DPS reaches 62 percent graduation rate, the highest since state began new cohort methodology in 2007

Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542; Cell: 313-212-5636; steven.wasko@detroitk12.org
or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401; Cell: 313-401-9018; jennifer.mrozowski@detroitk12.org

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb announced today that DPS has reached a 62 percent graduation rate, the highest since state began new cohort methodology in 2007.

The dropout rates for black males and females also fell over the past two years, to 23 percent for black males in 2010, down from nearly 33 percent in 2008; and to 14 percent for black females in 2010, down from 20 percent in 2008.

“Thanks in part to aggressive academic improvements and school leadership restructuring, we are pleased that DPS has reached the highest graduation rate since the state launched a new cohort formula in 2007,” Bobb said.

“We still have much work to do to reach our goal of 98 percent of students graduating by 2015, but this is a true testament that our reforms are working and that we are delivering on our promise to ensure more students stay in school. Now, we must redouble our efforts to track every student’s progress and deliver the excellent teaching and support needed to ensure every student graduates and is prepared for higher education,” Bobb said.

Graduation and Dropout Rate Data for the Detroit

Year Graduation Rate Dropout Rate
June 2006
(old formula)
66.80 10.03
June 2007 (new formula) 58.42 29.99
June 2008 58.22 27.08
June 2009 59.65 21.20
June 2010 62.27 19.09

To meet its ambitious graduation and student achievement goals, the district under Bobb reconstituted 22 K-8 schools and 17 high schools, replacing the leadership and significantly modifying the teaching staff within each school.

The system also transformed most of its elementary schools to a new prek-8 configuration, reassigned / hired 91 principals, established principal performance-based contracts, identified and engaged a number of nationally recognized partner providers to support transformation at the school level, created and administered quarterly benchmark assessments aligned to the MEAP and NAEP in grades 3-12 and developed a comprehensive plan of support for the district’s persistently lowest achieving schools.

Under Bobb’s leadership, the district also launched a five-year academic plan, which focuses on creating centers of excellence at every school in every neighborhood reforms throughout the district’s 142 schools, including expanded time for reading and mathematics under a common core curriculum, pre-algebra for 7th graders, a tutor for every pre-kindergartner through the Volunteer Reading Corps, additional language courses, Advanced Placement courses available at every high school, more opportunities for student apprenticeships, internships, shadowing and mentorships. The district also commenced millions of dollars in school building improvements as part of a voter-approved bond.

The school system has worked aggressively to launch new programs that aid the college preparation process and assist students in attending college.

Last week, the district announced that 5,500 DPS juniors will receive free ACT Online logins and usage for more than a year to prepare for the college entrance exam, thanks to a donation from Kaplan K12 Learning Services. This service donation is available to current Grade 11 students until February 27, 2012, allowing students who will take the ACT on the national test days to have a preparation resource at their disposal 24 hours a day.


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