Detroit charter schools tout college enrollment numbers

“By every metric, the top schools in Detroit are all charter schools.”
Private School Girls Sitting With Textbooks
Photo: Mary Taylor/Pexels

(The Center Square) – As Michigan Democrats holding a political trifecta aim to regulate charter schools, data from the graduating class of 2021 show that the top eight open-enrollment high schools for college enrollment in Detroit are all charter schools.

Researchers from Grand Valley State University’s Charter Schools Office analyzed which high schools had the most students enrolling in college within six months of graduation.

Charter schools took 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; in other words, 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.

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, are as follows:

  • 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, the state charter school association, said these rankings show why charter schools are so popular in Detroit.

“By every metric, the top schools in Detroit are all charter schools,” Quisenberry said in a statement. “Whether it’s graduation rates, SAT scores, U.S. 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.”

Scott McClallen
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on and Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.

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