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August 31, 2018
Detroit superintendent accuses charter school leader of using drinking water crisis to disparage district
Vitti on Friday sent a cease and desist letter to Mark Ornstein, who heads the University Prep charter school network, demanding that Ornstein correct a “defamatory statement” he made in an automated phone call to parents this week.
Lost in Translation
August 13, 2018
Detroit superintendent promises Spanish translators, other fixes for ‘broken’ system
Spanish-speaking parents walked away with a list of promises from Vitti who says there’s a lot the district can do to better meet the needs of these families.
July 24, 2018
Rise & Shine: Join our conversation about special education in Detroit
No aspect of fixing Detroit schools is easy, but perhaps the most difficult challenge is the work of improving services for children…
July 20, 2018
Rise & Shine: The school that will train teachers like doctors
As an education reporter, I don’t often spend much time interviewing people in hospitals. But I spent a day last month following a…
July 18, 2018
How a doctor inspired a new way to train teachers — and how that is leading to a new kind of school
Professors at the University of Michigan are making a radical change to the way teachers are trained — making it more like doctor training.
Certified — but ready?
July 10, 2018
Detroit schools will hire teachers without classroom experience, sparking debate
Detroit’s main district is proceeding with a plan to hire teachers who are certified but have received no training in the classroom —…
July 10, 2018
Rise & Shine: New teachers will be certified — but how will they be trained?
Good morning! School might be out for the summer but the Detroit school board has a packed agenda…
June 25, 2018
Here’s how the Detroit district plans to fix ‘glaring discrepancies’ in special education
Detroit’s main district announced plans to overhaul its special education program after an audit found that some schools aren’t meeting the needs of…
June 22, 2018
Crumbling Detroit school buildings will cost $500 million to repair. It’s money the district doesn’t have
The review found that nearly a third of school buildings are in an “unsatisfactory” or “poor” condition.
June 21, 2018
‘The pressure is on everyone’ as Detroit’s main district advertises to attract more students
Detroit’s main school district has a new look. Officials announced a new brand for the Detroit Public Schools Community District…
June 18, 2018
‘We all became family.’ Students say goodbye to Detroit school after promising three-year run
The three year-old Mumford Academy will close this week, and merge next fall with the larger Mumford High School.
June 13, 2018
Rise & Shine: Falling off track as stakes rise
Good morning and welcome to our second day of more frequent, much-shorter and more useful newsletters at Chalkbeat Detroit. Koby…
June 12, 2018
Are Detroit schools making progress towards state benchmarks? Either way, the stakes are rising
Test results released on Tuesday suggest that 14 Detroit schools are not on track to meet student achievement targets set last year to…
June 11, 2018
After a heated battle, the Detroit Prep charter school now owns its ‘forever home’
The Detroit Prep charter school has been trying to buy the former Joyce Elementary School in the city’s Pingree Park neighborhood since last summer but the sale was held up for months by a restriction in the property’s title.
Seats at the table
June 11, 2018
Meet the 11 people charged with helping Detroit’s district and charter schools work together, starting with a new bus loop
A mayoral commission designed to bring competitive district and charter schools together began to take shape on Monday. Speaking before television…
June 8, 2018
Week in review: When ‘winging it’ isn’t in the best interest of children
PHOTO: Courtesy of VICE on HBOCorrespondent Gianna Toboni interviews parent advocate Aliya Moore and her daughter outside a shuttered Detroit school. Two of…
June 4, 2018
Determined to fill schools, Detroit district turns to a celebrity endorsement from Big Sean
Rapper Big Sean has agreed to take part in a campaign to boost enrollment in the main Detroit school district, school officials said…
June 1, 2018
Week in review: What would ‘never, ever’ happen in a white suburban district
A year ago, when Chalkbeat first featured Detroit teacher Rynell Sturkey, it was hard for her to believe…
May 31, 2018
Detroit schools chief Nikolai Vitti says ‘racist’ policies led to crisis in Detroit schools
The leader of Michigan’s largest school district says racism is a key reason why Detroit schools are in crisis.
one year later
May 30, 2018
A year after superintendent’s arrival, a skeptical Detroit teacher has become a believer — almost
A year ago, it was hard for teacher Rynell Sturkey to believe that life in her overcrowded, understaffed, poorly equipped classroom would ever improve. This past school year, however, Sturkey has been pleasantly surprised by improvements.
May 25, 2018
Week in review: How will a new mayoral commission affect Detroit schools?
For the first time in decades, Detroit will soon have a single agency that aims to improve education in district and charter schools.
The mayor's role
May 24, 2018
Duggan’s schools commission has already brought charter and district leaders to the table. Here’s what else it can do (and what it can’t)
For the first time in years, Detroit’s mayor will have a small hand in shaping education in the city. A new…
May 23, 2018
One Detroit principal keeps his job as others get the ax. Next year’s challenge? Test scores.
