Rise & Shine: Will Barack Obama’s name help a struggling Detroit charter?
One of Detroit’s oldest charter schools has struggled to produce strong student test scores and hire fully certified teachers. Now it is undergoing a sort of rebranding, offering a new leadership curriculum and changing its name from Timbuktu Academy to — wait for it — Barack Obama Leadership Academy.
Detroit is a deep blue city, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more recognizable namesake here than the former president, who is probably the most popular Democrat alive.
But will the change help students? Imani has the story.
Before you move on to the weekend’s headlines, please take a look at your calendar for the evening of Friday, Aug. 23. We’re co-hosting a Student Story Slam at 5:30 p.m. that day featuring students telling tales of real life in Detroit schools. Do join us. Details here, with more to come.
Thanks for reading!
— Koby Levin, reporter
Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? A struggling school is adding a curriculum focused on leadership — and changing its name to honor the 44th American president. Chalkbeat
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES Top education officials in Michigan decried the state’s rapidly growing use of relatively untrained long-term substitutes. The new state superintendent says the latest figures are “not close to where we ought to be.” Bridge
SCHOOL SURVEILLANCE Some Michigan districts are installing facial recognition technology in school hallways, adding to a wave of security-related renovations in schools statewide. Voters seem willing to pony up to “harden” schools against growing fears of gun violence. Detroit Free Press
HANDS OFF PENSIONS? Two education leaders argue that it would be a grave mistake for the Michigan legislature to use pension funds to pay for road improvements. Republican leaders are rumored to be considering that idea. Bridge
BENTON HARBOR With the first day of school looming, the future of a west Michigan school district is still up in the air. It can hardly afford to lose more students, but some parents have had enough. The Detroit News The Herald-Palladium
CHARLOTTESVILLE On the anniversary of a violent white supremacist rally in Virginia, read this reporter’s reflection on the way she was taught Civil War history in the South. Chalkbeat
BIG SEAN The Detroit-bred rapper is planning to open a multimedia studio for students in the city. It will include equipment for audio video editing as well as for making podcasts. Detroit Free Press
SCHOOL FAIR The Detroit city district is hosting a back-to-school enrollment fair featuring a wide range of activities and services. Some buses will be provided. Detroit Public Schools Community District
UNDOCUMENTED GRADUATES The University of Michigan revised its admission policies to make it easier for undocumented students to pay cheaper in-state tuition. Some recent high school graduates, however, will miss out. Inside Higher Ed CBS
OPPOSITE OF WHITE? Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden momentarily conflated poverty and being a person of color while speaking about education on the campaign trail in Iowa. The Detroit News
ANNIVERSARY A Michigan charter school authorizer celebrates 25 years. Morning Sun
CASH FOR SCHOOLS? Wireless company Sprint is holding a competition to give away money to schools nationwide. You win up to $5,000 for a Detroit school by casting a vote in a local Sprint store. Local 4