Fresh data from the State of Michigan shows that when it comes to sending students to college, the top eight open-enrollment high schools in Detroit are all charter schools.
Researchers from Grand Valley State University’s Charter Schools Office recently did a deep dive into data from the graduating class of 2021, looking at which high schools had the most students enroll in college within the first six months of graduation. Charter schools dominated the rankings, taking the top eight spots among open-enrollment high schools.
An open-enrollment school is defined as one that doesn’t require test scores or applications to enroll – a school that doesn’t screen potential students and is open to all students who apply. Many high schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District are open-enrollment schools, while several are selective-enrollment schools, taking only high-achieving students. By law, all charter schools are open-enrollment schools.
So in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison, the ranking looked only at the open-enrollment high schools in Detroit. The top nine high schools, and the percentage of 2021 graduates who enrolled in college:
Frontier International Academy (charter), 66.4%
Detroit Edison Public School Academy (charter), 65.1%
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (charter), 56.4%
Cesar Chavez Academy (charter), 49.6%
University Prep Science and Math (charter), 48.4%
University Preparatory Academy (charter), 45.3%
Universal Academy (charter), 43.1%
University Prep Art and Design Middle/High School (charter), 38.1%
Mumford High School (Detroit Public Schools Community District), 37.3%
Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association, said these rankings are one more reason why charter schools are so popular among parents and families in Detroit.
“By every metric, the top schools in Detroit are all charter schools,” he said. “Whether it’s graduation rates, SAT scores, US News and World Report rankings or now college enrollment, charter schools always dominate the top of the rankings in Detroit. That’s no coincidence and it’s why so many parents and families have chosen a charter school for their student.