Three more high schools will open in Detroit for the 2012 school year as part of the Michigan Future Schools program. That’s an ongoing effort by the think tank Michigan Future, Inc. to open 35 new high Detroit high schools in eight years. Its goal is to “revitalize Detroit’s failing education system” by adding 35 quality high schools in eight years. Three such schools opened this fall, and Michigan Future Inc. CEO Lou Glazer says three more will open next school year: the yMCA Detroit Leadership Academy, the Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice, and Schools for the Future. Glazer says the effort focuses on high schools, even though that’s the most difficult level to tackle education reform. “If the goal ultimately is college success, high schools have to work,” he says. “So that’s why we decided to do high schools, even though they are the hardest.” All three new schools will have open enrollment. Two will be charters, and one, Schools for the Future, will be part of the Detroit Public Schools. That school will be a partnership between Boston-based Schools for the Future and Black Family Development, a Detroit social services agency. Alice Thompson, CEO of Black Family Development, says the school will offer an individualized curriculum designed for kids who had dropped out, or are in danger of dropping out, and wraparound support services to deal with other issues that prevent learning.
“This school, while it’s not called a dropout recovery school, it is in fact doing that. It is giving kids a second chance to try to come back into school and be successful, to prepare for college and career.”
The three schools will receive grants from four Michigan non-profits. Each one gets $800,000.