Things are settling down at the Anderson’s house in Northwest Detroit. The two high-schoolers are doing homework and talking to their parents. Like at least 10% of Detroit's kids, they go to charter school outside Detroit. Their mother, Dorothy Anderson said she made her school choices in part because of the bad experience her son had at his neighborhood school.
"He was waiting for the bus to go home," Anderson recounts." And he was jumped by a gang of boys. When he tried to get back into the school the security guard wouldn't let him back in. And the school never made a report. It was a huge mess."
Anderson pulled her son out of the Detroit Public Schools the next day and never considered sending her younger children to DPS schools. Like many parents, Anderson opted out of the neighborhood school over things like quality and safety. But she said choosing another school was a big job, especially when it came time for high school. "It was a huge challenge. A lot of legwork," she said. "Honestly, looking for a high school for them was as much time as we're spending looking for colleges."
Anderson says she might consider Detroit if she had to go through the process again. But, she would need a way to know which schools were really good.