TEACH Michigan and TEACH Michigan Education Fund records: 1989-1996
Summary Information
Title: TEACH Michigan and TEACH Michigan Education Fund records
Creator: TEACH Michigan.
Inclusive dates: 1989-1996
Extent: 13 linear feet
Location: Offsite storage; prior notification required for access
Abstract:
Organization established in 1989 by Paul N. DeWeese and others to lobby for changes in state law and the state constitution to allow parents to choose between competing schools. The record group also contains records of the Michigan Center for Charter Schools, sister organization to TEACH Michigan, established to promote the development of charter schools in the state. The record group includes Informational materials detailing mission and goals of the TEACH Michigan organization; organizational files; topical files; correspondence; speeches and articles about school choice and the state charter school movement; and audio and video cassettes of TM presentations and appearances of Paul DeWeese on radio and television programs. Also included are the organizational records of the Michigan Center for Charter Schools.
Call number: 014 Bj 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Thomas E. Powers

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The record group came to the library from Partnership for Learning (formerly TEACH Michigan) in December 2000. Donor no. 9038

Access Restrictions:

Research use of the record group is restricted except with the permission of Dr. Paul DeWeese.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., TEACH Michigan and TEACH Michigan Education Fund records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


History

In 1989, Dr. Paul N. DeWeese, a physician then working in Detroit, became frustrated by what he perceived to be a lack of educational choice for his own children then about to begin school. With other like-minded individuals, DeWeese formed Michigan Citizens for Choice in Education (shortly to be renamed TEACH Michigan). Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1991, TEACH Michigan was established to lobby for changes in the law regarding school choice. Associated with TEACH Michigan was a tax-exempt sister organization - TEACH Michigan Education Fund (TMEF) - which with license to solicit charitable contributions could engage in a variety of educational, research, and planning functions.

Under DeWeese's leadership, TEACH Michigan advocated fundamental changes in the state's educational system. The core of TEACH Michigan's philosophy of education was simply stated. Parents should be allowed to choose from competing systems of schools with funding for education following the student and not automatically being given to the government-supported school system. An ambitious agenda, TEACH Michigan realized the importance of educating the public and enlisting enough grassroots support for the necessary changes in state law and in the state constitution to be made. With the law changed, there would follow competition for the education dollar resulting in non-governmental sponsorship of K-12 schools by corporations, public or private universities, parent groups or churches, as well as by the government. No longer would there be a "government monopoly" school system. Instead, parents would receive financial support (or vouchers) for their children to attend the school of their choice.

Although his message never wavered, DeWeese was realistic enough to realize that "full choice" could only come incrementally, thus his advocacy of changes in state law to allow for the creation of charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that are custom-designed by groups of teachers, parents or outside individuals to meet particular education needs. Charter schools are part of the public school system, financed on a par with other schools in the district. But for charter schools to become a reality state law would have to be changed. In December 1993, with the passage of Senate bill no. 896 (signed by the governor in January 1994), Michigan adopted the most significant restructuring of public education since the development of single-function school districts in the early 20th century. The state authorized groups of certified teachers and community leaders to form individual charter schools (public school academies) "that are to be treated like school districts" for the purposes of state education law. These "single-school school districts" could be started anywhere in the state by one or more certified teachers, a county, city, village, township, school district, community college, or state public university. Each new school would develop its own governing board, and must describe its educational goals and the standards by which its performance will be measured. Each of these academies would receive a state school aid payment for its enrolled students.

Following the passage of 896, TMEF established a sister organization, the Michigan Center for Charter Schools (MCCS), whose purpose was to promote the development of charter schools. TMEF subsidized the operation of MCCS throughout its existence. MCCS was the only organization in the state early on that was disseminating timely and accurate information about charter schools. MCCS also helped several groups move through the process of establishing a charter school. By the end of 1995, more than 60 charter school had been established with an additional 120 schools seeking charters.

In November 1994, an Ingham County circuit court judge ruled the law unconstitutional. Although the groups authorized to grant charters were government entities, the judge ruled, the day-to-day operations of schools were largely in the hands of privately elected directors and thus not directly accountable to the public. With this decision, the charter schools that had been established were left without public funding. In some cases, the schools reverted to private school status relying on tuitions and corporate donations for their support. In other cases, the state legislature, many of whose members believed that the judge's ruling would be overturned on appeal, passed emergency legislation which addressed the judge's objection to the original legislation.

