Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools
Type and location
Type Public
Established 1842[1]
Country USA
Location Detroit, Michigan
District information
Budget US$ 1,237,494,733 (2011–12)[2]
Students and staff
Students 65,971 (2011–12)
Staff 15,535 (2007)[3]
Other information
Number of Schools 134 (2011–12)[2]
Teachers Unions Detroit Federation of Teachers[4]

Detroit Public Schools (DPS) is a school district that covers all of the city of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The student population of the Detroit Public Schools is about 66,000 (2011–12).[5][6] Detroit Public Charter Schools educate an additional 56,000 students for a combined total of approximately 122,000.[5] The district has its headquarters in the Fisher Building of the New Center area of Detroit.[7][8]


  • History 1
  • Student achievement 2
    • Detroit Charter Schools 2.1
  • Leadership 3
    • Superintendent 3.1
    • Emergency Financial Manager 3.2
  • 2012 Changes 4
    • Schools Closing 4.1
    • Schools being replaced with new buildings 4.2
    • Possible charter schools 4.3
    • Schools Consolidating 4.4
    • Board of education 4.5
  • Finances 5
  • Employee relations 6
  • Demographics 7
  • School dress code 8
  • Digital programs 9
  • Schools 10
    • Kindergarten and 7–12 schools 10.1
    • 7–12 schools 10.2
    • High schools 10.3
      • Zoned high schools 10.3.1
      • Optional high schools 10.3.2
    • PreK-8 schools 10.4
      • Zoned PreK-8 schools 10.4.1
      • Alternative PreK-8 schools 10.4.2
    • K-8 schools 10.5
      • Zoned K-8 schools 10.5.1
      • Alternative K-8 schools 10.5.2
    • 5–8 schools 10.6
    • 6–8 schools 10.7
    • PK-6 schools 10.8
    • K-6 schools 10.9
    • PreK-5 schools 10.10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Established in 1842,[1] Detroit Public Schools has grown in area with the city. Some of the schools in the district began as part of other school districts, such as various Greenfield Township and Springwells Township districts before these districts were made part of the Detroit Public Schools as the areas they covered were annexed to the city of Detroit.

In 1917, the board membership was changed from ward-based to at-large elections.

In 1999, the Michigan Legislature removed the locally elected board of education amid allegations of mismanagement and replaced it with a reform board appointed by the mayor and governor. The elected board of education returned following a city referendum in 2005. The first election of the new eleven member board of education, with four chosen at-large and seven by district, occurred on November 8, 2005.

Before the district occupied the Fisher Building, its headquarters were in the Macabees Building in Midtown Detroit.[9] The district paid the owner of the Fisher Building $24.1 million in 2002 so the district could occupy five floors in the building. This was more than the owner of the Fisher Building paid to buy the building one year earlier.[10] The district's emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, said in 2009 that he was investigating how the school board agreed to the lease in the Fisher Building.[11] Reginald Turner, who served on Detroit School Board from 2000 to 2003, said that he was told that it would be less expensive to occupy the Fisher Building than it would to remodel the Maccabees Building.[12]

In May 2011, Roy Roberts was appointed DPS's emergency manager by Governor Rick Snyder.[13] In September 2011, a new statewide district, Education Achievement Authority, will take over some of Detroit's failing schools as selected by the emergency manager[14] with up to 16 expected.[15]

Student achievement

In 2007, Education Week published study that claimed that Detroit Public School's graduation rate was 24.9%.[16] Groups including state and local officials said that the study failed to take into account high school students who leave the district for charter schools, other school districts or who move out of the area. Detroit Public Schools claim that in 2005-2006 the graduation rate was 68 percent graduation rate and expected it to hold constant in 2006-2007 [17][18][19] On February 14, 2009, the Detroit Free Press reported that United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had concern over the quality of education Detroit children are receiving. A spokesman later stated that Duncan had no specific plans for Detroit. The students in Detroit's public schools perennially score at the bottom compared to other large urban school systems.[20]

Cass Technical High School, Renaissance High School, and Detroit School of Arts rank highly both statewide and nationally. However, at many schools some students still do not meet adequate yearly academic progress requirements.[21] Students that fail to meet those requirements struggle in both language and mathematics.

