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Mapping the options for kids in failing Detroit schools

Jan 25, 2017

There are 25 schools in Detroit waiting to hear whether they’ll be closing their doors at the end of the school year.

So, where would all those students end up if those schools did close?

Click on the map below to see the nearby options for each possible closure and how they stack up academically.

Students in Detroit are allowed to go to any school in Detroit Public Schools Community District. They can also choose to go to a charter or a school of choice district. But since we’re talking neighborhoods in our latest documentary, we decided to look at the closest options available.

Detroit isn’t the only Michigan community facing the possibility of school closure. On Friday, the state released a list of 38 schools identified for the “next level of accountability” from the School Reform Office (SRO).  

Those schools have been in the bottom 5% for student growth and achievement for the past three years. The SRO can choose to shut down any school that it considers "chronically failing." And DPSCD schools that end up on the list for three years straight are legally required to close under a 2016 state law. That is, unless closing a school would create an unreasonable hardship for students.

It isn’t clear what the SRO will use to decide what constitutes “unreasonable hardship.” But whatever decisions the state makes now could radically change the education landscape of the city for years to come.

If you want to know more about what school closures could mean for the city's neighborhoods and the kids who live there, check out We Live Hereour new documentary exploring the history and future of Detroit's neighborhood schools. 

*Measures of School Performance

Top-to-Bottom (TTB) Percentile Ranking (0-99): A composite measure of the academic performance and growth of a schools' students. A school with a TTB percentile of 50 performed better than 50 percent of schools statewide.

Average Proficiency Rate (0-100%): The percentage of a schools' students earning a proficient score on the 2015-16 M-STEP, averaged across all subjects.

Average Student Growth Percentile (SGP) (0-99): A measure of how students performed on the 2015-16 M-STEP, relative to other students who performed similary in the past. A student with an SGP of 75 scored better than 75 percent of students who had similar test score achievement in the past. We average schools' SGPs across all available subjects.

Note: Schools may have performance data that are missing or censored due to (1) insufficient number of years of testing data or (2) insufficient number of tested students