LANSING, Mich. — Former NBA player Jalen Rose told the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday that his new charter public school will help kids catch up academically, according to the Detroit Free Press.

ighty-five of the ninth-graders at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy are not reading at grade level and 90 percent are behind in math, staff learned on the first day of school, Rose told lawmakers, the Free Press reported.

"We have to up the ante,” Rose said, according to the Free Press. The school’s founder, Rose was one of the featured speakers at one of the early committee hearings in wide-ranging education reforms under consideration, including lifting the cap on the number of university-authorized charter public schools in Michigan.

The school year at Jalen Rose Academy will run for 211 days, including six Saturdays, the Free Press reported, and the school day is from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rose said parents’ financial status prevents some children from receiving a quality education because they cannot pay for private schools or move to a better district, the Free Press reported.

Tony Bennett, state superintendent of instruction in Indiana, also spoke to the Senate panel about his state’s education reform, according to the Free Press.


Detroit Free Press, “Jalen Rose paints picture for Senate panel of how hard school must work,” Sept. 15, 2011


Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Jalen Rose: An Education Entrepreneur,” Sept. 14, 2011