Michigan names 38 schools that could close over academics
The state School Reform Office today released a highly anticipated list of 38 schools targeted for potential closure.
The list — which includes 16 schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District — was released months after the office warned that schools showing no academic improvement and persistent poor performance from 2014 to 2016 could be shut down by the state.
Closing the schools would mark the most aggressive action taken by the state and would impact more than 18,000 students. The state has rarely closed schools.
In addition to the 38 that face closure by the end of the current school year, the reform office released a list of 35 schools that are at risk next year if they don't show improvement. Twenty-six are in Detroit.
"We want every kid in Michigan to have access to a high-quality school," said Natasha Baker, the state school reform officer.
The release came on the same day the Michigan Department of Education released school score cards, as well as a top-to-bottom ranking of nearly every school in the state. For 2016, 186 schools were identified as priority schools, so-called because they rank in the bottom 5% academically.
The good news? Seventy-nine schools that previously were identified as priority schools improved enough to be released from state intervention, the largest number of schools to be released since the state law was enacted, Baker said.
A school on the potential-closure list will get a reprieve only if closing the school would leave students without a quality option nearby. The state will make a final determination on that by late February or early March.
But those schools would still face some other kind of intervention, such as a state-appointed takeover by a CEO or a replacement of their principal and half of the school staff.
The list of 38 includes:
• Eight schools that are part of the Education Achievement Authority, a state reform district created in 2012 to turn around poorly performing schools. The EAA has been mired in controversy from the start — partly because the system was unable to produce marked improvement in state test scores — and the schools in it are Michigan names 38 schools that could close over academics: