Detroit City - Education - Primary and Secondary Schools - Public Schools and Charter Schools

Public Schools and Charter Schools

With about 66,000 public school students (2011–12), the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) district is the largest school district in Michigan. Detroit has an additional 56,000 charter school students for a combined enrollment of about 122,000 students. As of 2009 there are about as many students in charter schools as there are in district schools.

In the mid-to-late 1990s, the Michigan Legislature removed the locally elected board of education amid allegations of mismanagement and replaced it with a reform board appointed by the mayor and governor. The elected board of education was re-established following a city referendum in 2005. The first election of the new 11-member board of education occurred on November 8, 2005.

Due to growing Detroit Charter Schools enrollment, the city planned to close many public schools. State officials report a 68% graduation rate for Detroit's public schools adjusted for those who change schools.

Public and charter school students in the city have performed poorly on standardized tests. While Detroit public schools scored a record low on national tests, the publicly funded charter schools did even worse than the public schools.

After a decade during which Michigan's public schools produced high percentages of 8th graders not attaining grade-level proficiency in reading and math, and little improvement was made, Detroit's public schools performed much worse. In 2011, 7 percent of Detroit 8th graders achieved grade-level proficiency in reading, and only 4 percent achieved grade-level proficiency in math.

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