You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

Database gathers dropout, graduation rates for Michigan high schools

By Danielle Arndt

Eleven percent of the state’s high school students drop out prior to earning their diplomas and another 25 percent of students fail to graduate on time, according to a Detroit Free Press article.

In June 2009, Michigan schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan issued a challenge to districts statewide to pinpoint 10 to 15 at-risk students and intervene in their lives, the Free Press reported.

Last month, Flanagan issued the same challenge hoping to continue to improve graduation rates.

The Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) tracks graduation and dropout rates for Michigan’s public high schools. To see how individual schools in the Ann Arbor area measure up to the statewide averages, view the CEPI’s report or visit the Detroit Free Press’ database.

Local district averages, listed in order, for graduation and dropout rates in 2010 were:

  • Chelsea School District — 94.69 percent (graduation rate), 1.77 percent (dropout rate)
  • Dexter Community Schools — 94.5 percent, 1.72 percent
  • Manchester Community Schools — 94.25 percent, 2.30 percent
  • Saline Area Schools — 92.49 percent, 2.64 percent
  • Ann Arbor Public Schools — 89.71 percent, 4.17 percent
  • Whitmore Lake Public Schools — 88.6 percent, 6.14 percent
  • Lincoln Consolidated School District — 74.79 percent, 9.95 percent
  • Milan Area Schools —69.44 percent, 15.87 percent
  • Ypsilanti School District — 62.4 percent, 21.07 percent
  • Willow Run Community Schools — 50.4 percent, 36 percent

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


T. Tops

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

Do the dropout rates include exclude students that transfer to other schools and successfully complete graduation requirements at the new school? Could you define "Graduation rate" and "Dropout Rate" please? Perhaps this info can be found on the CEPI website/ in the database?


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

An old saying comes to mind,you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Not everyone should go to college and not everyone should look to a career in skilled trades. So given the choice students should be eager to prepare for their given career path but they don't and why not? Children falling into that 17%,21% and 36% need the greatest area of intervention not the total school system. Throwing the baby out with the bath water accomplishes nothing. School systems need to target these children and use appropriate measures to get them back on track. Keeping track of these causes for failure may provide a system for early intervention. Maybe special grants to provide funding for more materials and man power to head off this tragic waste of a young person's life.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

First and foremost parents politicians should not be allowed to play politics with your child's education. This should be a hands off area. Then maybe both sides of the aisle could get together and work on the real problems in education facing our youth.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for their investigative reporting.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

It is an interesting and sad report to read. We have Public High Schools in the state with a ZERO percent graduate on time percentage. Is that what our tax dollars are buying? Is that the best the public schools can do? We need to radically re-think how schools work in the state. I am all in favor of public schools, but they have to actually teach children something. With the new MEAP cut scores, more children will be discouraged and even harder to teach. The change in the cut scores is the right thing to do, I don't want to hire someone who is "Proficient" but only knows 40 percent of how to add and subtract, no one does. So making the minimum score proficient something closer to the national standard is a good thing. But, that means more students (in some schools many more students) are not proficient. I know the first answer we will hear from the education establishment - "We NEED more money". I would rather have it be "What are we doing wrong and how do we fix it?"


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Since many think charter schools are the answer,close all public schools and the kids can attend the charter schools in their district. These charter schools must take all the students no picking and choosing. My guess there would be far less applications by the private corps to open one.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

DonBee, you expect the charters to admit this, and track it??? I personally know three families who this happened to. And that's just me. The kid who was not a "good fit," had behavioral issues, one with an IEP.... right back to his neighborhood school. After count day, all of them.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

A2anon & J.A. Pieper - Evidence? Links to actual incidents? Lawsuits? Whistleblower incidents? ANY proof at all?


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

Exactly. "We just feel that maybe this isn't the best FIT for little Johnny...."

J. A. Pieper

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.

Charter schools may have to take all students, but the key point here is that they can dismiss them for behavior much more easily than non-charter public schools. So then they return to the public schools, and we have to accept them, can't ask them to leave except for more serious behavior issues, like weapons, etc.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

DonBee, you are dreaming. I can't believe you actually buy that.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

hank - There is NO picking and choosing on the part of charter schools. If they have an application they have to take it, unless they have too many. In that case they have to do a blind lottery for the number of seats they have. Any other way is against the law.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

Hank most people dont believe charter schools are the answer, but I for one dont want that option taken off the table for those that cant afford a private school should the public school fail them.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Ms. Arndt, is the "graduation rate" based on graduating on time? So 94.69 percent of Chelsea students graduate on time or just graduate?

Danielle Arndt

Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Nacho, the district averages listed above show the graduation rates for students graduating in four years, so on time. The CEPI does list five-year dropout/graduation rates for each school as well. They can be found at the link in the story or here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

If you go to the link of the full report it explains what buckets determine the graduation rate, i.e. on-time, on-going, etc.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Isn't Detroit public better than Willow Run? I thought Detroit was just above 50%


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Schools with 11 and 12 percent graduation rate should just have the doors bolted shut and funding cut now!

Danielle Arndt

Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

redwingshero, Detroit as a district has an average graduation rate of 62.27 percent and a dropout average of 19.09 percent, according to the CEPI. But there is a lot of disparity among the individual high schools, ranging from 96.69 at Renaissance High School to 11 and 12 percent at others.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

How about parents and kids be accountable for themselves. Can't blame schools or teachers. Students that drop out quit because they don't want to be there and skip. Parents don't make them go either. More funding won't help this. At some point people have to start being responsible for their own actions. Do people really think the government should be responsible for everything we do? Scary.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

I alwasy heard that a student can legally drop out at 16. Is that with or w/o parent consent?


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

wow, 50.4% graduation rate? That is ridiculous!


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Lets give big business some more tax breaks, cut more funds/teachers from the public schools and watch the dropout rate go down? The State also needs to track the graduation rates of the all the academies/corporate schools as they are a second big reason public education is losing funding.


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 8 p.m.

Might as well. Be a waste to fund some schools any further.