Detroit Public Schools, Michigan

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Detroit Public Schools
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Public Schools seal.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Karen P. Ridgeway
Enrollment:51,979 students
Graduation rate:64.7%[1]
Number of schools:104
Budget: $681.9 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:LaMar Lemmons
Board members:11
Term length:4
Detroit Public Schools is a school district in Wayne County, Michigan. Detroit is the largest school district by enrollment in Michigan and served 51,979 students in 104 schools during the 2012-2013 school year.[2]

Since March 2, 2009, the state of Michigan has overseen the school district through an appointed emergency manager.[3][4] In July 2013, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Jack Martin to the position of emergency manager.[5]

About the district

Detroit Public Schools is located in Wayne County, Michigan.
Detroit Public Schools is located in Wayne County, Michigan. The county seat of Wayne County is Detroit. Wayne County is home to 1,792,365 residents, according to the 2010 United States Census.[6]


Detroit underperformed in comparison to the rest of Michigan in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 12.3 percent of Detroit residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 25.5 percent for Michigan as a whole. The median household income in Detroit was $26,955 compared to $48,471 for the state of Michigan. The poverty rate in Detroit was 38.1 percent compared to 16.3 percent for the entire state.[7]

Racial Demographics, 2010[7]
Race Detroit (%) Michigan (%)
White 10.6 78.9
Black or African American 82.7 14.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.6
Asian 1.1 2.4
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0 0
Two or More Races 2.2 2.3
Hispanic or Latino 6.8 4.4

Presidential Voting Pattern, Wayne County[8]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 595,846 213,814
2008 660,085 219,582
2004 600,047 257,750
2000 530,414 223,021

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[9][10]


The superintendent of Detroit Public Schools is Karen P. Ridgeway. Superintendent Ridgeway oversees academics matters in the school district while the emergency manager appointed by the Governor of Michigan oversees financial matters.[11] Prior to her appointment, Ridgeway spent more than 30 years employed by Detroit Public Schools as an educator, administrator and assistant superintendent of the Office of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Accountability. She earned her B.S., M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees from Wayne State University.[12]

School board

The Detroit Public Schools Board of Education is composed of 11 members who are elected to four-year terms. Four board members are elected at-large and the other seven are elected by geographic electoral district. Each member of the board receives a $30 stipend for each meeting.[13]

The Detroit Board of Education has repeatedly come into conflict with each of the emergency managers appointed since 2009. After the veto referendum on emergency managers was defeated in 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 436 of 2012 to strengthen the powers of emergency managers, including the one overseeing Detroit Public Schools.[14] The division of power has left the board with control of academic matters and the emergency manager with control of district finances.[15][16]

Detroit Board of Education[17]
Member District
LaMar Lemmons At-large
Patricia Johnson Singleton At-large
Reverend David Murray At-large
Ida Carol Short At-large
Tawanna Simpson District 1
Elena M. Herrada District 2
Annie Carter District 3
Judy Summers District 4
Herman Davis District 5
Wanda Redmond District 6
Juvette Hawkins-Williams District 7

School board elections

See also: Detroit Public Schools elections (2014)

Members of the Detroit Board of Education are elected to four-year terms. No school board elections were held in 2013 due to an ongoing legal dispute. State Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit in 2012 to remove the seven board members who were elected by geographic electoral districts instead of at-large. According to state law, school board members may only be elected by geographic electoral districts instead of at-large as long as district enrollment remains over 100,000 students. Enrollment in the district has not reached 100,000 students since 2008. The school board's attorney, George Washington, denounced the lawsuit as "racist" and suggested that the state was suing in order to allow its emergency manager complete control over Detroit Public Schools.[18][19]

Public participation in board meetings

The Detroit Board of Education maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:[20]

The public is invited to attend Board meetings and will be given time to express viewpoints subject to reasonable controls over the length of presentations and the particular time when members of the public will be heard of.

In all instances, the speaker will identify himself or herself before speaking.

The Board will hear members of the public in accordance with the policies below.


Persons who desire a hearing before the Board will present their request in writing to the General Superintendent or Board president. The General Superintendent will confer with the petitioner and president of the Board and schedule the hearing at the earliest possible mutually convenient date. A written statement of the matter to be discussed will be sent to Board members before the meeting.

