U.S. News and World Report rankings: Top high schools in Detroit are all charter schools

Buddy Moorehouse
Sep 6, 2023 12:15:31 PM

U.S. News and World Report is out with its annual ranking of the Best High Schools in America, and once again, charter schools dominate the list in Detroit.

Considered the gold standard of high school rankings, U.S. News and World Report uses a detailed metric that looks at six major factors: college readiness, state assessment proficiency, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rate.

The 2023 rankings showed that the top open-enrollment high schools in Detroit are all charter schools. An open-enrollment school is defined as one that accepts all students regardless of where they live and requires no entrance exam or other requirements. By law, all charter schools in Michigan are open-enrollment schools.

In Detroit, the top two spots were taken by selective-enrollment schools within the Detroit Public Schools Community District, while the next five were all charter schools. The rankings for Detroit:

  1. Renaissance High School, DPSCD (selective enrollment)
  2. Cass Technical High School, DPSCD (selective enrollment)
  3. Cesar Chavez Academy, charter school (open enrollment)
  4. University Preparatory Art and Design High School, charter school (open enrollment)
  5. Detroit Community Schools High School, charter school (open enrollment)
  6. Universal Academy, charter school (open enrollment)
  7. Frontier International Academy, charter school (open enrollment)

There was also good news for charter schools on the statewide level. Black River Public School, a charter school in Holland, came in at No. 12 overall in the rankings and is the top-ranked open-enrollment school in all of West Michigan.

Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association, said this year’s rankings in Detroit are no surprise.

By every metric, we continue to see that charter schools are leading the way when it comes to performance in the city. We have so much work still to do, but it’s encouraging to all schools to look at what’s working. Charter schools have shown that innovation and accountability, along with closely studying the data and individualizing education will lead to promising results.”

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