U.S. News rankings: NHA middle schools dominate; best schools in Detroit are all charters

Buddy Moorehouse
Jan 2, 2024 2:08:59 PM

U.S. News and World Report released its rankings of the top elementary and middle schools in each state recently, and it revealed that the top schools in Detroit are all charter schools.

Considered the gold standard of school rankings, U.S. News and World Report’s list also showed that statewide, charter schools managed by National Heritage Academies are among the best in Michigan.

In the middle school rankings, 12 of the top 50 schools in Michigan are charter schools managed by NHA. The schools and their statewide ranking:

13. Achieve Charter Academy, Canton

17. Chandler Woods Charter Academy, Belmont

21. South Arbor Charter Academy, Ypsilanti

23. Canton Charter Academy, Canton

26. Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy, Plymouth

31. Cross Creek Charter Academy, Byron Center

33. Eagle Crest Charter Academy, Holland

36. Keystone Academy, Belleville

40. Excel Charter Academy, Grand Rapids

41. South Canton Scholars Charter Academy, Canton

44. Walker Charter Academy, Walker

49. Vanguard Charter Academy, Wyoming

“That’s a powerful testament to the quality of education that students receive at NHA charter schools,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. “A quarter of the top 50 middle schools are NHA schools – and geographically, there are schools all over the state represented. That’s extremely noteworthy.”

In Detroit, the rankings showed that the highest-ranked schools are all charter schools. Among middle schools, the top two schools were selective-enrollment schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District, but the top six open-enrollment schools were all charter schools. By law, all charter schools in Michigan are open-enrollment schools, meaning they must accept every student who applies. The top open-enrollment middle schools in Detroit:

  1. Detroit Merit Charter Academy
  2. Warrendale Charter Academy
  3. Detroit Edison Public School Academy
  4. Detroit Enterprise Academy
  5. University Prep Science and Math Middle School
  6. Bridge Academy West

Among elementary schools, the rankings were even more impressive for charter schools. The top three schools were all charter schools, ranking ahead of even the city’s selective-enrollment schools. The top three elementary schools in Detroit:

  1. Detroit Prep
  2. Oakland International Academy
  3. Detroit Enterprise Academy

“Policymakers need to take note of what’s working when it comes to K-12 education,” Quisenberry said. “It’s encouraging to see there are public schools like these that are helping to close the gap.”

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