U.S. News rankings: Top open-enrollment high schools in MI & Detroit are all charters

Buddy Moorehouse
Apr 29, 2021 12:31:36 PM

U.S. News and World Report is out with its annual ranking of the Best High Schools in America, and according to the data, the top open-enrollment high school in Michigan is a charter school.

The U.S. News rankings also show that the top seven open-enrollment high schools in Detroit are all charter schools.

An open-enrollment school is one that’s defined as a school that doesn’t have entrance requirements and allows any student to enroll no matter where they live in the state. Every charter school in Michigan is an open-enrollment school, as are many traditional public schools.

According to the Michigan rankings, the No. 1 open-enrollment high school in the state is Black River Public School, a charter school in Holland that’s authorized by Grand Valley State University. Black River is ranked No. 12 among all types of high schools in Michigan; the 11 schools ranked ahead of it are all selective-enrollment schools or districts that don’t accept out-of-district students.

Other charter schools ranked in the top 100 among all schools included:

27. West Michigan Aviation Academy, Grand Rapids
55. Canton Preparatory High School, Canton
69. Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy, Brighton
72. West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, Walker
81. Wellspring Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids
92. Grand River Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids
97. Star International Academy, Dearborn Heights

In the rankings for Detroit, the top seven open-enrollment high schools are all charter schools:

  1. Voyageur Academy
  2. Cesar Chavez High School
  3. Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (now known as University Prep Art & Design)
  4. Detroit Community Schools
  5. Universal Academy
  6. University Preparatory Academy
  7. Detroit Edison Public School Academy

The U.S. News rankings are considered the gold standard of high school rankings. The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The data used in this edition is from the 2018-2019 academic school year, and therefore was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rankings are further validation that charter schools are leaders when it comes to providing a quality education for all students. 

Every student is welcome at a charter school, and charters serve a disproportionately higher percentage of minority students and students in poverty. By every metric – including the U.S. News rankings – charter schools are leading the way when it comes to providing a quality education. This is well-deserved recognition for the job they’re doing.”

- Dan Quisenberry, MAPSA President. 

A female student sits in front of the white board where she wrote encouraging words for her classmates.

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