DPS students continue to close gap with statewide peers and are now only 2.4 percent away from the state average; gap was more than 17 percent in 2008
Detroit Public Schools’ high school graduation rate increased six percentage points for 2015, bringing the rate to 77.35 percent, the highest rate in a decade. DPS students also continued to close the gap with their statewide peers and now are only 2.4 percent away from the state average. DPS students beat the state’s rate of increase by more than five percentage points.
The District’s dropout rate also decreased by nearly 7 percent to 11.47 percent. (Note: Based on cohort graduation rates and cohort dropout rates calculated for all schools in the State of Michigan, graduation and dropout rates do not equal 100 percent.)
The District had seven schools with graduation rates above 90 percent. They are:
- Davis Aerospace High School – 100 percent
- Benjamin Carson School for Science and Medicine – 99.01 percent (1st graduating class)
- Cass Technical High School – 98.33 percent
- Communication and Media Arts High School– 97.67 percent
- Renaissance High School – 97.50 percent
- Osborn Academy of Mathematics and Technology – 93.75
- Detroit School of Arts – 91.89 percent
In addition, 11 DPS high schools surpassed the statewide graduation rate of 79.79 percent. In addition to the seven schools above, the others are: Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School (88.13 percent); Detroit International Academy for Young Women (85.29 percent); Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy (81.54 percent); and Western International High School (80.98 percent).
“These improved graduation and dropout rates are a true testament to the hard work of the District’s teachers and students,” said Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather. “Although there remains much work to be done, this continued positive trend signals that there is real progress being made within Detroit Public Schools. We are fully committed to further improvements as we strive for a 100 percent graduation rate, and will make our students the focus of every decision that this District makes. ”
Detroit Public Schools graduated 2,555 students in June 2015.
While 12 of the district’s 20 high schools made gains, Communication and Media Arts High School (CMA) made the largest gain from 2014 to 2015, with an increase of 12.48 percentage points and a graduation rate of 97.67 percent, 20 points above the District.
Principal Donya Odom said some strategies she used at CMA included:
- School leadership and teachers developed strong relationships with students. A special focus has been placed on the school’s 9th graders. Principal Odom makes it a point to know each of her freshmen students and what makes them “tick;”
- Improved record keeping and attendance monitoring. If a student is not in school regularly, teachers and administrators talk with the parents, the student themselves, as well as friends to identify issues and potential solutions;
- All staff established a warm and nurturing environment including teachers, counselors, office and support staff for students and their families.