A team of DPS students from

  • Detroit Public Schools

External links

  1. ^ a b "This week in Michigan history: Detroit Public Schools is founded in 1842". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "District Data". Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ RILEY, ROCHELLE. "Woes, expectations mount for DPS chief". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Detroit Federation of Teachers Homepage". Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  5. ^ a b Dawsey, Chastity Pratt (October 20, 2011). Detroit Public Schools hits enrollment goal. Detroit Free Press
  6. ^ Santiago Esparza (October 20, 2011). "Detroit Public Schools exceeds target student enrollment". Detroit News. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  7. ^ "School Location Map." Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on November 7, 2009.
  8. ^ "4.-Kettering-High-School-Kettering-West-Wing.pdf." (Archive) Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on November 1, 2012. "Fisher Building – 14th Floor 3011 W. Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI 48202-2710"
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Detroit Public Schools. May 10, 2000. Retrieved on November 7, 2009.
  10. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (September 24, 2009). "Audit: Detroit Public Schools overpaid millions for real estate after middle-man markups". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  11. ^ Duggan, Daniel (November 4, 2009). "Freman Hendrix asked about Detroit Public Schools' $13 million lease in 2001".  
  12. ^ Duggan, Daniel (October 28, 2009). "Construction profits for Detroit Public Schools' projects excessive, Bobb says".  
  13. ^ Chambers, Jennifer (November 28, 2011). "Official revives DPS fight". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ Chambers, Jennifer (November 18, 2011). "Forum touts district for failing schools". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  15. ^ Higgins, Lori (December 4, 2011). "State district for failing schools may expand past DPS earlier than planned". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Shultz, Marissa and Greg Wilkerson (June 13, 2007).Graduation rate.Detroit News.Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  18. ^ Mrozowski, Jennifer (June 5, 2008)Detroit graduation rate is the worst.Detroit News. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  19. ^ Study on District’s graduation rate is wrong | Detroit Public Schools
  20. ^ See Detroit Free Press, Dec. 19, 2013.'s%20Report%20Card
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "The Michigan Citizen". 
  23. ^ DPS News Online
  24. ^ a b c Hing, Julianne. "45 Detroit Schools to Close: Where Have All The Students Gone?" Color Lines. Wednesday March 17, 2010.
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ Jennifer Mrozowski (February 23, 2009). "Charter's grads staying in college". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  27. ^ Bukowski, Diane. "Eliminate debt to state, not teachers: DPS announces $45 million deficit". Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  28. ^ "FBI Investigates DPS over funds". The Detroit News (The Detroit News). Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  29. ^ "Detroit School Board sticks to decision to fire superintendent". The Detroit News (The Detroit News). Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  30. ^ a b Detroit Free Press, Jan 27, 2009, Chastity Pratt Dawsey, "Granholm Names Appointee", p. A3
  31. ^ [ / "Emergency Financial Manager announces school closings"]. 
  32. ^ "See which DPS schools are closing". 
  33. ^ Cass City Cinema - About Us
  34. ^ "Emergency Financial Manager announces school closings". 
  35. ^ "Members of the Detroit Board of Education". Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  36. ^ """New Detroit Public School chief:"Budget will be balanced.. WWJ Newsradio 950 (WWJ Radio). March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  37. ^ Gray, Steven. "Can Robert Bobb Fix Detroit's Public Schools?" TIME. Monday January 25, 2010. 1. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  38. ^ Michigan Department of Education. 2008–2009 Bulletin 1014, Michigan Public School districts Ranked by Selected Financial Data. Published May 2010.
  39. ^ Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  40. ^ Diane Bukowski. "Blackboard flu". The Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  41. ^ Diane Bukowski. "Takeover ills lead to DPS strike". The Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  42. ^ Diane Bukowski. "TEACHERS STRIKE!". The Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  43. ^ Diane Bukowski. "DPS cuts 907 lunch aides; 713 teachers". The Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  44. ^ Detroit Public Schools Division of Finance Office of Budget (June 26, 2004). "Detroit Public Schools Proposed 2005 Budget Review". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  45. ^ Dawsey, Chastity Pratt. "As Detroit Public Schools rolls fall, proportion of special-needs students on rise." Detroit Free Press. December 24, 2012. Retrieved on February 12, 2013.
  46. ^ "Policy 11.1 Student Dress Code." Detroit Public Schools. Accessed October 22, 2008.
  47. ^ "Student Dress Code Policy". Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 
  48. ^ Christine MacDonald; Mark Hicks (April 11, 2006). "No more nose rings in school?".  
  49. ^ Marisa Schultz (February 4, 2010). "DPS to make textbooks all-digital in 5 years".  
  50. ^ [3]


See also

  • Emerson Elementary School
  • Gompers Elementary School
  • Harding Elementary School
  • Harms Elementary School


PreK-5 schools

  • Birney Elementary School
  • Cooke Elementary School
  • McColl Elementary School
  • Munger Elementary School
  • Vernor Elementary School


