Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SCHOOL BOOKS COOKED, TOO? ANOMALIES IN M-STEP MATH TESTING RESULTS OF THE BAY CITY ACADEMY'S FOURTH & SEVENTH GRADERS: 2016 'Percent Proficient' Significantly Higher Than Neighboring Schools And State Average; Unusually Large Increase Over 2015 Results.

Miss Fortune has analyzed the 2016 M-STEP test results, released yesterday by the Michigan Department of Education, and discovered what appear to be abnormally high scores at the Bay City Academy, most notably in the charter school's 4th grade and 7th grade math results.

The Bay City Academy, founded by convicted felon Steven Ingersoll, dubbed "a sorry excuse for a school" by Bay City State Rep. Charles Brunner, is operating under a five-year deficit elimination plan.

Brunner's April 5, 2016 comment was part of a statement expressing frustration with the MDE's approval of the Bay City Academy's deficit elimination plan.

“The Bay City Academy has objectively failed both academically and financially in recent years,” said Rep. Brunner “Nothing in the deficit elimination plan offered by the Bay City Academy has given me faith that the academy is serious about educating the students attending their sorry excuse for a school.” 

Did the pressure to deliver improved academic results in order to keep the money tap gushing (and promised improvements as outlined in the charter school's April 2015 redesign plan) drive the Bay to provide assistance to students taking the test?

Although this statistical analysis cannot determine if the improved scores are the result of cheating, in my opinion, there are glaring anomalies when compared to statewide averages. 


An examination of Michigan's statewide math averages reveals the 4th grade math proficiency percentage increased slightly from 41.4% to 44%. The statewide 7th grade math proficiency increased slightly year-over-year, going from 33.3% in 2015 to 35.3% in 2016.

However, the Bay City Academy, which had been named to Michigan's priority schools list for the last two years, with achievement scores landing it in the bottom five percent of all Michigan public schools, somehow managed to pull off stunning results.

For example, 4th grade math proficiency percentage for all buildings (in this case, the Farragut and North Central Academy campuses) jumped by 14.64 points, an increase of 64 percent over the previous year.

The 7th grade math proficiency test results for all buildings (Madison Arts and Mancelona's North Central Academy) were even more impressive, jumping by 18.86 points, representing an 86 percent increase over 2015 results.

However, if you looked at 6th grade math results for all buildings at the Bay City Academy, expecting to find the same spectacular results as seen in the 7th grade, you'd be disappointed.

The 6th grade proficiency percentage dropped from 17.14% in 2015 down to 8.33% — a 51 percent plunge.  

While 4th grade math proficiency results at Bay City's Farragut campus dropped by 13 percent, sliding to 32.35% in 2016 from 37.5% in 2015, Mancelona's North Central Academy delivered staggering numbers—literally.

The North Central Academy campus delivered 4th grade math results that skyrocketed up 374 percent, growing from 10.53% in 2015 to 50% in 2016.

Anybody but me having a hard time believing this stuff?


Campus-specific results for 7th grade math proficiency show similar anomalies, with Bay City Academy results far outpacing statewide averages:

The Bay City Academy's Madison Arts campus delivered 7th grade math results that grew by 88 percent, growing from 17.65% in 2015 to 33.33% proficient in 2016. 

The North Central Academy campus delivered 7th grade math results that jumped 87 percent, growing from 26.67% proficient in 2015 to 50% in 2016.

But chew on this: the North Central Academy's 6th grade math results fell off a cliff. While 2015's results showed a 26.67% proficiency, 2016 results plunged to below 10%.

When compared to the statewide averages, the Bay City Academy's results look suspicious, and even more so when compared with other surrounding Bay County public schools.

For example, Bay City Public Schools district-wide results reveal 4th grade math proficiency went from 37.56% to 42.99% (an increase of 14 percent) and 7th grade math proficiency stayed relatively steady, increasing to 29.9% in 2016 from 29.86% in 2015.

Essexville-Hampton's 7th grade results improved, although not on the scale of the Bay City Academy's.

Math proficiency rose from 29.86% in 2015 to 37.41% in 2016, an overall increase, year-over-year, of  25 percent.

In my opinion, it's highly suspect that a bottom-feeder like the Bay City Academy would test significantly higher than neighboring schools and Michigan's state average.

Instead, could the charter school's students have been coached during testing, alerted if they answered a question incorrectly or guided to the right answer?

It's possible.

But without a formal investigation, we'll likely never know.

You know what they say about rats leaving a sinking ship: the smartest ones wear life preservers.


