Education
5:09 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Report card: Detroit schools improving, still work to do

A coalition of education, philanthropic and civic groups has released its annual score card for Detroit's schools. 

Detroit Redeemer High School
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Motown31&action=edit&redlink=1

Excellent Schools Detroit evaluated more than 200 K-12 schools in the city of Detroit. Giving them a letter grade, schools earning a C+ or better were recommended as excellent schools. Twenty-five percent, or 51 schools, received this grade.

While that may not seem like a startlingly high number, Dan Varner, CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit, says it's an increase from past years, and is reflective of a positive trend in Detroit Schools.

"Detroit schools, we think, are getting better," Varner explained,  "There are signs of progress. All of the promising schools in the new and fresh start category are grounds for hope for all of us. [But], there is much more work to be done. There are still a significant amount, 75 percent, that aren't performing well."

The scorecard judged schools based on standardized test scores, academic progress, and school culture. It also looked at family involvement, school leadership, and an overall environment for students to learn.

The top schools received a score of B-Plus
Credit http://scorecard.excellentschoolsdetroit.org/

Varner says while there is still much improving left to do, the study did find some schools doing things right.

"What we saw in many of the lower scoring schools though," said Varner, "was such significant growth over the course of the school year. You could see them rapidly increasing proficiency rates, or catching kids up who were behind. That's tremendous, we're very hopeful about that."

While the number of excellent schools is increasing, there is still a significant number of schools below proficient. 

Topping the list of best schools were Davidson Elementary-Middle School, Detroit Merit Charter Academy, and Renaissance High School. A complete list of each school evaluation can be viewed on the Excellent Schools Detroit Scorecard website.

-Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom