Thursday, April 30, 2015

EVERY FAMILY HAS A 'FREDO': Ingersoll-Controlled Bay City Academy Board Anoints New "Manager"

As an adult, "Godfather" character Fredo Corleone was seen as the weakest of the three Corleone brothers and was given relatively unimportant businesses to run.

However, he was also known as a charismatic young man, and was usually sent to pick important people up at the airport and entertain them before business meetings.

If every family has a Fredo, it looks like the extended Ingersoll family has found its candidate—and given him a relatively unimportant business to run.

In a story that first broke on this blog, the Bay City Academy has indeed hired Brian Lynch and his newly-created "Mitten Educational Management", awarding Lynch and business partner Michael Randel a one-year contract to manage the scandal-plagued Bay City charter school founded by convicted felon Steven Ingersoll.

The Bay City Times' story is significantly hampered by its reporter's lack of skepticism, and it also make several glaring errors.

For example, although the reporter features the impressive results achieved by principal Patrick Cleland at the Bay City Academy's Mancelona campus (North Central Academy), he neglects to mention the nearly 26 percent drop in student population at the charter school's Bay City locations

Recently 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 without explanation.

In what can only be characterized as a conscious attempt to whitewash Ingersoll's lingering delinquent property tax issues with Bay City, the story states that "Ingersoll still owns the two school buildings from which Bay City Academy operates" and claims that "taxes have been paid on the properties."

Once I finished laughing, I called the Bay County Treasurer's office to learn that although the Bay City Academy's Farragut Campus (301 N. Farragut Street) did not carry any tax delinquency, the same was not true for the other two buildings.

The Madison Arts campus, located at 400 N. Madison Avenue, owes $11,334.90 in 2014 property taxes, having last paid the city on April 28, 2014.

And the shuttered Old Y campus, at 111 N. Madison Avenue, has a deliquency of $7,841.02, which will automatically increase to $7,915.00 tomorrow.

And although longtime Ingersoll crony, board member Craig Johnston, asserts Ingersoll is no longer associated with the schools, Ingersoll still owns the buildings.

But even more ridiculous than Johnston's comment is Lynch's assertion that the new management is the final step in separating the school from Ingersoll.

As the owner of the Bay City school buildings, Ingersoll will continue to receive his inflated rent payments.

In addition, Ingersoll's "integrated visual learning" forms the foundation for the Bay City Academy's curriculum and Ingersoll's "Icon Curriculum Maps" are used (and I'm quoting here from the Academy's website) for "reorganizing lesson content and delivery from traditional 'part to whole' to 'whole to part' methodology to better match human thinking."

Even Lynch's father-in-law, Mark Noss, hasn't separated from Steve Ingersoll.

Nearly 15 months after taking over management of the Grand Traverse Academy under his Full Spectrum Management, Mark Noss still has Steve Ingersoll's daughter-in-law, Gretchen, creating financial reports for the Traverse City charter school. As shown at left, Gretchen Ingersoll created the March 31, 2015 balance sheet for the Grand Traverse Academy.

Other than wondering why a $1,769,805.37 "accounts receivable" is still sitting on the GTA's books, I have to say breaking up with Steve Ingersoll is hard to do.

If you don't believe me, just ask Mark Noss. 


  1. FYI.....most authorizers have a clause in the charter contract that says if a school loses 25% or more of its student population, then the authorizer may negate the charter with that academy.

    1. The Bay City Academy's charter agreement with Lake Superior State University has that clause, but it's unlikely LSSU will do anything. Due to the increase at North Central Academy offsetting the Bay City losses, the BCA has lost 17 percent of its overall student enrollment.

  2. I agree that LSSU won't do anything.

    1. They do not have any balls.
    2. They want the easy income.

  3. LSSU must be in cahoots with Ingersoll, Noss and Lynch, because they charter Bay City Academy, North Central and Grand Traverse Academy.
    It is all pretty fishy.

  4. LSSU authorizes charters to make the 3%. It is profit for all at the expense of the students losing. SIMPLE. CALL your state reps and get the rules changed. Charters should not be allowed to hire management companies to avoid transparency.