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Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
October 16, 2018
Promising students in Detroit lack access to high-level AP classes that are common in suburban schools
About half of Detroit’s high schools, both district and charter, offered no AP classes in 2015-2016, according to data that city schools reported to the federal government.
October 2, 2018
The children of 8B: One classroom, 31 journeys, and the reason it’s so hard to fix Detroit’s schools
The 31 eighth-graders in Bethune’s “8B” homeroom had collectively attended a total of 128 schools — an average of more than four schools each. They are among countless others just like them in cities like Detroit — kids who’ve spent their childhoods starting over every couple of years, navigating new schools, trying to fit in.
October 2, 2018
5 ways to stop students from changing schools — or at least reduce the impact
Solving the damaging problem of Detroit students moving frequently between schools would require sweeping policy changes to both stabilize housing and improve the quality of public education. But schools and policymakers could also take simpler, smaller steps to help ease a crisis created when more than 1 in 3 elementary school students change schools every year.
September 25, 2018
These parents won’t stop chipping away at literacy and the language barrier in Detroit schools
Para leer este artículo en español, oprima aquí. If you think it’s hard to navigate Detroit’s troubled school system, try doing it…
September 6, 2018
Here’s how much it will cost to fix your school. Report puts a price tag on repairs at every school in Detroit’s main district.
Kindergartners arriving at Nichols Elementary-Middle School this week for the first day of school were welcomed to a building that needs massive repairs…
September 4, 2018
Despite heat, water problems, Detroit students get a fresh start
It took a lunch table of high schoolers to give Superintendent Nikolai Vitti some good news on the first day of school.
Gifted and talented
August 31, 2018
Superintendent Vitti wants to overhaul an elite Detroit school. Here’s how.
Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti surprised parents this week with plans to overhaul one of the city’s elite schools. Starting next year,…
August 29, 2018
Test scores spell trouble for the most struggling schools in Detroit and across the state. See how your school stacks up.
A year later, test results show that schools that were threatened with closure are still struggling to hit the targets laid out in their contracts with the state.
August 24, 2018
A cutting edge teacher training program is coming to Detroit’s main district and Marygrove College
A new school run by the Detroit Public Schools Community District will be the laboratory for a cutting edge approach…
cut in half
August 23, 2018
700 students face a tough change as this Detroit charter network rushes to rebuild
A Detroit charter school network is sharply downsizing after losing its contract with the city’s main district, a long-anticipated development that still seemed to take…
August 14, 2018
Detroit school board approves 2018-19 academic calendar after union agrees to changes
Teachers aren't happy about the approved academic calendar, but they want to do what's best for students.
August 14, 2018
Detroit district and union hammer out last-second agreement on school calendar before vote at tonight’s board meeting
Detroit’s main school district and its largest teachers union settled a contract disagreement Tuesday afternoon after tensions arose over the seemingly routine approval…
August 10, 2018
Coming soon to Detroit (and only Detroit): Letter grades for schools that could lead to closures
Every school in Detroit will soon receive a letter grade that could result in some persistently low-scoring schools being shuttered by the state.
August 8, 2018
With primaries over, Detroit school board candidates look to November
As yard signs from Tuesday’s primary elections come down, Detroiters are preparing for another election that could have a significant impact on students…
August 7, 2018
Wednesday will be a full day for students on the Detroit district’s proposed calendar
Parents and teachers in Detroit’s main district were united in their dislike of shortened Wednesdays. For years, K-8 schools in…
July 31, 2018
Raising taxes, partnering with developers and four other ways Detroit main school district could address its facilities crisis
When the time comes to repair school buildings, most districts in Michigan put a tax increase the ballot, effectively asking voters to back…
Special education overhaul
July 23, 2018
‘Unofficial suspensions’ and 10 other reasons Detroit’s main district is overhauling special education
A transportation network that was so dysfunctional, students with special needs were left sitting at home for a bus that never came.
Special education overhaul
July 23, 2018
Why Detroit children with autism are 22 times more likely to be in a district school than a charter, and other findings from a new report
Few observers doubt that special education in Detroit’s main district needs a major overhaul. But an audit that found gaping holes…
Staying in school
July 11, 2018
Detroit students ‘making mistakes’ will get a second chance as district opens new alternative school
Detroit students whose discipline issues have proved too much for their schools to handle finally have a way to stay in school in…
Certified — but ready?
July 9, 2018
Strapped for teachers, Detroit district looks to controversial teacher training programs
Faced with a daunting shortage of certified teachers, leaders of Detroit’s main district say they may have no choice but to hire educators…
July 2, 2018
No recess is the norm for 6,000 Detroit students. Here’s how that could change.
Add recess to the list of basics that students have done without in Detroit. A generation of Detroit children raised in…
June 20, 2018
A parent hotline is among fixes promised for special education in Detroit schools
It is a stunning number: roughly one-sixth of students in Detroit’s main school district have learning disabilities or…
June 14, 2018
Recruiting when your team is full of ‘detractors’: As the Detroit district searches for talent, most of its employees aren’t on board
Michigan’s largest school district has its share of critics, from lawmakers pushing for school closures to families who…
June 6, 2018
Detroit district tests drinking water after lead or copper discovered in 6 schools
Water will be tested for lead and other toxins in 106 Detroit district schoools
May 31, 2018
‘Sweatbox’ conditions close aging Detroit schools a third day as board member seeks help
Poor building conditions consistently hamper educating and providing safe environments for district's students, board member Sonya Mays said
May 30, 2018
Detroit schools chief sees come-from-behind victories in district’s future
Detroit's main district can win, but it will take some time, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told an audience at the Mackinac Policy Conference Wednesday
Is Lemmons leaving?
