Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BUH-BYE, BAY CITY ACADEMY? Michigan School Reform Office School Closure List Expected To Include Steven Ingersoll's Consistently Underperforming Bay City Academy!

Bay City Academy, posting test scores in the bottom 5 percent of Michigan schools for two consecutive years, is on the bubble.

Steven Ingersoll's fraud-tainted, perennially low achieving Bay City charter school, appears on the Michigan School Reform office's February 2016 priority schools list. (See graphic below.)

Schools on the priority list are ranked in the bottom 5 percent of schools statewide based on achievement and achievement gaps, according to the Michigan Department of Education. 

The Bay City Academy landed on this list in 2014.

The School Reform Office (SRO) has vowed to shutter any school whose test scores put them in the bottom 5 percent statewide for three straight years. The public won’t know how many schools have met that threshold until later this fall, when scores from the last two rounds of state exams are released. 

The SRO plans to tell schools whether they're on the closure list by the end of 2016. 

Governor Rick Snyder seized control of the SRO last year from the Michigan Department of Education, transferring the reform office to a state office directly under his control: the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. And although under the Department of Education, the SRO had the power to close schools, it had never done so. 

Snyder cited that sorry-ass record when he seized control of the office.

However, there's an escape clause built into the effort, an "unreasonable hardship" exemption that would exempt schools meeting the closure criteria to stay open because the SRO decides shutting them down would leave their students without access to a better schools. 

In some parts of Michigan, closing a low-performing school might require students to travel far distances. In other neighborhoods, students might have another option nearby — but those schools might not be better. In either case, the School Reform Office has given itself the option not to pursue closure.

It appears that escape clause may not save the Bay City Academy from closure next year.

February 2016 Michigan Priority School list excerpt

Gary Naeyaert, executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, a charter school advocacy group, said the state's decision to close chronically failing schools is long overdue. "There seems to be no level of failure that was low enough to spark state action," he said. 

Naeyaert pushed back on the assertion that closing failing schools will do little good if high-quality options aren't available. "Just because you have to leave a terrible school to go to a less than average school, that's still progress," he said. 

Bay City Academy operates out of two buildings in Bay City: the Farragut School and the Madison Arts building, 400 N. Madison Avenue. It closed its Old Y campus, 111 N. Madison Avenue, following a steep drop in student population. 

In addition, the Bay City Academy includes a Mancelona campus, the North Central Academy.

In March 2014, the school's Board of Education removed Ingersoll as its president of educational services, pointing to low academic performance and saying the school needed an administrator whose full-time job is to oversee the school's day-to-day operations. The school measured significantly below state average in all 18 grades and subjects, ranging from math to science, to writing, on the 2013 Michigan Educational Assessment Program standardized test. 

The Bay City Academy was first listed as a priority school by the Michigan Department of Education, meaning it ranks in the bottom 5 percent of the state's top-to-bottom rankings list based on 2013-2014 school data. 

In April 2014, Steven Ingersoll was charged with federal fraud and tax evasion offenses. 

Shortly before Ingersoll's indictment was unsealed, the Bay City Academy board, headed by Milford resident and longtime Ingersoll crony, Craig Johnston, made a big show of shitcanning the charter school's founder and president of educational services.

Claiming disappointment of low academic performance at the Bay City Academy, Johnston (presumably with a straight face) said Ingersoll was removed because the school needed an administrator whose full-time job is to oversee the school's day-to-day operations.

So, just four days after former Grand Traverse Academy board president and covert Ingersoll business partner Mark Noss assumed management control of the school on March 19, 2014, the Bay City Academy board appointed Noss' fortunate son-in-law and Traverse City resident, Brian Lynch, as its new superintendent and president of educational services.

UPDATE: September 1, 2016-The Bay City Academy did not appear on the Michigan Department of Education's 2015 List of Lowest Achieving Schools.

Will the circle be unbroken? Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye.


  1. The fact that Noss & Ingersoll are partners in crime and Noss's son-in-law ( with zero credentials)was put in charge of Bay City Academy should have been a ginormous RED FLAG from the get go.

  2. Look how many fewer staff they have scheduled for this school year (at least at the Bay City campuses). And who knows how many fewer there will be in September when enrollment figures come in. Pray for the good teachers/staff to find work somewhere else.

  3. Who was watching all this happen? Oh right all of Ingersoll's hand picked business partners. Ingersoll took a little tarnish on his name but it was all a ploy to make it look like he didn't have control of Bay City Academy and Grand Traverse Academy for that matter. But of course he isn't in the day tof day running of the school but he definitely runs them with his puppets Mark Noss, Brian Lynch and everyone else that he has handed powerin to

  4. I can't even begin to say how little surprised I am at BCA's ability to consistently fail. This is especially true when a completely arrogant idiot like Brian Lynch is running it into the ground.

    How can this guys even begin to be proud of what he's done to these students, teachers, and parents? Uh oh, did i forget to mention that he doesn't give a shit? I mean come on, when the money's flowin in, con men like Lynch could care less.

    Has anyone been into any of these schools recently? I'm guessing that staff reductions and staff leaving by the masses is a direct indicator on how Lynch runs BCA and NCA.

    I feel so bad for the people that are stuck working for such an a$$hole.

  5. Dear teachers,
    We all understand you want and need a job to support your families. We just want the corruption stopped, so that you get the pay, health benefits, classroom supplies and cooperative condition to create a classroom so children are safe, loved and learning. In the meantime, keep looking for jobs elsewhere, until these crooks are taken out of these schools and laws are created to protect you. Until they are stopped this vicious cycle will snowball into hell.
    The Management companies, the board members, the chartering university and anyone else running these schools need to go, because they are all in on the scam.