Speaking to Agenda Items

Members of the public may speak to agenda items when recognized by the president. The following rules will apply:

1. Persons will be allowed to speak one time per agenda item.

2. If many individuals wish to speak on an agenda item, each speaker will be limited to two minutes.

3. If few citizens wish to speak on an agenda item, each speaker will be limited to four minutes.

4. The Board president will exercise equitable, reasonable judgment in determining time limits in relation to the number of persons to speak on an agenda item.

5. On volatile issues, cards will be distributed to indicate numerical order of speakers.

Open Forum

During an open period at the end of a Board meeting, members of the public may speak within time limitations on matters of immediate concern within the jurisdiction of the Board. The open forum period will be listed on the agenda.

Authority of President

The president is responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and will rule on such matters as time limits and pertinence of the topic to Board affairs.

If an immediate response to a question raised by a member of the public is possible, the president may reply or ask the General Superintendent or a committee chairman to do so. Otherwise questions will be referred to the General Superintendent and/or the appropriate Board committee for investigation and later response.[21]


The table below displays the budget for Detroit Public Schools:[22]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $360,695,346 52.5% $163,016,863 23.7% $105,441,919 15.3% $53,007,429 7.7% $4,913,922 0.7% $687,075,479
2014-2015 $361,211,175 53% $145,590,006 21.4% $117,353,419 17.2% $53,005,586 7.8% $4,690,363 0.7% $681,850,549
Averages: $360,953,260.5 53% $154,303,434.5 23% $111,397,669 16% $53,006,507.5 8% $4,802,142.5 1% $684,463,014

Teacher salaries

Detroit Public Schools employed 2,324 K-12 teachers during the 2012-2013 school year.[23] Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table details the salary schedule negotiated between the district and the Detroit Federation of Teachers for 2013-2014:[24]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
B.A. 35,682 56,099
MA 37,383 65,264
MA + 30 37,653 65,894
Ph.D. 37,923 66,164

Schools in Detroit Public Schools


Detroit Public Schools served 51,979 students during the 2012-2013 school year. Detroit Public Schools does not publicly archive enrollment data.[2]

District schools

Detroit Public Schools operates 104 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[25]

Detroit Public Schools
School Name
Academy of the Americas
Adult Ed Center - East
Adult Ed Center - West
Ann Arbor Trail Magnet School
Bagley Elementary School
Banks, Diann Williamson Center
Bates Academy
Beard Elementary School
Bennett Elementary School
Blackwell Institute
Bow Elementary-Middle School
Breithaupt Career and Technical Center
Brewer Academy
Brown, Ronald Academy
Bunche Preparatory Academy
Burton International Academy
Carleton Elementary School
Carson, Benjamin High School for Science and Medicine
Carstens Elementary-Middle School at Remus Robinson
Carver STEM Academy
Cass Technical High School
Chrysler Elementary School
Clark, J.E. Preparatory Academy
Clemente, Roberto Academy
Clippert Academy
Cody - Academy of Public Leadership
Cody - Detroit Institute of Technology College Prep High School
Cody - Medicine and Community Health Academy
Communication & Media Arts HS
Cooke Elementary School
Crockett Career and Technical Center
Davis Aerospace High School
Davison Elementary-Middle School
Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern
Detroit International Academy for Young Women
Detroit Lions Alternative Education
Detroit School of Arts
Dixon Educational Learning Academy
Dossin Elementary-Middle School
Douglass Academy for Young Men
DPS Foundation for Early Learners @ Edmonson
DPS Foundation for Early Learners @ Glazer
DPS Foundation for Early Learners @ Loving
DPS Foundation for Early Learners PK @ Rutherford
DPS Foundation for Early Learners PK @ White
Drew Transition Center
Durfee Elementary-Middle School
Earhart Elementary-Middle School
East English Village Preparatory Academy
Edison Elementary School
Ellington Elementary-Middle School at Beckham
Emerson Elementary-Middle School
Field, Moses
Fisher Magnet Lower Academy
Fisher Magnet Upper Academy
Fleming Early Childhood
Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies
Gardner Elementary School
Garvey Academy
Golightly Career and Technical Center
Golightly Education Center
Gompers Elementary-Middle School
Greenfield Union Elementary-Middle School
Harms Elementary School
Henderson Academy
Holmes, A.L. Elementary-Middle School
Hutchinson Elementary-Middle School
Keidan Special Education Center
King High School
King, John R. Academic and Performing Arts Academy
Ludington Magnet Middle School
Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School
Mann Elementary School
Marquette Elementary-Middle School
Marshall, Thurgood Elementary School
Mason Elementary-Middle School
Maybury Elementary School
Munger Elementary-Middle School
Neinas Elementary School
Nichols Elementary-Middle School
Noble Elementary-Middle School
Osborn College Preparatory Academy
Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology
Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy
Palmer Park Preparatory Academy
Pasteur Elementary School
Priest Elementary-Middle School
Pulaski Elementary-Middle School
Randolph Career and Technical Center
Renaissance High School
Robeson/Malcolm X Academy
Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy
Schulze Elementary-Middle School
Spain Elementary-Middle School
Thirkell Elementary School
Turning Point Academy
Twain School for Literary Scholars
Vernor Elementary School
Wayne Elementary School
West Side Academy Alt. Ed
Western International High School
White, Jerry L. Center High School
Wright, Charles School
Young, Coleman A. Elementary

