LANSING, Michigan – History was made on the hardwood on Friday evening, as Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) became the first charter school in history to win the prestigious Detroit Public School League (PSL) championship.
DEPSA won the championship by beating Detroit Pershing at Calihan Hall on Friday, 82-45. With the win, DEPSA earned an invitation to Lansing to be honored at the State Capitol in May during Charter Day at the Capitol.
“This is an incredible accomplishment, and the entire charter school community in Michigan takes great pride in DEPSA’s championship,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. “DEPSA has always been one of the best schools in Detroit academically, and now they’re at the top of the mountain athletically, as well. DEPSA has shown what’s possible with charter schools – you don’t have to sacrifice anything to achieve your dreams. You can combine an outstanding college-prep education with an athletic experience that’s second to none.”
The PSL championship is one of the most prestigious titles that a high school basketball team can earn. For more than 100 years, high school teams in Detroit have been fighting to earn the PSL title, and in recent years, charter schools were added to the tournament to compete against teams from the Detroit Public Schools Community District.
In basketball-crazy Detroit, the PSL title is considered by many fans to be even more prestigious than a state championship, because all the schools compete against each other regardless of size. Class A teams compete against teams from Class B, C and D.
That makes DEPSA’s run to the PSL title even more remarkable. DEPSA is only a Class C school, and on its way to the championship, it had to beat two Class A powerhouses – Cass Tech and Renaissance. DEPSA also defeated a Class D school (Detroit Davis), a Class B school (Detroit Mumford) and a fellow Class C school (Detroit Pershing in the final).
“People who know basketball will tell you what a significant accomplishment this is,” Quisenberry said. “Little kids growing up in Detroit dream of winning a PSL championship, and a charter school just did it for the first time ever. That will give them bragging rights in the city for the rest of their lives.”
And as noted, DEPSA is also one of the best schools academically. A college-prep school that does an exceptional job of preparing its students for success, DEPSA routinely features 100 percent college acceptance among its graduating classes. The state’s recently released Parent Dashboard shows that DEPSA has proficiency rates in English and math that are nearly twice as high as the city average. The school’s graduation rate is also more than 20 points higher than the city average.
“We’ve always know that DEPSA students are getting an exceptional education,” Quisenberry said. “They’re champions in the classroom, and now they’re champions on the basketball court, as well.”