May 16, 2018
Detroit school board member Lemmons weighs leaving, slams colleagues he says listen to special interests
Name recognition could help Detroit school board member LaMar Lemmons in his run for Senate. If not, he'll run for board re-election
Casting their lines
May 9, 2018
‘Come help these babies.’ Inside the Detroit district’s long-shot effort to end a crippling teacher shortage
Detroit's main district is looking for teachers who are ready, willing and able to teach.
May 3, 2018
Detroit district board votes to change name of ‘special education,’ but not everyone agrees it’s ‘exceptional’
The Detroit board of education wants to change the name to give special needs students more "dignity."
Getting from good to great
April 26, 2018
Many Detroit educators have never worked in a high-performing school. This program imports coaches who have
The program brings advisors into Detroit schools to provide intensive coaching to principals, assistant principals, deans and other top administrators. The coaches work with school leaders together as a team to collectively create improvement plans, then work to implement them.
April 20, 2018
Week in review: When homework takes longer than everyone would like
Few students – and fewer parents — love doing homework. This week, the Detroit district board began considering a policy that would set…
March 29, 2018
Experts question Detroit district chief’s wish to create new schools for kids with special needs
On the carpet inside a language arts class, three boys quietly play a word game with their teacher. In the same room, on…
March 26, 2018
Does your child’s school have a gym teacher? Hundreds of Michigan schools do not. Here’s the list.
Across the state about 500 schools — roughly 1 in 5 — do not have certified gym teachers.
March 21, 2018
‘Trust is being built’ as foundation invests in programs to support Detroit parents and students
The initiative includes a parent academy that will serve 7,000 parents.
March 19, 2018
Detroit school chief wants to eliminate small high schools at Cody, Carson, and Mumford
Vitti says consolidating the schools would save the district almost $2 million.
March 12, 2018
Detroit students filed a lawsuit seeking the right to an equal education — 18 months later, they’re still in legal limbo
The case sits in legal limbo.
March 9, 2018
Week in review: An injustice to the children of Detroit
Middle schoolers in Detroit’s main district have been taking pre-algebra classes that have “virtually no relationship” to the state’s mathematics standards. In kindergarten…
Caps and gowns
February 27, 2018
Unsatisfied with Detroit ‘college-readiness’ rate, Vitti lays out ideas for changing the district’s culture
Detroit high school students could soon have access to makeup courses, more guidance counselors, and color-coded wristbands signifying their skills.
February 23, 2018
Week in Review: New programs, new plans, new questions
Two of our stories this week highlight new programs that could soon be offered in Detroit’s main district. Among them: a proposal to…
Cap and gown
February 21, 2018
Graduation rates in Michigan – and Detroit’s main district — are up, but are most students ready for college?
Slightly more than 80 percent of the state’s high school students graduated last year but graduation rate is not necessarily a great measure of school success.
February 16, 2018
Week in Review: Chilling news
It was a busy week on the education beat with news emerging from a schedule packed with education town halls, state and city…
February 2, 2018
Week in review: A new start for Head Start
We reported this week on the frantic push to create new Head Start programs for hundreds of young…
January 26, 2018
Week in review: The wake of the wake-up call
News that teachers in Detroit’s main school district might soon have to disclose their side jobs…
Mid-year progress report
January 24, 2018
Higher reading scores predicted for Detroit’s third-graders, but superintendent warns ‘a lot can happen’ before final exams
Nikolai Vitti says the district’s youngest students are moving in the right direction in reading — but he warned not to expect improvements in math this year.
January 18, 2018
Detroit district moves beyond test scores for admittance to elite high schools like Cass Tech and Renaissance
An admissions team will use a score card that gives students points in various categories including test scores, grades and essays.
January 8, 2018
Facing aging, crumbling and half-empty buildings, Detroit school board to consider $945,000 review of district properties
The district is reviewing the conditions of its buildings before making decisions about which buildings should get renovations — and which ones might need to be closed.
January 5, 2018
Week in Review: The Detroit story dubbed a ‘Tale From the Public School Crypt’
Happy New Year, Chalkbeat Detroit readers! It was a quiet week for education news as many city schools remained closed for winter break…
December 22, 2017
Week in Review: Nowhere to hide while trying to improve schools
As 2017 careens to a close, Detroit school leaders have been summoned to district headquarters to explain, one by one, what they’re doing…
the hot seat
December 18, 2017
Five minutes in the hot seat: For Detroit school principals, there’s ‘nowhere to hide’ in new district data chats
the goal of these sessions is not to criticize school leaders, or to shame them problems they can’t fully control. It's to figure out what schools need — and find ways for the district to support them.
Struggling Detroit schools
December 5, 2017
A Detroit district plan would allow ‘master teachers’ to coach less experienced colleagues and reduce class sizes
The program will enable schools to have model classrooms where less experienced teachers can go to watch master teachers work.
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