K-6 schools

  • MacDowell Elementary School
  • Thurgood Marshall Elementary School
  • McKenny Elementary School
  • Pasteur Elementary School
  • Schulze Elementary School
  • Stephens Elementary School
  • No. 1 John R King
  • Ronald Brown Academy
  • Burt Elementary School
  • Dossin Elementary School
  • Guyton Elementary School
  • Jamieson Elementary School


PK-6 schools

  • Hally Magnet Middle School
  • Heilmann Park Middle School


  • Barbour Magnet Middle School
  • Cerveny Middle School
  • Columbus Middle School
  • Earhart Middle School
  • McNair Middle School
  • Robinson Middle School
  • Brenda Scott Middle School


6–8 schools

  • Clippert Academy
  • Ludington Magnet Middle School


  • Farwell Middle School
  • Erma Henderson Upper School


5–8 schools

  • Edward (Duke) Ellington Conservatory of Music/Art
  • Foreign Language Immersion
  • Hancock Preparatory Center
  • Langston Hughes Academy
  • Hutchins Elementary School

Alternative K-8 schools

  • Ann Arbor Trail Magnet Middle School
  • Carver Elementary School
  • Coffey Elementary/Middle School
  • Courtis Elementary School
  • Dixon Elementary School
  • Drew Middle School
  • Lessenger Elementary-Middle School
  • Malcolm X Academy
  • Frank Murphy Elementary/Middle School
  • Nichols Elementary School
  • Nolan Elementary School
  • Owen Academy
  • Phoenix Elementary School
  • Pulaski Elementary School
  • Richard Elementary School
  • Sampson Academy
  • Spain Elementary School
  • Trix Elementary School
  • Vetal Elementary School

Zoned K-8 schools

K-8 schools

  • Academy of The Americas

Alternative PreK-8 schools

  • Bates Academy
  • Bethune Academy
  • Blackwell Institute
  • Boynton Elementary/Middle School
  • Burns Elementary School
  • Burton International School
  • Butzel Elementary/Middle School
  • D. Bethune Duffield Elementary School (Detroit): Constructed in 1922, this is a pre-kindergarten through 8th grade facility educating around 410 students. The classically styled, three-story elementary school draws students from the neighborhood bordered by southern St. Aubin Street; then eastward to include Chene, Joseph Campau and McDougall Street.[50]
  • Durfee Elementary School
  • Fisher Magnet
  • Fitzgerald Elementary School
  • Golightly Education Center
  • Greenfield Union Elementary School
  • A. L. Holmes Elementary School
  • Jemison School of Choice
  • Barbara Jordan Elementary School
  • Law Elementary School
  • Marquette Elementary School
  • Noble Elementary School
  • Robeson Academy
  • Sherrill Elementary School
  • Stewart Elementary School (was MacCulloch Elementary)
  • Mark Twain Elementary School
  • Westside Multicultural Academy

Zoned PreK-8 schools

PreK-8 schools

Optional high schools

Zoned high schools

High schools


7–12 schools

Kindergarten and 7–12 schools


The first step will be interactive Web-based portal called Learning Village that would be fully functioning by fall 2010. The Learning Village program will give DPS the ability to digitize its textbooks, curriculum and lesson plans. Teachers will have access to students' assessment results and prospective lesson plans to more quickly diagnosis struggling students. Parents can log in to the system to track their students' progress, print additional worksheets and view cumulative test results for a teacher's entire class. The purpose of the Learning Village tool is to serve as a unified portal to connect students, teachers, parents and principals, and deliver real-time learning. DPS will also use $14.2 million in federal stimulus and Title I dollars for netbooks for all 36,000 students and 4,000 teachers in grades 6–12 for access to technology to support hands-on learning. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is setting up a Detroit-based office with at least 13 employees for technical support, training and outreach. Detroit is the company's largest client.

On February 4, 2010, the Detroit Public Schools announced that it wants to digitize all its teaching and learning as part of the comprehensive plan to accelerate student achievement, within five years.[49] Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the district's chief academic and accountability auditor, said the district is investing in high-tech tools to equip all 6th- to 12th-graders with computers and digitize all curriculum, textbooks and lessons plans district-wide. The $15 million product is part of a $40 million contract with Boston's Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which marks the largest single deal for the book publisher.

