School Success Story: Cesar Chavez Academy

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."

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"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."

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See also:

New Report Card Compares High School Test Scores and Adjusts For Economic Status

New Report Card Measures Elementary and Middle School Performance By Adjusting For Student Family Income

Top 10 Elementary and Middle Schools

Top 10 City Elementary and Middle Schools

Top 10 Rural Elementary and Middle Schools

Top 10 Town Elementary and Middle Schools

Top 10 Suburban Elementary and Middle Schools

Top 10 Conventional High Schools

Top 10 Charter High Schools


Related Articles:

Hamtramck Academy Tops Mackinac Report Card

Detroit Charters Send More Graduates to College Than Peers Do

A Response to the New York Times About Charter Schools in Michigan

Detroit Charters Far Outperform Traditional Schools

Another Charter School Critic Misses the Mark

How a Top-Performing Charter School in Detroit Overcame Government Obstacles

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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