sage wisdom by recently using a Lyft/Uber ride sharing metaphor for school choice.

How many of you got here today in an Uber, or Lyft, or another ridesharing service? Did you choose that because it was more convenient than hoping a taxi would drive by? Even if you didn’t use a ridesharing service, I’m sure most of you at least have the app on your phone…

Nobody mandates that you take an Uber over a taxi, nor should they. But if you think ridesharing is the best option for you, the government shouldn’t get in your way.

Exactly. What a visionary concept! We are so fortunate to have Betsy DeVos at the US Department of Education. She is incredibly experienced and insightful. School choice should be exactly that, schools do the choosing. I truly believe that once you say you want a school on your phone app, my charter schools will choose if we want to take you for a ride!

If Derek Zoolander can have his own school why can’t I?

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Twitter: @ProfessorJVH

Click here for Vitae.


I riffed off this real charter announcement piece.

Past efforts:

Julian Vasquez Heilig is leaving The University of Texas at Austin

Julian Vasquez Heilig hired as Teach For America Vice President

Center for the Study Support of Education Profitization


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