Detroit (PRWEB) March 3, 2010
Michigan Future, Inc. (MFI) announced today an ambitious, multi-million-dollar effort to open 35 new, college-prep high schools in the Detroit metro area by 2018, starting with the expansion of the successful Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) to open DEPSA High School this fall. This accelerated expansion of high schools, Michigan Future Schools, is being funded by four local foundations – the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the McGregor Fund.
Michigan Future is accepting applications now for two additional high schools to open in the fall of 2011. The Detroit Public Schools (DPS) are also preparing a proposal to submit to the Michigan Future Governing Council later this year for support of a new Science and Medicine High School in fall 2011. Interested applicants for 2011 schools are invited to visit: http://michiganfuture.org/schools/ for details.
MFI has received a total of $13 million in grants to help launch seven new high schools over the next three years. Its goal is to raise an additional $38 million to open a total of 35 schools by 2018. The schools will feature high expectations, excellent teachers and principals, enrollment of fewer than 500 students, project-based learning, and strong social and emotional support for students.
“We expect that all students enrolled in our high schools will succeed in college. We have committed to our funders that at least 85% of each school’s students will graduate from high school, 85% of graduates will enroll in college, and at least 85% of enrollees will earn a college degree,” said Lou Glazer, president of MFI, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank. The initiative is path-breaking in its sole focus on providing high school students, primarily from the City of Detroit, with a quality education. It will support new high schools operated by traditional public districts, public charters (from anywhere in the country), and private schools willing and able to meet its student achievement standards.
“What Michigan Future Schools has created for the education community supports small learning environments in a manner that will yield immediate results in the education field, especially related to accountability and quality,” said Ralph Bland, superintendent of the Detroit Edison Public School Academy, which is scheduled to open the expanded DEPSA High School in Fall 2010. “This initiative provides optimal planning and technical assistance. The key point in this venture is the advantage it will give students for college access.”
“Detroit Public Schools welcome and celebrate the opportunity to partner with the Michigan Future Schools initiative to create a world-class school for Detroit’s children,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor for DPS. “To dream, plan and actualize a quality high school where students thrive academically and graduate prepared for success in college can serve as a model for new school development throughout the city and beyond.”
“We care about students and their success—not who’s in charge. We will support schools throughout metro Detroit (south of Twelve Mile Road and east of Telegraph) provided that they are open to Detroit students,” said Tonya Allen (the Skillman Foundation), who chairs the Governing Council for Michigan Future Schools. “We believe foundations work for the common good and that everyone in Michigan should have the opportunity to live in a community they can be proud of.”
“This effort is a perfect example of funders working in partnership to push for educational excellence in Detroit,” added Greg Taylor, a member of the Governing Council for Michigan Future Schools and vice president of programs at the Kellogg Foundation.
The initiative will provide an average grant of $800,000 in start-up funding to each new school, plus serve as:
1. an incubator that will recruit, identify and support founders to lead the new high schools by helping recruit staff and partners, fund a year of planning, develop a curriculum template for teaching and learning, and offer training for founders, principals, teachers and board members.
2. an accelerator that will support the cost of opening and operating the school for the first three years, continue training for key personnel through the first year, help schools access funds to finance facilities, and help plan and deliver services such as financial management and fund raising.
3. an advocate that will build community support for new high schools, track data on student achievement in schools and in college, manage a learning network open to all small, high-performing schools in Metro Detroit, and promote state and local policies that support the development of new, small, high-performing schools.
Other Council members include Sharlonda Buckman (Detroit Parent Network), David Campbell (McGregor Fund), Eddie Green (Cranbrook, Horizons Upward Bound), Wendy Jackson (Kresge Foundation), Carmen N'Namdi (Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse Educational Service Provider), Mike Schmidt (Ford Motor Company Fund) and Greg Taylor (W.K. Kellogg Foundation).
Michigan Future Schools’ effort to accelerate the opening of new schools is a key strategy in a forthcoming citywide education plan to transform all of the city’s schools. That plan is being prepared by Excellent Schools Detroit, a broad-based coalition that includes the Mayor, Detroit Public Schools, high-performing charters, local foundations, several nonprofit and community organizations, and the business community (http://www.excellentschoolsdetroit.org).
Lou Glazer, Michigan Future, Inc., louisglazer(at)sbglobal(dot)net, 734.747.8120
Kathy Reincke, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, KAR(at)wkkf(dot)org, 269.969.2148
William Hanson, Skillman Foundation, WHanson(at)skillman(dot)org, 313.393.1163
David Campbell, McGregor Fund, dave(at)mcgregorfund(dot)org, 313.963.3495
Cynthia Shaw, Kresge Foundation, cbshaw(at)kresge(dot)org, 248.643.9630