When Dannah Wilson decided to enroll in a charter school on Detroit’s west side, her family was drawn by the promise of programs like college tours and art classes.
In reality, however, those programs didn’t exist.
“We were made promises by the administration that weren’t kept,” said Wilson, who is now a high school senior at another Detroit charter school.
But when parents and students tried to complain, they discovered that the college that authorized the school’s charter, Bay Mills Community College, was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a five-hour drive from Detroit.
Wilson had been the “poster child” for the school, she said, her face plastered on billboards and brochures for the school.
“I willingly gave,” she said. “But did not receive a quality education in return.”
Wilson discussed her challenges navigating Detroit schools in a story booth outside the School Days storytelling event at the Charles H. Wright Museum last month.
The event, cosponsored by Chalkbeat and the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, featured Detroit parents, educators, and a student telling stories on stage about schools in Detroit.
The event also invited other Detroiters to share their stories in a booth set up by Chalkbeat and the Skillman Foundation. (Skillman also supports Chalkbeat. Learn more about our funding here.)
Last week, we featured a teacher sharing the tragic reason why her students don’t always come to class. This week, we’re featuring Wilson, who is part of a family whose children have collectively attended 22 different schools in Detroit in search of a quality education.
Watch Wilson’s story below, and if you have a story to tell about Detroit schools — or know someone who does — please let us know.