Saturday, March 14, 2015

TURNING POINT...OR TIPPING POINT? Student Population At Tottering Bay City Academy's Bay City Campus Nosedives; Does Its 26 Percent Drop Reflect "Ingersoll Effect"?

Brian Lynch, via MLive
Bay City Academy Superintendent Brian Lynch may want to work on his resume. 

The Bay City Academy, at the center of a telenovela-worthy tale of nepotism, cronyism, crazy ideas about how children learn, tax fraud and possible embezzlement, recently lost 26 percent of its student population, according to year-over-year results revealed in its most recent student count.

Just released Michigan Department of Education "school count" data shows that while the combined Bay City Campus locations of Steven Ingersoll's Bay City Academy had 404 students during the 2013-2014 school year, the 2014-2015 enrollment is down to just 299 students. The Bay City Academy currently operates out of two locations in Bay City: the Madison Arts campus at 400 N. Madison Avenue and the Farragut campus at 301 N. Farragut Street. A third location, the Old Y campus, abruptly closed last fall.

However, enrollment at the Academy's North Central campus in Mancelona rose by roughly 16 percent year-over-year, growing from 147 students in 2013-2014 to an enrollment of 171 students this year. The increase in Mancelona did very little to blunt the charter school's decline, with an overall 14 percent decrease in population.

Brian Lynch was appointed by the Bay City Academy's board in March 2014 as the school's new superintendent and president of educational services . Lynch has worked under the Smart Schools model for most of the last eight years... interrupted in early 2012 when he abruptly left his position as classroom teacher at the Grand Traverse Academy to become an insurance agent in Kalkaska.

Lynch is the son-in-law of Mark Noss, who in March 2014 assumed control of the Grand Traverse Academy from Steven Ingersoll shortly before his federal indictment. 

Lynch, whose tenure as superintendent of the Bay City Academy is akin to having a defrocked priest say mass at the Vatican, had been issued a Michigan provisional teaching certificate on March 30, 2005. Lynch received a two-year extension in 2010, but let his teaching certificate lapse in 2012.

The controversy at the Bay City Academy, which experienced unexpected changes in its leadership, poor standardized test scores and the conviction of its founder, Steven J. Ingersoll, on federal tax evasion and conspiracy charges, seems on the verge of leaving a financial carcass already picked clean.

But we'll see if Mark Noss (and his Full Spectrum Management company) pitches his "business plan".

After all, some crumbs are better than no crumbs!


  1. There is also mass teacher turnover at the school as well. I predict a mass exodus during the summer as BCA is becoming known for how they treat their teachers. The school teaming up w/ Full Spectrum would just mean more of the same things.

    1. The teacher exodus may be moot if the students don't return!

    2. Close it down. If the chartering agent does not… the public should have more sense and send the students to a different school.