DPS makes AYP as a district for the 2009-10 school year; New status shows academic reforms are working

Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401

Detroit Public Schools met state requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress as a district for the 2009-2010 school year, which is evidence that the reforms the district put in place are improving student achievement. The school system as a whole has not made AYP since 2006.

“This is the start of what can become long-term academic success for Detroit Public Schools and the creation of Centers of Excellence at every school if we follow the course of academic reforms we’re putting in place under our academic plan,” said Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb. “We have increased the rigor throughout our schools as part of our ambitious five-year plan, which has been launched and will be fully executed this fall, as part of our strategic vision for system-wide improvements. The new AYP status is further evidence that the finances and academics of this school system cannot be separated.”

The district is in Phase 2-Corrective Action. The school system made AYP for one year. The district must make AYP for a second year to be at Phase 0.

Under the district’s five-year academic plan, which will be rolled out in full this fall, students will see a more rigorous academic curriculum in every school. The academic plan includes:

Expanded time for reading and mathematics under common core curriculum
Instructional time in reading and math will be expanded to 120 minutes daily in every kindergarten through eighth-grade class. For most students, that will mean a dramatic increase in exposure to these two core subject areas.

Pre-algebra for 7th graders
All seventh-grade teachers will receive professional development to support the curriculum change and to prepare them to use research-based techniques in the classroom. All students will receive new text books and supplemental materials.

A tutor for every pre-kindergartner through the Volunteer Reading Corps
More than 5,500 volunteers, representing 130 municipalities, have pledged at least one hour a week for the next three years to tutor DPS students in reading. Volunteers are screened before being assigned to schools.

Additional language courses available
Students at more DPS schools will have access to foreign language courses.

Advanced Placement courses available at every high school
Students at every DPS high school will have access to Advanced Placement courses, which allows high school students to earn college credits.

More opportunities for student apprenticeships, internships, shadowing and mentorships
Students will have greater access to programs that will give them college credits and/or work experience under the district’s five-year Academic Plan.

The district is also doing the following:

Millions of dollars in school building improvements
The DPS School Construction Program will build seven new schools and eleven more will receive extensive renovations or additions. All 18 schools are scheduled for completion by September 2012 to comply with federal guidelines.

New safety and security systems in every school
A $41.7 million new public safety plan will significantly increase the level of detail in security monitoring throughout schools. The centerpiece of the plan is a new alarm and digital camera system. The systems include video surveillance, monitoring systems for the district’s police and a notification system tied to each school’s P.A., phone, bell and clock systems.

Extended Day and Summer School programs
Students have more opportunities to recover credits – for free – than ever before. Combined, the DPS Summer Academy and DPS Extended Day Program gave nearly 1,200 students who were behind the opportunity to graduate without having to complete another year of school.

As part of the academic plan, the district set ambitious targets for improvement, including:

– 100 percent of students scoring advanced or proficient on reading and math in grades 3-8 on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), high school Michigan Merit Examination (MME), and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
– All schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
– 99 percent or more student retention at all grades
– 98 percent daily student attendance rate
– More children who move out of special education
– 98 percent graduation rate
– 100 percent application and acceptance rate to postsecondary institutions
– Additional National Board certified teachers
– Dropout rate lowered to 3 percent
– DPS expects decreases in students retained at each grade, student suspensions and expulsions, and referrals and placement of students in special education.

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