Part of a series on schools scoring highly on the Mackinac Center's 'Context and Performance' report card
Cesar Chavez Academy, a public charter school in southwest Detroit, was the second-highest ranked high school on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's High School Context and Performance report card.
The Center's report card takes student background into account to provide a more accurate representation of school performance.
About 97 percent of the high school's students come from low-income backgrounds. And yet, Cesar Chavez high school students scored well above their peers on the Michigan Merit Exam and on the ACT.
This year, Cesar Chavez elementary and middle students also posted impressive results, scoring in the top 10 percent of Michigan students on the Center's elementary and middle school report card.
Juan Jose Martinez, Cesar Chavez' school leader, said that all students and staff members are expected to meet "very, very high expectations."
"You have to believe that this is possible," Martinez said.
Clint Prong, head of the school's math department, told the Mackinac Center that he has been given the flexibility and autonomy needed to "build the program the way I think it needs to be built to be successful."
Data Coach Scott Gillen echoed that sentiment, saying teachers are given enough flexibility to try innovative ways of reaching students.
To see how schools in your area measured, see the report cards here: "Michigan School Databases."