Academic performance

The Michigan Merit Exam is a standardized test conducted to measure student progress toward the state's academic benchmarks. Students in grade 11 and eligible students in grade 12 are tested on the following five subjects: reading, writing, social studies, mathematics and science. Students can score as Not Proficient, Partially Proficient, Proficient and Advanced in each subject.

The Michigan Merit Exam was introduced in 2007 and fully implemented in 2008 as a replacement for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program standardized test for high school students. It incorporates both the ACT college readiness assessment and the WorkKeys career readiness assessment. It is also used to measure Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act.[26][27]

Reading MME Performance[28]
Not Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Advanced Total Proficient
Year District State District State District State District State District State
2012-2013 28% 17% 37% 30% 32% 39% <10% 14% 35% 54%
Writing MME Performance[28]
Not Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Advanced Total Proficient
Year District State District State District State District State District State
2012-2013 16% <10% 56% 43% 27% 44% <10% <10% 28% 49%
Social Studies MME Performance[28]
Not Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Advanced Total Proficient
Year District State District State District State District State District State
2012-2013 27% 12% 61% 49% 11% 28% <10% 10% 12% 39%
Mathematics MME Performance[28]
Not Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Advanced Total Proficient
Year District State District State District State District State District State
2012-2013 62% 33% 30% 38% <10% 23% <10% <10% <10% 29%
Science MME Performance[28]
Not Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Advanced Total Proficient
Year District State District State District State District State District State
2012-2013 77% 46% 19% 29% <10% 17% <10% <10% <10% 26%


Emergency manager

On March 2, 2009, then-Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Robert Bobb to the position of Detroit Public Schools' emergency manager under Public Act 72 of 1990. He was initially appointed to serve a one-year term in order to address the district's legacy budget deficit, which was projected to reach $305.8 million in June 2009. As the emergency manager, Bobb created an internal audit department, led an enrollment drive and advocated for a successful $500.5 million bond issue to build and modernize 18 schools in the district.[4] However, the projected deficit in 2011 was still $327 million.[29]

In May 2011, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Roy Roberts to the position of emergency manager after Bobb's contract expired.[30] During his time as the emergency manager, Roberts enforced two consecutive balanced budgets and reduced the size of the legacy deficit from $327 million to $72 million, partially through selling more than $200 million in bonds.[31] Enrollment fell sharply from approximately 74,000 students in 2011 to 51,979 students in 2013, although a significant portion of this decline could be attributed to the removal of 15 district schools and nearly 10,000 students to a new state reform district in 2012.[32]

Governor Snyder appointed Jack Martin to the position of emergency manager on July 15, 2013 after Roy Roberts chose to leave the position once his contract expired. Prior to serving in this position, Martin spent more than 40 years as a Certified Public Accountant and served as the emergency manager for Highland Park City Schools in 2012 and as the chief financial officer of the city of Detroit. Roy Roberts expressed support for Martin's appointment, and Martin stated that he would pursue a similar deficit reduction path to the one laid out by Roberts.[33][5] In November 2013, the Michigan Department of Education removed the federal High Risk status from Detroit Public Schools, thereby granting the district "an incremental level of independence in its financial and administrative functions."[34]