In 1995, the state Board of Education contracted with the Michigan Partnership for New Education to both promote charter schools and to provide technical assistance to charter schools. The Michigan Partnership immediately asked for, and received, permission to hire the entire staff of MCCS in order to run their charter school operation. In May of 1995, MCCS ceased to operate, as its mission and staff were absorbed by the Michigan Partnership for New Education.

From its inception, TEACH Michigan knew that for real educational reform to take place from their point of view, the Michigan State Constitution (Article 8, sec. 2) would have to be revised. That provision restricted the use of public funds to government-operated schools only. With the constitution changed, TEACH Michigan hoped to secure passage of a voucher system so that parents might choose, and receive funding, for their child to attend a church-related school.

In 2000, the TEACH Michigan organization was folded into a new organization, Partnership for Learning.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This record group consists of two separate groupings (or subgroups) of records: the combined files of TEACH Michigan and TEACH Michigan Education Fund covering the period of 1989 to 1995, and files of the charter school support group, Michigan Center for Charter Schools covering the years 1994-1995. Both organizations operated out of the same office in Lansing and included some of the same individuals as board members. The TM/TMEF files consist in great part of papers of Dr. Paul N. DeWeese, a principal founder of the organization. The MCCS files are largely papers of executive director Barbara Barrett as well as DeWeese. Together, the record group contains correspondence, policy statements, organizational and activity files, collected materials, sound and video materials, all relating to the efforts of the two organizations first to educate and lobby for changes in the law, and second to provide assistance and support in the establishment of charter schools. The records date from the inception of the organization to 1995. The subsequent records of TEACH Michigan remain with the organization.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Charter schools -- Michigan.
  • Education -- Michigan.
  • Public schools -- Michigan.
  • School choice -- Michigan.
  • Charter schools -- Michigan.
  • Debates.
  • Discussion.
  • Public affairs television programs.
  • School choice -- Michigan.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Videocassettes.
  • DeWeese, Paul N.
  • Michigan Center for Charter Schools.
  • TEACH Michigan.
  • TEACH Michigan Education Fund.
  • DeWeese, Paul N.
  • TEACH Michigan.
  • DeWeese, Paul N.
  • Michigan Center for Charter Schools.
  • TEACH Michigan Education Fund.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
TEACH Michigan/Teach Michigan Education Fund [subgrp]

The TEACH Michigan/Teach Michigan Education Fund subgroup consists of the following series: Informational Files; Organizational Materials; Topical Files; Correspondence; Speeches and Articles; and Audio-Visual Materials.

 
Informational Files [series]

The Informational files series within TM/TMED is noteworthy for the educational journal/log maintained by DeWeese during the early period when he was establishing the TM choice organization. Also included here are the various statements and brochures put out by the organization to explain its mission and its goals.

Box   1  
Journal of TM activities maintained by Paul DeWeese 1989-1993
Box   1  
Paul DeWeese biographical information
Box   1  
Informational packet about TMEF
Box   1  
Brochures, informational statements (2 folders)
 
Organizational Materials [series]

The Organizational Materials series includes files relating to the operation and administration of TM/TMEF. Included are files from various meetings, reports, and newsletters.

 
Michigan Citizens for Choice in Education
Box   1  
Name change 1990
Box   1  
Task force meeting and list of task force members 1990
Box   1  
Bylaws, articles of incorporation, communications with law firm regarding IRS status
Box   1  
TEACH Michigan reorganization memorandum October 1993
 
Meetings
Box   1  
TMEF board of directors meetings (agenda and minutes) 1991
Box   1  
Ad hoc Committee 1990
Box   1  
Strategic Planning Meetings (kitchen cabinet) 1993, 1995
Box   1  
Coalition (Coalition for Better Schools) meetings 1993 (8 folders)
Box   1  
Private School Input session 1993
Box   1  
Steering Committee 1990
 
