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El-Shabazz Academy To Shut Down After 24 Years In Lansing

school and smokestacks
Kevin Lavery
Central Michigan University has opted not to renew its charter contract with El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Academy in Lansing, citing poor academic performance.

A charter school that caters mainly to African-American students in Lansing is shutting down after nearly a quarter century of instruction. 


El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Academy opened in 1995 in honor of its namesake, better known as Malcolm X.  Central Michigan University authorized its charter, the legal contract that bound the academy to certain academic standards. 

In recent years, El-Shabazz consistently produced math and reading assessment scores that were far below the state average. 

Those stats drove CMU to cut its ties.

“With that top priority being the students, and with the academics not being where they needed to be, we made the difficult decision to not move forward with the contract,” says Janelle Brzezinski, a spokesperson for the John Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University.

CMU says it’s offered to help the academy’s board transition students to different schools in Lansing. 

The contract expires June 30.





Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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