If You Can't Beat 'Em, Sound Like 'Em

Some Detroit Public School officials may not embrace charter schools as competition for students. But in some instances DPS sure seems to like the “sound” of charter schools, even if they can’t replicate the charter success.

Here’s a quick quiz:

Pick out the lone charter high school among these four high schools in the Detroit district: East English Village Preparatory, Cody Academy of Public Leadership, Detroit International Academy for Young Women, Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody.

Answer: None. All four are part of the Detroit Public Schools. They are not charter schools, although DPS has chartered 13 other schools.

Here's another example. Detroit Osborn High School opened in 1957. However, today there is no Detroit Osborn High School. Instead, there are three schools in the building: Osborn College Preparatory Academy; Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy.

All seven of these DPS schools were given “Fs” by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's 2014 high school report card.

ForTheRecord says: It was Shakespeare who wrote: “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, in this case, an “F” school is still failing, despite a name akin to higher achieving charter school.

The 14 charter high schools that are in the city of Detroit — not including the 13 charter schools that the Detroit Public Schools itself authorizes — had 4 “As”, 1 “B”, 4 “Cs”, 3 “Ds” and 2 “Fs", according to the Mackinac Center's grades.

The 15 conventional high schools from DPS had 1 “C”, 2 “Ds” and 12 “Fs”.

The Mackinac Center factors in the socioeconomic background of the students in high schools when determining grades.