Group puts out list of Detroit's best, worst schools based on MEAP scores

Excellent Schools Detroit releases its lists of the best and worst schools in Detroit based on MEAP scores

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DETROIT - If parents are looking for information on which school is best for their children, Excellent Schools Detroit wants them to consider its new rankings.
Excellent Schools Detroit is a non-profit group of education, government, community and philanthropic leaders who have a plan to get every Detroit child in an excellent school by 2020.

The nonprofit released its list of kindergarten through eighth grade schools that they recommend parents send their children to this fall.  Excellent Schools Detroit developed its list based on the scores from the Michigan Education Assessment Program.

"In order for the education of our children to move forward in Detroit, we need to leave some schools behind. If your child is in one of these bottom eight schools, you should move them to one of the top 20," said Dan Varner, CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit.

To develop its ranking, Excellent Schools Detroit looked at this year's MEAP scores and the  and year-over-year performance on the Michigan standardized test of 126 kindergarten through eighth-grade schools. 

Excellent Schools Detroit said the 31 new or turnaround kindergarten through eighth-grade schools in Detroit were not included in the analysis, because the agency's study looks at performance changes over time.

Excellent Schools Detroit said 181 Detroit schools opted into its school quality review this year, including all Detroit Public Schools, all Education Achievement Authority
schools, 56 charters and 15 private and parochial schools. The nonprofit also said that as more information is gathered from the school quality review, both the top-performing and bottom lists will be updated to reflect that new data.

"Excellent Schools Detroit is committed to keeping our community informed about the quality of Detroit's schools so that more kids go to better schools," said Varner.

The following is the list of the 20 best-performing K-8 schools in Detroit:

Central Detroit
? Thirkell Elementary School
? Davison Elementary School

? Detroit Edison Public School Academy
? University Prep Academy Middle School
? University Prep Academy Elementary Mark Murray
? University Prep Science and Math
? Burton International School
? Chrysler Elementary School
? Detroit Merit Charter Academy

East Detroit
? Garvey Academy
Northeast Detroit
? Oakland International Academy K-8
? Cornerstone Nevada Primary and Middle School

Northwest Detroit
? Pasteur Elementary School
? Vernor Elementary School
? Bates Academy
Southwest Detroit
? Clippert Academy
? Maybury Elementary School

West Detroit
? Detroit Premier Academy
? Charles Wright School
? Dixon Elementary School

The following is Excellent Schools Detroit's list of the eight worst-performing K-8 schools in Detroit:

Central Detroit
? Allen Academy

? Voyageur Academy

East Detroit
? Detroit Enterprise Academy
? Commonwealth Community Development Authority

Southwest Detroit
? Universal Academy
? Pierre Toussaint Academy

West Detroit
? Center for Literacy and Creativity
? Michigan Technical Academy Elementary

"The Detroit community needs to know which schools are not delivering good results for our children," said Varner. "Parents and guardians with children in any of the bottom schools should plan to send their kids somewhere else next school year."

Excellent Schools Detroit said it will reveal similar results for high school performance this spring.

The nonprofit pointed out in its new release that 88% of Detroit's kindergarten through eighth-grade schools schools showed improvement from last year. It said 12 of the top performers are operated by Detroit Public Schools, seven are charter schools and one private school are amongst the top performers.

Community leaders from the Skillman Foundation and the Detroit Parent Network had the following reaction to the rankings.

"Our young people are the future and we want them to attend the highest quality schools," said Tonya Allen, COO of The Skillman Foundation. "Central to this is making sure that our neighborhoods are thriving and full of great educational opportunities like those found in the top 20 list for kindergarten-through-eighth-grades released by Excellent Schools Detroit."

 "Parents deserve transparency in the great or poor performance of schools as they make one of the most important decisions they are faced with each year: "where do I send my kids to school"? The Excellent Schools Detroit scorecard provides a tool to help parents in the process; however, as we lift up the best performing schools, we recognize that for some parents, these high- performing schools are a distant dream because transportation and safety issues remain a barrier," said Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of Detroit Parent Network.

Excellent Schools Detroit said it plans to release its 2013 scorecard in July.  It will rank all schools attended by Detroit children, including early learning and development programs, kindergarten through eighth-grades and high schools.

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