Various reports and plans
Box   1  
Chairman's Report 1993
Box   1  
Executive Memorandum: "As I See It" 1991
Box   1  
Communication Plan for TMEF (prepared by Tom Berriman) 1993
Box   1  
TEACH Plan
Box   1  
Teachers for Choice proposal
Box   1  
Vision statement
Box   1  
Various
Box   1  
Newsletters
Box   1  
Clippings 1993-1994 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Contact List
Box   1  
Corporate leaders (list of)
Box   1  
Memorandum regarding working relations between TMEF and Michigan Center for Charter Schools 1994
 
Topical File [series]

The Topical File series is the largest grouping of files. Partially drawn together various files of DeWeese and others, this series contains the most complete documentation of TM/TMED activities. In this series will be found files relating to organizational strategy and planning, with substantive material on constitutional reform and the organization's support for specific pieces of legislation. Also noteworthy in this series are files relating to the relationship between TM and other related organizations, such as the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS), the Coalition for Better Schools, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Box   1  
African American issues (Clinton Canady III)
Box   1  
"At Risk" Children White Paper
Box   1  
Bradley Foundation request
Box   1  
Catholic Campaign for America
 
Chapter materials
Box   1  
Chapter kit
Box   1  
Chapter lists
Box   1  
Chapter manuals
Box   1  
Leadership Training Seminar November 7, 1992
Box   1  
Memoranda of Renee Oliver, administrative assistant, chapter formation
Box   1  
Charter school notes
Box   1  
Chrysler Corp.

(request for grant regarding parent empowerment)

Box   2  
Coalition for Better Schools
Box   2  
Communitarian Network
Box   2  
Conferences (6 folders)
Box   2  
Constitutional amendment (revision research) (9 folders)
 
Consultants
Box   2  
Berg, Bob
Box   2  
Market Research Group
Box   2  
Public Sector Consultants
Box   2  
Vanden Berg, Mark
Box   2  
Detroit Archdiocese
Box   2  
Detroit schools (miscellaneous)
Box   2  
Financial (statements, budgets, etc.) (7 folders)
Box   3  
Fundraising events and mailings (12 folders)
Box   3  
Herrick Foundation proposal 1994
Box   3  
Keller Foundation
Box   3  
Legal Strategy Planning Group 1994
 
Legislation
Box   3  
Public Act 118
Box   3  
Public Act 362 (Senate Bill 896) (3 folders)
Box   3  
Senate Bill 887
Box   3  
Senate Bill 1103
Box   3  
House Bill 4365
Box   3  
House Bill 5463
Box   3  
Charter school legislation (miscellaneous)
Box   3  
School code reform
 
Legislators
Box   3  
DeGrow, Daniel
Box   3  
Welborn, Jack
Box   3  
Legislative candidates questionnaire 1994
Box   3  
Legislators (general)
 
Litigation
Box   3  
Legal defense against Michigan Education Association
Box   3  
Noah Webster Academy suit 1994
Box   3  
Mackinac Center for Public Policy public school choice study (3 folders)
Box   3  
Michigan Association of Christian Schools
 
Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools
Box   3  
Board meetings 1992-1994 (4 folders)
Box   3  
Action Plan
Box   3  
Contacts
Box   3  
Issues raised at regional meetings
Box   3  
Regional meetings
Box   3  
School presentation
Box   3  
Toward Educational Choice (joint meeting with TEACH Michigan)
Box   3  
Miscellaneous
Box   3  
Michigan Bankers Association
Box   3  
Michigan Catholic Conference
Box   3  
Michigan Center for Charter Schools (general)
Box   3  
Michigan Educational Association/National Education Association
Box   4  
Michigan Family Forum
Box   4  
Michigan Future (Doug Ross)
Box   4  
Michigan Manufacturers Association
Box   4  
Michigan Merchants Council
Box   4  
Michigan Partnership for New Education
Box   4  
Michigan Property Owners Association
Box   4  
Miscellaneous
Box   4  
Neola, Inc. proposal
Box   4  
People of color issues
Box   4  
Polling surveys and studies (0.67 linear feet)

(unprocessed)

Box   4  
Press Secretary (Jena Jenson files) (0.33 linear feet)

