The Detroit News has a short article today on the dropout rate of Detroit Public Schools students. The article states that a report from Education Week, a weekly education newspaper, has done a study showing that Detroit’s dropout rate is 75%. You can view the report’s web page by clicking here.
However, the bureaucrats at Detroit Public Schools are going ape because they say the numbers are “totally erroneous.” They say that they report a graduation rate of 67% to the state. So who is telling the truth? They both are. The difference is that Michigan school districts are only required to report the graduation rate of current seniors. In other words, they calculate it by taking the number of students who graduate from the 12th grade and dividing it by the number of students who started the 12th grade that year. The Education Week report takes the more realistic approach of taking the number of students who actually graduate from the 12th grade and divide it by the number who started the 9th grade. You see, many of the students who drop out do so before the 12th grade. Detroit Public Schools is misleading the public, as is the state of Michigan, by only reporting graduation rates of 12th graders.
So, we see that Detroit Public Schools is a failure by every definition of the word, yet they are still in business. Does anyone wonder why the enrollment at charter schools in Detroit is skyrocketing? Tens of thousands of students are stuck in a utter dismal failure of a school district because the cap on charter schools has been reached. Our governor continues to pander to the teachers unions and refuse to support lifting the cap. Meanwhile, another generation of kids is being denied an education, and consequently is comdemned to continue the cycle of poverty, crime, drugs, etc.
How about Grand Rapids Public Schools? The dropout rate at GRPS is slightly better – 52.8% of GRPS students actually graduate. Even more interestingly, the graduation rate of Godfrey Lee Public Schools (Wyoming) is only 37.8% and 49.1% in Kelloggsville Public Schools.The highest graduation rates in the area are at East Grand Rapids Public Schools (98.1%) and Forest Hills (97.9%). Unfortunately, charter schools are not listed in this report, but we do know that Black River Public School, a charter K-12 school in Holland, is ranked as the #2 school in the entire state by Newsweek.