There are almost as many charter schools in Detroit as schools run by the Detroit Public Schools. There are 86 DPS schools and 85 charters, a difference of one.
There are also more seats in all these schools than kids to fill them. But that didn’t stop 28-year-old Kyle Smitley from opening up her school this year. Smitley opened the Detroit Achievement Academy in one wing of an old church on the city's northwest side.
At the school one day this fall, about 30 kindergarten and first graders were sitting very quietly and cross-legged on the rug in front of the principal. The school culture is being built here as kids sing songs about reading and going to college. They are all slowly learning the school-specific lingo about behavior and achievement (words like "appreciation" and "habits of character").
Smitley has high expectations for the school. "Being the best school in Detroit isn’t good enough for us," she says. "We have to be the best in the state."