(unprocessed)

Box   5  
Research (general)
Box   5  
Retreats (3 folders)
Box   5  
Right to Life of Michigan
Box   5  
School choice (miscellaneous)
Box   5  
School to Work programs
Box   5  
Speakers' Bureau (7 folders)
Box   5  
Strategic planning and research (0.67 linear feet)

(unprocessed)

(includes Bannon Associates Strategic Plan materials)

Box   5  
Talent agents
Box   5  
Teacher Coordinator
Box   5  
Teacher involvement
Box   5  
Teachers choice program (Michigan Network of Empowered Teachers)
Box   5  
Urban strategy
 
Correspondence [series]

The Correspondence series dates from 1989 to 1995 and consists of copies of outgoing correspondence from DeWeese and others. There is relatively little incoming correspondence. The letters are valuable in content though somewhat repetitive in that the same message was going to different individuals or organizations.

 
Office Correspondence (mainly Paul DeWeese) [subseries]
Box   6  
December 1989-December 1992
Box   7  
1993-1995
 
DeWeese Correspondence [subseries]
Box   8  
1991-July 1994
 
Miscellaneous [subseries]
Box   8  
Mass mailings
Box   8  
Faxes
Box   8  
Various staff
 
Speeches and Articles [series]

The Speeches and Articles series consists of the many messages, articles, and op-ed newspaper pieces written or delivered by DeWeese and other TM supporters on the topic of educational choice, charter schools, and related topics.

 
Speeches by Paul DeWeese [subseries]
Box   9  
Undated, 1991-1995
 
Speeches by others [subseries]
Box   9  
Various talks by TEACH Michigan associates
 
Articles written by DeWeese [subseries]
Box   9  
Statements written for TEACH Michigan and for op-ed pages of newspapers
 
Articles written by others [subseries]
Box   9  
Various articles by TEACH Michigan associates, etc
 
Audio-Visual Materials [series]

The Audio-Visual Materials series contains both audio and visual cassette tapes of TM presentations, debates, or appearances by DeWeese on radio or television programs.

Box   10  
Audio cassettes and videocassettes of speeches, programs, etc.

(not further described)

 
Michigan Center for Charter Schools [subgrp]

The second subgroup within this record group are files of the Michigan Center for Charter Schools during the period of its organizational life, 1994 to 1995. The organization was established to provide support and encouragement to charter schools in Michigan, thus there is much documentation on the actual process of establishing such a school. The MCCS subgroup consists of the following series: Foundations/Funding Corporations; Topical Files; Conferences and Forums; Correspondence; Record Books; Charter Schools - Governing entities; Charter Schools (by name); and Statements, Guidelines, etc.

 
Foundations/Funding Corporations [series]
Box   11  
Amway Corp
Box   11  
Annenberg Foundation
Box   11  
Chrysler Corp
Box   11  
City Management Corp
Box   11  
Detroit Center Tool, Inc
Box   11  
Detroit Edison
Box   11  
Detroit Renaissance
Box   11  
DeVos Proposal
Box   11  
Donnelly Corp
Box   11  
Dow Chemical
Box   11  
DPCS International
Box   11  
First of America
Box   11  
Ford Motor Co
Box   11  
Herrick Foundation
Box   11  
Inacom Corp
Box   11  
Kellogg Foundation (3 folders)
Box   11  
McGregor Fund
Box   11  
Meijer Proposal
Box   11  
MichCon Foundation
Box   11  
Old Kent Bank
Box   11  
Smith Richardson Foundation
Box   11  
Spartan Motors Proposal
Box   11  
West Michigan Equities
Box   11  
Whirlpool Corporation
Box   11  
World Heritage Foundation
 
