|This is why Detroit Public Schools (DPS) need metal detectors|
Crime imposes a hefty tax on law-abiding residents of black neighborhoods. Residents bear costs of having to shop outside of their neighborhoods; criminals have driven many businesses out. Children can’t play safely in front of their homes. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers, including black drivers, often refuse to accept telephone calls for home pickups and frequently pass black customers by on the street. Neighborhood property values are lower as a result of crime. Plus, there’s the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods.
Detroit Public Schools’ students recently won the award of the worst math scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ 40-year history. Couple the disheartening standardized test scores with the nation’s lowest graduation rate, according to NPR, and you have a public school system that has utterly failed its students.
The data released Tuesday also shows no more than 33 percent of students met or exceeded the state’s standards in any given category. Math was the district’s worst category with less than 600 students making passing grades. The best was reading, which 32.6 percent of students passed the test.
June 29, The Detroit News: The news also is grim for other predominantly poor districts in Metro Detroit, including Ecorse, River Rouge, Inkster and Pontiac, where two-thirds to 90 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunches.
In all of those districts, students who took the MME this spring were well below state averages in math, reading, social studies, writing and science. In Ecorse, just one of the district's 81 juniors was considered proficient in writing and math.
Also, despite a district-wide academic plan adopted last year for ACT scores, DPS scored dropped to 15 from 15.5 last year.
Most Detroit Public Schools’ fourth- and eighth-graders were unable to score at a basic math level on a national test this year — marking the lowest performance in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Taken by about 1,900 fourth- and eighth-graders, Detroit’s fourth-graders scored 200 against the national average 239 on a scale of 500. Just 18 urban districts participated in the NAEP.
While the test scores hit a historic low in the nation, the test also indicates the movement toward reform. More than a year ago, DPS voluntarily decided to take part in the NAEP in order to see how its progress compared to other districts nationally. Reform efforts underway will include an emphasis on reading, preschool and new technology in classrooms districtwide.
A quick perusal of the database that the Detroit Free Press provides shows some heartbreaking figures.
In Detroit, the numbers were downright abysmal. Only Renaissance High, the district's top high school, broke even that 10 percent threshold. Of course, Renaissance's graduation rate in 2010 was an impressive 95.5 percent. At Cass Tech, which also graduated 95.5 percent of its students last year, only 4.4 percent of this year's expected grads are prepared for the next level academically.
Meanwhile, at every other Detroit public high school, the portion of students deemed college ready was less than 1 percent.
The local charter schools, hailed by many as a key component to Detroit's educational turnaround, also reflected pathetic numbers. At Winans Academy High School, for instance, the 2010 graduation rate was 88 percent. The percent of student deemed college-prepared? Zero. Same for Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences, which boasted a 92 percent graduation rate last year.
And what of those who attend college at Wayne State University in Detroit?:
Wayne State is located in America’s largest black-majority city, yet is one of the nation’s worst at getting degrees into the hands of African Americans. Only one in 10 black students who enroll at Wayne State earn a degree within six years -- a startling rate that is less than one-fourth the national average for African Americans and one-fourth Wayne’s own graduation rate for white students.
Wayne’s black-white graduation gap is the widest among all public universities in United States, but many other Michigan schools aren’t far behind. The state’s public and private universities have the sixth-highest racial graduation gap in the country in 2010, according to Education Trust.
More than half of white students get a degree within six years at Michigan’s public universities, compared to a third of African-American students.