Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401
Detroit Public Schools students in third through eighth grades showed improvement on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests administered last fall, according to test results released on Friday.
The district’s students’ scores rose or remained constant in 11 of 16 categories of students and subjects tested. District-wide, 85.6 percent of third graders scored proficient or higher on the math portion of the test, compared to 74.8 percent the previous year. About 72 percent of the district’s sixth graders scored as proficient or higher on the reading portion of the test, compared to 56.4 percent last year.
Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb said he is pleased with the progress, but said that students and parents should strive for even higher scores.
“Every victory, no matter how small or large, is a time to celebrate,” he said. “But when you compare how we are doing compared to how the best school districts in the United States are doing, we still have a lot of work to do.”
Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett attributed the improvement, in part, to a rigorous new literacy program that was implemented last spring.
“Kids are reading more every day, and we have offered more professional development to help teachers improve their instructional skills in this area,” said Byrd-Bennett.
In addition, the district replaced principals in dozens of schools throughout the district, which is resulting in radical changes for students, she said.
The district on Monday will unveil its academic plan, including ambitious proficiency targets through 2015.
The new Detroit Public Schools Academic Plan significantly raises the bar for academic rigor at all levels and lays out a road map for change that will provide the children of Detroit with the education they need to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.
In addition to issuing a one-year report on the progress in the district since his tenure began in March 2009, Bobb will unveil ambitious targets to decrease dropout rates and drastically improve MEAP and MME scores, as well as details of the district’s new pre-K-14 campuses that are designed so students will have a clear line to college.
Bobb will speak of the district’s plan to radically improve the number of students participating in Advanced Placement classes and to expand the number of students who have dual enrollment in college through partnerships with colleges and universities that will have spaces to teach in DPS school buildings.
The academic plan includes an array of arts and music programs across the district and smaller high school campuses to give students more personalized attention. Bobb will address the new “Marketplace of Schools,” which will give parents and students exciting options that fit their individual needs, like a Choir Academy, School for Medicine and Science and more.