Ann Arbor nonprofit Michigan Future offers new model for Detroit school system
Ann Arbor-based nonprofit think tank Michigan Future Inc. has secured $13 million in grants to inject life into Detroit's ravaged school system.
Michigan Future announced today that it plans to use the funds to help launch seven new high schools over the next three years. The college-prep high schools must be open to Detroit students but don't have to be located within the city's boundaries.
"It builds on the work we have been doing for the past decade or so to figure out how to connect urban high schools students to the economy of the future," Michigan Future President Lou Glazer said in a blog post this morning. "Its goal is to create new high schools at scale in Detroit and its inner-ring suburbs to substantially increase the number of low income and/or minority students attending high-quality schools."
The new program comes as Michigan Future has earned a reputation for putting a spotlight on Michigan's talent exodus. Glazer has aggressively emphasized the importance of developing an educated workforce in revitalizing Michigan's economy.
Glazer said the initiative, dubbed Michigan Future Schools, would not favor a specific type of school.
"All the ideological wars between public, charter and private school advocates are irrelevant to us. We will work with any school as long as it has a high likelihood that it will prepare all its students for college," Glazer wrote.
The initiative will require that the new high schools achieve a graduation rate of at least 85 percent. In addition, at least 85 percent of their grads must attend college -- and 85 percent of that group must graduate from college.
"We are aiming for nothing less than creating an alternative high quality network of high schools that will compete with low quality high schools no matter who operates them," Glazer wrote.
Michigan Future has already delivered an $850,000 grant to Detroit Edison Public School Academy, which plans to open a new high school this fall, Crain's reported.
Michigan Future ultimately hopes to raise funds to launch 35 schools within eight years.
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