Superintendent Nikolai Vitti criticized Detroit’s charter schools for not upholding quality educational standards

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti had strong words of criticism for Detroit’s charter schools, claiming that the best place for children to be educated is in traditional public schools.

Detroit ranks third in the United States for percentage of children attending charter schools, with 64 charter schools existing in Detroit as of 2016.

“Let’s be real. This is about competition,” Vitti said on Wednesday at the first State of the Schools event held in Detroit. “Charters were created to be competitive.”

“Choice has been disastrous in some cases. We shouldn’t let schools open like corner gas stations. The strategy has not worked to solve Detroit’s problems.”

Alongside Vitti, Rob Kimball, associative vice president for charter schools at Grand Valley State University, and Cindy Schumacher, executive director of the Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University were present at the State of the Schools event.

Superintendent Vitti considering to prevent the school district from authorizing charter schools

Vitti made a statement in July that he was seriously considering getting the state “out of the business” of authorizing charter schools at all.

During the State of the Schools event, fellow panelists Rob Kimball and Cindy Schumacher counteracted Vitti’s anti-charter-school stance.

”We are entering a new era of education in Detroit,” Kimball said. “We want to see a strong DPSCD and a strong charter school sector.”

“The charter school community is half the community in Detroit. It’s not going away,” Kimball continued.

“DPSCD is half the community. It is not going away. Can we work together to create guardrails? That is what we are here for today.”