Out of 20 conventional high schools in Detroit, 18 are failing academically, earning an “F” grade on the school performance ratings compiled by the Mackinac Center (which factor in the effects of student backgrounds). After years of overspending, Detroit schools have also racked up huge debts.

Yet according to an extensive report by a group called The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, charter schools are also part of the problem. The report states, “Charter authorizers and charter school boards should improve transparency, focus more on quality, and better coordinate all charter schools.”

The report also complains about the removal of the state cap on charter schools and their expansion in the city.

ForTheRecord says: Perhaps the coalition missed the memo on the recent report on successful Detroit charter schools from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). That’s understandable, given that the statewide mainstream media ignored it.

CREDO is one of the nation's leading researchers on school outcomes, and based on its latest findings, suggested that Detroit charter schools should serve as a model for other communities. Specifically, the Stanford research group found that Detroit schoolchildren who spend a year in a charter school receive the equivalent of a few weeks to as much as several months' of additional learning in reading and math compared to their peers at conventional public schools.

And this is part of the problem?

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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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