Educators and staff from a Detroit middle school took the microphone on Tuesday evening to save their principal’s job. Addressing the school board,…
May 21, 2018
A partnership to make bus stops for students at district and charter schools in Detroit appears to be back on track
A city plan to boost collaboration between district and charter schools cleared a speed bump on Monday, as a district committee narrowly approved…
May 18, 2018
Week in review: Taking a look at Superintendent Vitti’s first year
Next week will mark a full year since Superintendent Nikolai Vitti arrived in Detroit. To mark the occasion, we looked back at the…
One year in
May 17, 2018
A year after Nikolai Vitti arrived in Detroit, a look back at his application shows what’s changed
A year after Nikolai Vitti arrived in Detroit, we return to his application — his blueprint for the district — to mark the things that have happened, the plans that have been made, and the work still left to do.
making their case
May 15, 2018
As pink slips go out to Detroit principals and school leaders, some are pleading their case to the school board
Superintendent Nikolai Vitti issued “non-renewal notices,” to four school principals and 12 central office administrators.
May 14, 2018
As a school board decision looms, some Detroit charters are jumping ship. Others have their fingers crossed.
Three Detroit schools aren’t waiting around for the outcome of a debate over the future of charter schools overseen by the main Detroit…
May 11, 2018
Week in review: Convincing teachers there’s ‘more to Detroit than poor test scores.’
Among impediments blocking improvement in Detroit schools, the one that poses the most significant hurdle is the teacher shortage — the nearly…
May 10, 2018
As Detroit’s schools chief celebrates new salaries, veteran teachers may want to give the district a second look
Detroit school officials took to the podium on Thursday to trumpet new pay guidelines they hope will help fill 190 teacher vacancies.
May 4, 2018
Week in review: Would ‘special education’ by any other name be the same?
Most educators working in urban schools know that many of their students face challenges at home. But a $3 million grant from…
Proceeding with caution
April 30, 2018
A controversial joint bus route for Detroit district and charter schools hits a speed bump
A city effort to create a shared bus route that would transport children to both district and charter schools in Detroit is getting some extra scrutiny from the Detroit school board — even asbut the cost could be coming down for participating schools.
April 27, 2018
Week in review: How to build a successful school if you’ve never worked in one
We took an inside look this week at a new program that aims to tackle one of the major impediments to creating great…
April 25, 2018
Eight things to know about Detroit’s big math and reading curriculum shift
Here’s what we know about the new materials and what we’ll be watching for in the months ahead.
April 24, 2018
Detroit district adding grades K-2 to summer school to help youngest students boost reading scores
For the first time in years, the Detroit district summer school program will start in kindergarten. District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti recommended…
April 24, 2018
As a global robotics competition descends on Detroit, few local students are included — for now
“Robotics coming to DPSCD high schools in the fall,” Vitti wrote in a tweet Monday afternoon. “New programming. Stay tuned!”
more money fewer problems
April 20, 2018
Detroit teachers will finally get paid for their years of experience if agreement holds up with district
Good news for Detroit district teachers stuck at a low pay level: The finance committee of the school board Friday recommended an agreement…
What's in a name?
April 18, 2018
Detroit has schools named for a slaveholder, a convicted former politician, and a Trump cabinet member. Here’s how that might change.
Despite the passion fueling the debate over renaming schools like the Ben Carson High School of Science and Medicine, members of the Detroit…
April 17, 2018
The Detroit district’s first homework policy is in the works. See how much homework it recommends your child do every night.
Detroit students who are drowning in homework — or unable to complete it because of challenges at home — could soon find relief in a…
April 16, 2018
Let’s solve the right problems for Detroit’s students with disabilities — not recycle old ones
I’ve spent 25 years both studying and actively trying to improve schools for students with disabilities. Segregated settings aren't the answer.
April 13, 2018
Week in review: Getting over that ‘F’ on the Nation’s Report Card
The reports early this week about Detroit’s last-place ranking among big city school districts on a national exam is…
a temporary home
April 12, 2018
These students lost their school to a mold problem. Here’s how they’re doing in their new temporary digs
Five school buses line up outside the closed Palmer Park Preparatory Academy on Thursday morning. Hundreds of elementary students, in a flurry of…
a new standard
April 11, 2018
Facing dead-last national test scores, Detroit district approves new teaching materials
The Detroit school board Tuesday adopted a new, $7.1 million curriculum that Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says is a key part of his plan…
April 10, 2018
Detroit schools ranked worst on national exam — again. But is there hope that things can improve?
Not only did students in the city’s main district rank dead last — for the fifth time — among major cities in every subject, but their scores dropped even lower than the rock-bottom numbers Detroit fourth-graders posted the last time they took the exam in 2015.
April 6, 2018
Week in review: When state education dollars fund horseback riding and Minecraft
In a state where vouchers are illegal because the Constitution bans the use of public dollars for private schools, Michigan lawmakers have…
April 2, 2018
It’s official: Detroit’s enrollment grew for the first time in over a decade, even after adding the state-run district
What Detroit district leaders have been saying for months is true: After many years of losing students, enrollment in the Detroit district grew this year…
March 30, 2018
Week in review: Can separate schools better serve students with dyslexia and other special needs
Since arriving in Detroit last year, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has spoken often of the schools he wants to create for children with special…
March 27, 2018
Five possible changes coming to the Detroit district Montessori program
The main Detroit school district has reassured anxious parents who were worried about the future of the district’s Montessori program that the program…
March 26, 2018
New textbooks and new hope: Detroit teachers endorse new learning materials for classrooms
A committee of 113 educators, including 88 teachers, spent weeks reviewing different textbooks and online modules and voted on their favorites.
March 23, 2018
Week in review: Life without gym class
One of our stories this week looked at something that has been missing in Detroit schools for years: gym class.
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