Digital programs

Detroit Public Schools created a district-wide uniform dress code for students effective on May 11, 2006 for all students in grades Kindergarten through 12.[46] This includes mandatory identification badges. Parents may opt their children out of the dress code for medical, religious, or financial reasons.[47] Several schools, including Bates Academy and Malcolm X Academy, had uniform dress codes before the start of the district-wide policy.[48]

School dress code

As of January 2013 about 49,900 students attend Detroit Public Schools. As of that year about 9,000 of them, over 18%, have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of the federal government. At the same time, the state average is 12%. In 2012 about 17% had IEPs.[45]


In 1999 Detroit teachers staged a wildcat strike, using the slogan "Books, Supplies, Lower Class Size!"

DPS pays 14.55% of each employee's salary to the Office of Retirement Services to cover the costs of participation in the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System.[44]

On November 9, 2006, DPS laid off 907 lunch aides and 713 teachers. Aides are union members of the Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals, and typically make near minimum wages. A recent minimum wage hike was a factor in the layoffs.[43]

The Detroit Federation of Teachers requested a 15.6% pay increase for the highest income teachers, pointing out that they're making less than their counterparts in the suburbs. The median salary for the Detroit Public Schools is $41,007, while the median teacher pay for Michigan overall is $57,958. Teachers concessions were still below the state mandated deficit reduction plan, and a prolonged strike was averted primarily because both sides recognized the threat of more children leaving the DPS for charter schools. In an appeal to teachers who are considering a wildcat strike, Detroit Superintendent William F. Coleman III argued that a strike would encourage more children to leave the district for suburban schools of choice and charter schools, exacerbating problems and forcing more layoffs and program cuts. Some blame the state takeover for the strike.[41] The teachers went on strike.[42] County Circuit Court Judge Susan Borman ruled on September 8, 2006 that the teachers must return to work the following week.

In the 2006 contract negotiations, the district sought $88 million in reductions, but the Detroit Federation of Teachers (representing 7,000 teachers and 2,500 other employees) and other unions fought further pay cuts, and the district threatened to lay off 2,000 union employees in response. On August 22, thousands of DPS teachers protested further pay cuts, and demanded a pay increase. A district spokesman said that pay cuts for teachers was a necessary requirement for balancing the school's budget. The teachers agreed to go on strike, closing school for three days and shortening the first day of school.

On March 22, 2006, some teachers staged a "blackboard flu."[40]

Employee relations

The 2008–2009 edition of the Michigan Department of Education's ranking of Michigan Public School financial data showed the mean Detroit Public School teacher's salary stood at $71,031, more than 14% higher than the state average of $62,237.[38] During the same period, the Michigan cohort graduation rate was 80.1%, while Detroit Public Schools' cohort graduation rate was 67.39%, 16% lower than the state average.[39]

In March 2009, Robert Bobb declared that the school district had 150 million dollar budget deficit, only including debts that he was aware of. Twenty million dollars of that money is owed to the district's pension system.[36] The DPS school board complained in that same year that the then deficit of $65 million for 2007–2008 school year was caused by accounting irregularities, including fringe benefits and paying teachers off of the books. Much of the deficit was discovered by outside auditors invited by former district Superintendent Connie Calloway in 2008.[37]

On December 8, 2008, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan determined the district's inability to manage its finances and declared a financial emergency.[30] Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Robert Bobb as the emergency financial manager of Detroit Public Schools in 2009 to manage the school districts finances. His contract dictates a one year tenure. The school district began selling 27 previously closed school buildings. On March 3, 2009, Bobb initially estimated that DPS's current year deficit would be no less than $150M, requested early payments from the state to meet payroll, and indicated that more additional outside auditors will be required to properly assess the district's financial situation.



Board Member District
Tawanna Simpson District 1
Elena Herrada District 2
Annie Carter District 3
Judy Summers District 4
Herman Davis (President) District 5
Wanda Redmond District 6
Juvette Hawkins-Williams District 7
Reverend D. Murray At large
Ida Short (Vice President) At large
Jonathan C. Kinloch (appointed by Governor Snyder's Emergency Manager, not elected) At large
LaMar Lemmons At large

Board of education

3. Langston Hughes Academy and Ludington Magnet Middle School will consolidate and be named Ludington Middle School but will use the Langston Hughes Academy building.

2. Farwell Elementary-Middle School and Mason Elementary School will consolidated and renamed Mason Elementary-Middle School. The current Mason Elementary School building has closed, and all students currently enrolled at Mason will be offered enrollment at the new site. New students residing in the Mason Elementary School boundary will be assigned to either the new Mason Elementary-Middle School or Nolan Elementary-Middle School.

1. Crockett High School and Finney High School will be consolidated into a $46.5-million, 221,000- square-foot high school being constructed at the site of Finney High School. It will be named East English Village Preparatory Academy and will accommodate up to 1,200 students. Students in grades 10–12 from Finney and Crockett high schools will go there. The new school starting with 9th Grade will require an entrance/admissions exam and if accepted must maintain a GPA of 2.5.

