Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: They give students a leg up in college — and they’re rare in Detroit (for now)

Good morning!

We have an important story today about access to Advanced Placement courses that offer some of the most challenging curriculum available to high schoolers. The courses help prepare students for college — and can lead to tuition-free college credits. But while APs are standard in the suburbs, Koby’s story this morning finds that just half of Detroit high schools offered the courses in a recent year. And, even at schools that did offer APs, just a fraction of students were taking them.

That story is part of a series we are launching today in collaboration with the nonprofit investigative news organization ProPublica that looks at how educational opportunities can vastly differ depending on where you live and the color of your skin.

The project is called Miseducation. Our partners at ProPublica took data from the U.S. Department of Education and other sources to build an interactive database that allows you to see school-level racial disparities in enrollment, discipline, access to Advanced Placement courses, gifted and talented programs, and more.

We used that data as a springboard to do what Chalkbeat does best — tell the stories of educational inequity in the communities we cover and call home. Other stories in our series can be found on this page, and there’s more to come in the days ahead. You can check out ProPublica’s database, and sign up for its “Big Story” newsletter here.   

Also, check out the latest story in our How I Teach series in which we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs. In this story, we featured the teacher behind a farm-to-cafeteria program powered by Detroit students with disabilities. If you know someone who should be featured in How I Teach, please let us know. Scroll down for the rest of the headlines — and thanks for reading!

— Erin Einhorn, Bureau Chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT Detroit’s main district is now working to bring Advanced Placement classes to all of its high schools, but many city schools have neglected high-performing students for years. Data on Advanced Placement courses is among federal education data, newly compiled by ProPublica in an interactive database, that sheds light on a stunning gap in the opportunities available to Michigan students depending on where they attend school. Chalkbeat ProPublica

FARM In order to start an agricultural training program for students with disabilities that would provide food to school cafeterias, this teacher got a certification in horticulture and wrote grant proposals that now enable him to raise $15,000 a year. Chalkbeat

DEVOS A national education website makes a case for why a Democratic victory in  Michigan’g governor’s race could deal a blow to Betsy DeVos’ education legacy. The 74

BOARD The race for two seats on the Detroit school board is now down to eight candidates after one — the sister of board member LaMar Lemmons — dropped out because of illness. The Detroit News

COACH The Detroit district says the high school basketball coach suing over his termination was fired for sending an inappropriate text message to a student, being verbally abusive and not fostering a healthy academic environment — allegations the coach denied. Detroit Free Press

FIRED The former city councilwoman who is refusing to leave the charter school that fired her last week is due in court this morning to fight for her job. WDIV

SOCIAL STUDIES A new task force has begun reviewing thousands of online comments about proposed changes to the state’s social studies standards that have generated controversy across the state. WKAR

PARENTS A researcher is looking to interview middle class Detroit parents about how they choose an elementary school for their children. Researcher

ADVISE Eleven Detroit high schools will have college advisors this school year through programs that train recent college grads to help high school students get to college. Detroit College Access Network