Topical Files [series]
Box   11  
Academic Freedom Amendments
Box   11  
Advisory Board
Box   11  
Agreements
Box   11  
Allen, William B
Box   11  
Amendments
Box   11  
Articles of Incorporation
Box   11  
Articles (newspapers, etc.) (2 folders)
Box   11  
Biography
Box   11  
Board of Directors
Box   11  
Budget
Box   11  
Bylaws
Box   11  
Charter School Law and Revision
Box   11  
Charter Schools
Box   11  
Contracts
Box   11  
DeWeese, Paul
Box   11  
Dissolution (Agenda for final board meeting)
Box   11  
Dykema Gossett
Box   11  
Events-Media
Box   11  
Governor's Conference on Charter Schools
Box   11  
Informational materials
Box   11  
Mallison, David
Box   11  
Michigan Forward
Box   11  
Michigan Partnership for New Education
Box   11  
Michigan Public School Academy Service Corp.
Box   11  
Minutes (6 folders)
Box   11  
Miscellaneous
Box   11  
Press Information
Box   11  
Press Releases
Box   11  
Public Education Charter
Box   11  
Responsibilities
Box   11  
Staff meetings
Box   11  
Vitullo-Martin, Tom
Box   11  
Wittman, Bob
 
Conferences and forums [series]
Box   12  
1994-1995 (15 folders)
 
Correspondence [series]
Box   12  
1994-1995 (7 folders)

(includes one folder of faxes)

 
Record books [series]
Box   12  
Model Charter School Documentation
Box   12  
Model Documents for Establishing a Charter Public School in Michigan
Box   12  
Corporate record book

(includes articles, bylaws, legal documents)

Box   12  
Binder containing various documentation

(include planning documents, committees, law, articles and bylaws)

 
Charter Schools-Governing entities [series]
Box   13  
Central Michigan University
Box   13  
Neola of Michigan
Box   13  
Northern Michigan University
Box   13  
People's Community Baptist Church
Box   13  
Saginaw Valley State University
 
Charter Schools (by name) [series]
Box   13  
Casa Maria Academy
Box   13  
Crescent Academy International
Box   13  
Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences
Box   13  
Detroit Inter-faith Pastors
Box   13  
Early Childhood Charter School
Box   13  
Edison Project
Box   13  
Island City Academy
Box   13  
Macomb Christian Schools
Box   13  
Mid-Michigan Academy
Box   13  
Montessori Children's House
Box   13  
New Branches Charter School
Box   13  
Noah Webster Academy
Box   13  
Northlane Day School
Box   13  
Northside Preparatory School
Box   13  
Plymouth Day School
Box   13  
Rainbow Youth Academy
Box   13  
Sankofa Shule
Box   13  
Technical Manufacturing Academy
Box   13  
Thomas Gist Academy (1 folder, 1 volume)
Box   13  
West Michigan Service Academy
Box   13  
West Michigan Academy for Hospitality Sciences
 
Statements, guidelines, etc [series]
Box   13  
Accomplishments to date
Box   13  
Agenda for starting
Box   13  
Authorizer's Review of Charter School Plan
Box   13  
Bullet Points regarding Charter Schools
Box   13  
Charter School growth (MI)
Box   13  
Community Outreach Activities
Box   13  
Conflict of Interest
Box   13  
Critical Orbit
Box   13  
Current Status of Law
Box   13  
Development Stages
Box   13  
Development Timetable
Box   13  
Diversity Report
Box   13  
Diversity Tables
Box   13  
Estimated Annual Increase
Box   13  
Estimated Rate of Formation
Box   13  
Fact Sheet
Box   13  
Federal/State Grant Monies
Box   13  
Fiscal Agency Agreement
Box   13  
Growth in Three Years
Box   13  
Key Principles
Box   13  
Keys for Developing and Operating a Successful Charter School
Box   13  
List of Schools
Box   13  
Mission Statement
Box   13  
National/International Perspective
Box   13  
Overview
Box   13  
Plan 1994
Box   13  
Planning Process Summary
Box   13  
Profile (MCCS)
Box   13  
Profiles
Box   13  
Project Management
Box   13  
Project Management Tracking
Box   13  
Proposal (MCCS)
Box   13  
Prospects for Support
Box   13  
Publications List
Box   13  
School-to-work
Box   13  
Status of charter schools
Box   13  
Synopsis of Center
Box   13  
Technical Assistance Services
Box   13  
Three Year Budget
Box   13  
Timeplan (proposed)
Box   13  
Trust Fund case statement
Box   13  
Understanding Michigan Charter School Law
Box   13  
Update on Michigan's Charter School Legislation