Michigan Future Schools helps two new high school open in Detroit

Michigan Future Schools (MFS), an initiative of Michigan Future Inc., announced that two new Detroit high schools it has invested in are opening today, joining seven others previously launched with investments from MFS.

The two new schools are:

Detroit Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice, 3550 John C. Lodge Freeway at MLK Boulevard in Midtown, opens at an auspicious time. Students will study current events – such as the conflict in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of an unarmed African American man by police – and how to effect change in peaceful ways. The school, founded in part by the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was created to prepare future leaders to address the social injustices prevalent in society.

Schools for the Future Detroit, 3550 John C. Lodge Freeway, will provide a college-prep experience in a small, supportive environment for students seeking to learn at their own pace with a hand-selected teaching staff armed with a national instructional model designed to help students gain confidence and succeed. SFF Detroit students will gain skills they need to be independent and college-ready, combining real-world projects with state-of-the-art web-based lessons.

The seven MFS schools previously opened are:

  • Dr. Benjamin Carson School of Science & Medicine
  • Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
  • Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence
  • Detroit Leadership Academy High School
  • Experiencia
  • W-A-Y Academy West
  • University Yes Academy High School

Dr. Benjamin Carson School of Science & Medicine and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will have their first graduating class this year and Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence will have its second this year. The other six schools will serve the 9th and 10th grades this year and will add a grade each of the next two years to become 9-12 high schools.

The launch of Schools for the Future Detroit and the Detroit Delta Leadership Academy completes MFS’s investments in new high schools. This will bring the MFS network to nine schools, which at capacity should serve around 4,500 Detroit high school students.

All the schools were selected based on quality, not governance. The winners were chosen through a competitive process open to traditional public, public charter, and private schools. The network will consist of one DPS school and eight charter schools.

The MFS philosophy is to let the schools design their own approach to teaching and learning, while requiring them to: (1) be open to all Detroit students, (2) enroll no more than 500 students, (3) commit to high student outcomes: 85% of seniors graduate, 85% of high school graduates go on to college, and 85% of college students earn degrees (4) hire college transition and college success counselors to help students go to and stay in college and (5) where applicable, have union agreements that allow for open hiring, no “bumping,” and no work rules that interfere with innovative teaching and learning.

Each school received four year grants around $800,000 and capacity building to help them meet the ambitious student achievement standards.

These investments in new college prep high schools are made possible by the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Skillman Foundation and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation which combined have contributed more than $15 million to the initiative.

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Lou Glazer

Lou Glazer is President and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations.

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