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Report: 75% Of Detroit Schools Don't Provide Adequate Education

DETROIT (WWJ) - An annual ranking released Wednesday shows that only one-quarter of the schools in Detroit are providing an adequate education for its students.

Excellent Schools Detroit — a coalition of leaders in many different areas, ranging from education, philanthropic and community groups — releases a yearly scorecard to help parents make sense of the city's school system and find the best fit for their child.

The organization's scorecard on Detroit schools for 2013 found that — of the 204 schools graded —  51 earned "C+" or higher.

Dan Varner, chief executive officer of Excellent Schools Detroit, said the scorecard helps parents draw the line between good schools they would recommend (C+ and higher) and those that are not good enough.

"Detroit's been waiting for this moment to fully understand how our schools rank, not just against each other, but in measuring up to established excellence standards," Varner said in a statement. "Right now, 25 percent of our schools are going to help our children succeed. Now we need to bring everyone else up to that level. The bar has been set."

The scorecard reviewed 204 public, charter, private and parochial schools serving Detroit students and provided a grade for 149 schools, nearly 75 percent. Those that did not receive a grade are either too new or are "fresh start" schools, which are starting over by mandate of the State of Michigan.

Status, how proficient students are on state standardized tests, and progress, how much students are learning over the course of a school year, account for 70 percent of a school's grade.

Thirty percent of the grade rests on school climate, which is determined in two ways. Research partners surveyed 35,000 students in fourth grade and above and 3,500 teachers to find out how they feel about five essential attributes at their schools (Detroit 5Essentials) -- effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and ambitious instruction. Additionally, more than 400 Detroit parents, educators and community members participated in school reviews earlier this year.

Finally, the grades take into consideration extra challenges faced by schools and students who are in low-income communities, are learning English and/or have different or special abilities. A final grade is the combination of status, progress, climate and extra credit.

2013 Excellent Schools Detroit Scorecard -- By The Numbers

Excellent Schools Detroit Scorecard 2013
Data source: Excellent Schools Detroit, July 2013, including data from the Detroit 5Essentials, which is collected by the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute.
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