Special alert

Special alert: Why it’s so hard to fix Detroit schools

Spend time in almost any Detroit school, and educators will tell you that perhaps their biggest challenge is this: Students don’t stay.

One in three Detroit elementary school children changes schools every year, creating a level of turmoil that has a debilitating impact on schools.

That’s why Chalkbeat spent much of the past year examining the causes and consequences of this upheaval. Together with our partners at Bridge Magazine, we talked to teachers, parents, experts — and 31 students in a single class where the average student had attended more than four schools by eighth grade.

The results of that investigation are now online. Check out The Children of 8B: One classroom, 31 journeys, and the reason it’s so hard to fix Detroit’s schools.

PHOTO: Anthony Lanzilote
The 31 students in homeroom 8B at Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit collectively attended 128 schools by the time they reached eighth grade. Citywide, one in three elementary school students changes schools every year.