DPSCD and MDE Enters into Partnership Agreement to Improve Schools and Avoid Closures

DETROIT (April 27, 2017) – Detroit Public Schools Community District entered into a partnership agreement with the Michigan Department of Education and Wayne RESA to improve schools on the state’s priority list, including 16 DPSCD, as well as 8 EAA schools that are returning to DPSCD, and allow them to remain open.

Earlier this year, the State School Reform Office identified low-performing schools across the state and recommended them for closure, including 24 DPSCD and EAA schools in the City of Detroit.

Since then, DPSCD collaborated with elected leaders and community stake-holders to develop a plan to avoid closures, which would have a devastating effect on Detroit families and neighborhoods.

This partnership agreement does just that. It requires DPSCD work closely with MDE, Wayne RESA and community partners to develop comprehensive im-provement plans for each identified school and implement action plans within 18 months.

Under the terms of the agreement, those schools will not face the threat of closure for at least a period of three years as they make improvements.

DPSCD Board of Education President Iris Taylor says this agreement will provide parents, students and all Detroiters with assurances that their schools will remain open and provide DPSCD leadership the support it needs improve Detroit’s struggling schools instead of shutting them down.

“Since the board took office in January, we have worked tirelessly to develop extensive plans to improve our schools. Our sole focus is to put students first and to create an educational system that provides an excellent foundation for future success,” said DPSCD Board of Education President Iris Taylor. “Signing this agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”

The Partnership Agreement has a three-year term agreement to expire June 30, 2020 with the possibility of extension.

DPSCD leadership is currently developing a partnership model for the identified schools that includes working with local universities, unions, businesses and community leaders. It opens the door to collaborate with the State of Michigan and Wayne RESA through a new and innovative approach by providing additional resources and engaging state departments to offer support to Partnership School students and families.

As part of the agreement, the district agrees to meet specific goals and deadlines for specific deliverables. These include:

* June 30, 2017

Developing a profile for each Partnership School that incudes performance data.

* July 31, 2017

DPSCD will establish district-wide expectations for all of its schools and initial goals and strategies for each Partnership School, including an individual implementation plan.

* January 31, 2018

DPSCD will engage in deep review and discussion with staff, students, families and other partners at each Partnership School to gain understanding of root causes of student performance and opportunities for improvement. Develop and refine the strategies and goals for each Partnership School.

* November 1, 2018

DPSCD will report on the progress of each Partnership School in achieving its growth and proficiency goals and will determine methods and data for evaluating effectiveness of strategies and measuring student growth.

In the event that DPSCD does not reach its agreed upon goals, DPSCD, in partnership with MDE and Wayne RESA, will have an opportunity to reevaluate the improvement plans, identify additional partners and enhanced support to help DPSCD reach its goals.

DPSCD has the ability to incorporate additional schools into the partnership agreement if the district believes the schools could benefit from enhanced collaboration and support.

“We knew it was critically important to take this action. We are putting students first and creating pathways of success. We have an exceptional improvement plan and now we will be able to implement that plan for our students without any distracting interruptions,” said Taylor.

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