Schools Consolidating[34]

3. Rutherford Elementary School

2. Noble Elementary-Middle School

1. MacDowell Elementary School

Possible charter schools

2. Burton International: Is replaced by the Burton Theater which reopened as Cass City Cinema the end of 2011. The building also includes a montessori nursery, artist studios and law offices. [33]

1. Mumford High School: The new $50.3-million Mumford High School is the largest school construction project in the district’s bond program. The 239,900-square- foot high school will accommodate about 1,500 students and also will have a community health clinic.[32]

Schools being replaced with new buildings

10. Southwestern High School: Students will be reassigned to either Western International or Northwestern high schools.

9. Robeson Early Learning Center: Kindergarten classrooms at Robeson will be reassigned to the main Paul Robeson, Malcolm X Academy building. All pre-K programs will relocate to Palmer Park Preparatory Academy, which has a surplus Pre-K capacity.

8. Parker Elementary-Middle School: Students will be reassigned to the new $21.8-million Mackenzie PreK-8 School, which will include a large open media center. The building design will focus on student safety and will be environmentally responsible.

7. Maybury Elementary School: Students will be reassigned to either Earhart Elementary-Middle School or Neinas Elementary School.

6. Mae C. Jemison Academy: Students will be reassigned to Gardner Elementary School or Henderson Academy.

5. Kettering High School & Kettering West Wing: Students at Kettering High School will be reassigned to Denby, Pershing, Southeastern or King high schools. Students enrolled at Kettering West Wing will be reassigned to schools with existing special education programs.

4. O.W. Holmes Elementary-Middle School: Students will be reassigned to the new $22.3-million Munger PK-8 School. The new facility includes a two-story student arcade that will function as a dining court, student center and school square.

3. Detroit Day School for the Deaf: Students will be reassigned to schools with hearing-impaired programs.

2. Detroit City High School: Students will be reassigned to schools with existing Second Chance programs.

1. Burton Elementary School: Students will be reassigned to the new $21.8-million Mackenzie PK-8 School building on the old Mackenzie High School site.

On February 9, 2012, Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts announced the following schools closings[31]

Schools Closing

2012 Changes

From 2009–2011, DPS finances were managed by Robert Bobb who was appointed by former Governor Jennifer Granholm.[30]

Currently all financial matters are under the sole control of Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in May 2011.

Emergency Financial Manager

Dr. Connie Calloway was removed after 18 months after accusations by the school board that she was behaving unprofessionally and exercising poor judgment. She is fighting that decision.[29]

In March 2007, the DPS board removed Superintendent William Coleman, replaced him with Dr. Connie Calloway as its new superintendent on a $280,000 yearly salary, and made Lamont Satchel as Interim Superintendent. Coleman was still paid for the remainder of his contract.[28]


DPS is headquartered in the Fisher Building in New Center


There have been significant calls for the Detroit Public Schools to cooperate more with charters, including renting unused schools to charters. In May 2008, the DPS board renewed contracts with six charter schools for two years. DPS leases some closed school buildings to charter school operators.[27] Also from Osborn High School Andrel Reid led the state with a 122 catches and 7 touchdowns in 1992 that record still stands in Michigan.

Follow up studies of the University Prep Academy class of 2007 shows that at least 90% went on to college, 83% of those who attended a four-year university re-enrolled for a second year, and 57% of those who attended a two-year college re-enrolled for a second year, beating national re-enrollment averages of 73% and 45% respectively.[24]

University Preparatory Academy are elementary, middle, and high schools which have shown test scores above averages for Detroit Public Schools.[25] Their goal is to graduate 90% of incoming freshmen and have 90% of those graduates go on to college. They intend to meet that goal for the first time this year. They pay for ACT college admissions tests, there are no bells between classes. They lease a building from philanthropist Bob Thompson for $1.00 per year on condition of meeting student performance goals. However, these scores are below high performing DHS schools with selective enrollment such as Bates Academy, Burton International and Renaissance High School.[26]

Officials at the Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Federation of Teachers oppose the expansion of charter schools. A previous plan for 15 new charter high schools was scuttled. Philanthropist Bob Thompson is backing a new University Preparatory Academy High School.

Detroit has public charter school system with about 54,000 Detroit students (2009–10).[24] When charter school and Detroit Public Schools enrollments are combined, the total number of children in public schools in Detroit has increased. If growth trends continue, Detroit's charter schools enrollment will outpace the Detroit Public Schools by 2015.[24]

Detroit Charter Schools