Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Will Detroit’s school rating system end up on the dust heap?

Good morning! The parade of new bills that Michigan Republicans hope to pass before the state’s new Democratic governor takes office has environmentalists and labor activists very angry. Now you can add Detroit education leaders to the list of people upset by the way the lame-duck session is shaping up.

An education bill that would assign A-F grades to every school in Michigan would also consign a fledgling Detroit-only grading system to the dust heap. Lori’s story yesterday made clear that although education officials in Detroit are attached to their new system — which emphasizes academic growth over overall proficiency — Republican legislators are likely to take a different approach.

School grades are just one of the key Detroit education issues that will likely come up at the second annual State of the Schools forum this week. District and charter leaders will be on hand for the event, which is being hosted by 482Forward at IBEW Local 58, 1358 Abbott St.

Doors open at 6 on Thursday evening, and everyone’s invited. RSVP here — and don’t forget to scroll down for the weekend’s education news.

— Koby Levin, reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox,


DUST HEAP Some state lawmakers want to create an A-F school grading system during the lame duck legislative session. If they succeed, the new system would replace a new Detroit-only grading formula that has won support from local education leaders. Chalkbeat

CHARTER FREEZE Top Chicago school officials recommended the closure of two charter schools in the city and said the city district shouldn’t consider any new applications. A few weeks earlier, Illinois elected a governor who campaigned in part on a promise to place a moratorium on new charter schools. Chalkbeat

EXAM SCHOOLS The window for applying to Detroit’s most selective high schools is now open. Students who want to attend Cass Tech, the new school at Marygrove College, or any other district school with an entry exam can take the test through Jan. 18. Detroit Public Schools Community District

INNOVATIVE EDUCATORS Some of MIchigan’s most innovative teachers were honored by the state’s education department — including one who was featured in Chalkbeat. They’ll receive a $5,000 prize and another $5,000 to share their practices with other teachers. Michigan Department of Education

LOSING TEAM A Detroit-area business group offered another sobering look at education in the region, noting that even school districts in wealthy areas lag behind their peers in other states. Crain’s

GRIZMAS A Southfield-born musician is hosting a week of holiday events and shows  with proceeds going to support music education in Detroit schools. Local 4

LEAD TESTS FOR ALL? A bill that would require Michigan school districts to test their water for lead cleared an initial hurdle in the Legislature, but it remains unclear if it stands a chance of passing during the lame-duck session. Holland Sentinel

CRASH Two students were injured in a crash outside Saginaw after their school bus driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Detroit Free Press

SCHOOL NOSTALGIA A Detroit man wants to create a museum with artifacts from shuttered or demolished city schools. USA Today

NEW MEMBERS Michigan’s lieutenant governor expanded a council on special education. Michigan Department of Education

FEDERAL GRANTS School districts across Michigan are receiving $4.5 million in grants for teacher training. Several Detroit charter schools and the city’s main district are among the recipients. Michigan Department of Education