  1. That is because they cheated. I would not trust one score that comes out of those schools since Lynch and Noss took over. They are liars from the get go. They will do what ever it takes to keep their free money stream going. Bullshit!

    1. Bet that more than one staff member knows the truth about these test scores. Maybe they'll come forward and let the state /public know when the school closes.

    2. For the sake of justice and the school's motto: "Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do", some one or several people who were/are on staff need to blow the whistle on how these test scores were so good/above local and state average. The person(s) need to be allowed anonymity so they won't have any repercussions from the management company and its sorry leadership/ownership.

    3. They need to come forward now and then the dollars will soon stop flowing into that scam of a school.

  2. Never have I seen scores change like that in a school system over a one year period. You know damn well they cheated, if this doesn't get the attention of the Department of Education then something is really rotten. We all know the school is in the bottom 5 % and in order to keep stealing the taxpayers money for their own personal wealth,of course they would stoop to this. There definitely needs to be an investigation. Good ole Lynch trying to work magic, we know what kind of person you are, just as crooked as the rest them. Get the rat poisoning out we need to clean up this epidemic before it pollutes the water systems...I mean education system! Come on out, Dept. of Ed. we need your assistance, this is criminal and is not in the best interest of the children.

  3. Guaranteed dirty rotten lying Lynch cooked those scores. The only reason that he did it was for his own greedy lying ass. Brian Lynch is a scumbag and a arrogant prick.

    The times that I had had the displeasure of meeting Lynch, I could see that all he gave a crap about was himself.

    He'd lie his way through test scores without a doubt. These kids, staff and parents mean absolutely nothing to Brian Lynch. The only thing that perks his ears is money, and lots of it. Crooks can't and shouldn't be running a school. Time to get your lying loser face out of there Lynch. Stop ruining people's lives with your greed and arrogance.

  4. I am sure all these guys want is for this to disappear and then they can continue their scam. It really is a shame that people aren't getting together as a group and going to the authorities. I really don't understand how they blindly walk through their day, knowing what is going on. But if they aren't willing to do something for themselves and their students, that is really sad. Here is your chance to get rid of these guys! I couldn't live with myself knowing what you know. Who is brave enough to put together a group and stand up for what is right. These guys are not all powerful and it is time to show them that. Think of all the jobs in the regular public schools that would open up.

  5. I challenge you to walk into that school and observe the teachers and students. You are pointing fingers with old data and ridiculous assumptions. Administration is much different than it used to be. Every protocol was followed for the testing environment and process. Teachers are working their asses off to get these kids at grade level (NOT INCLUDING CHEATING) to get their names out of the mud. To think those beyond devoted teachers are being accused of cheating is sickening. Bash Ingersoll and Lynch all you want, but attacking the student/teacher performance and skill is uncalled for.

  6. Why is it that anonymous commenters want me to visit their schools or go to their board meetings?

    As I stated in the story, written using official Michigan M-STEP results, although my analysis alone wouldn't reveal whether there was cheating going on, there are anomalies in certain test scores that, in my opinion, are highly unlikely due to chance alone.

    I'll agree that Pat Cleland has reportedly left the North Central Academy, but an 86 percent increase year-over-year in 7th grade math results at the school is highly unusual, especially when benchmarked against neighboring Mancelona Public Schools results.

    The North Central Academy campus delivered 7th grade math results that jumped by 87 percent, growing from 26.67% proficient in 2015 to 50% in 2016.

    Compare those results to Mancelona Public Schools 7th grade math: in 2015, a 30.86% proficiency which dropped to 24.14% in 2016. Overall. nearly a 22 percent drop.

    Old data and ridiculous assumptions? No, I'm using accepted statistical analysis guidelines, comparing the Bay City Academy's results against state averages and other area school district numbers.

    In this incidence,it appears the numbers speak for themselves.

    1. The real question should be "why don't you do some actual, boots on the ground reporting, rather than sitting behind your computer making terrible assumptions and unfounded accusations?"

    2. If you can find Michigan another school whose results outpaced the North Central Academy campus, which delivered 4th grade math results that skyrocketed up 374 percent, growing from 10.53% in 2015 to 50% in 2016, I'll publish them.

      In the meantime, address your "reporting" question to the Bay City Times or the Traverse City Record-Eagle. I hear some of their reporters actually wear boots!

  7. Some people took real legitimate 'cooking lessons' many years ago and the Ingersolls were among the students then. Of course those were legitimate cooking lessons with food. Over the years it seems the Ingersolls and their friends have taken on some new endeavors and learned to 'cook' financial books. Recipes for fraud, manipulation, lies, bullying, intimidation and disaster to students, parents and anyone who crosses their path.