2014 EM removal lawsuit

The Detroit Board of Education sought the removal of the state-imposed emergency manager for a third time in September 2014. The struggle between the board, the emergency manager and the state has been ongoing, including a lawsuit by Attorney General Bill Schuette to remove the entire board from office. While that effort failed in early 2013, better relations between the board and emergency manager have not developed.[35]

The school board had made previous challenges to the legal basis for emergency managers that failed. In September, a majority of the board believed they finally had the power to vote then-emergency manager Jack Martin. According to the emergency manager law that provided for the position, Public Act 436, a governing body can remove the emergency manager by a two-thirds vote after the manager has served for 18 months. In the resolution passed by the board to remove Martin, the board accused the state of putting the district into a deficit through poor financial decisions and by refusing to let the board take action against those decisions.[36]

The board then filed a lawsuit asking a judge to allow them to remove Martin immediately, while Martin's lawyers argued the he count not be removed until January 2015, which would be 18 months after his appointment. The school board calculated the 18 months from when PA 436 was passed. The judge gave a summary ruling and dismissed the school board's case. The board stated at the time that they would turn their focus to a pending federal court lawsuit challenging the emergency manager law on constitutional ground.[37]

Contact information

Detroit Public Schools seal.jpg

Detroit Public Schools
3031 W. Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 313-873-3111

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. MI School Data, "2011-12 Graduation Dropout Snapshot," accessed February 3, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 MI School Data, "Student Count Snapshot," accessed February 3, 2014
  3. Department of Treasury, "Detroit Public Schools - Details," accessed February 3, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Detroit Public Schools, "Office of the Emergency Manager," accessed February 3, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Detroit Public Schools, "Office of the Emergency Manager," accessed February 3, 2014
  6. United States Census Bureau, "Wayne County, Michigan," accessed February 3, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 United States Census Bureau, "Detroit (city), Michigan," accessed February 3, 2014
  8. Department of State, "Previous Election Information," accessed February 3, 2014
  9. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  10. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
  11. Department of Treasury, "Memorandum of Agreement," accessed February 3, 2014
  12. Detroit Public Schools, "Karen P. Ridgeway's Bio," accessed February 3, 2014
  13. Detroit Public Schools, "Detroit Board of Education Frequently Asked Questions," accessed February 3, 2014
  14. Detroit Free Press, "Snyder signs emergency manager bill; new law will take effect in spring," December 27, 2012
  15. Detroit Free Press, "Judge to sort out Detroit Public Schools dispute between emergency financial manager, school board," January 16, 2013
  16. Detroit Free Press, "Judge tells Detroit school board, emergency financial manager Roy Roberts to return to court Feb. 20," January 17, 2013
  17. Detroit Public Schools, "Members of the Detroit Board of Education," accessed February 3, 2014
  18. Detroit Free Press, "Judge adjourns lawsuit to dismiss most of Detroit school board," November 14, 2012
  19. Detroit Free Press, "For now, DPS elected school board stays," November 15, 2012
  20. Detroit Public Schools, "Public Participation at Board Meetings," accessed February 3, 2014
  21. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  22. Detroit Public Schools, "Budget and Salary/Compensation Transparency Reporting," accessed November 27, 2013
  23. Center for Educational Performance and Information, "School Personnel Data and Reports," accessed February 3, 2014
  24. Detroit Federation of Teachers, "2013-14 Salary Schedule," accessed February 3, 2014
  25. Detroit Public Schools, "Schools," accessed February 3, 2014
  26. Michigan Department of Education, "Michigan Merit Exam," accessed February 3, 2014
  27. Michigan Department of Education, "Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Michigan Merit Examination Score Reports," accessed February 3, 2014
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 MI School Data, "2012-13 MME Snapshot," accessed February 3, 2014
  29. The Wall Street Journal, "Detroit Plan Makes Big Charter School Bet," March 14, 2011
  30. Crain's Detroit Business, "Former GM exec Roy Roberts to succeed Robert Bobb as Detroit schools' financial manager," May 5, 2011
  31. Detroit Public Schools, "Roy Roberts Biography," accessed February 3, 2014
  32. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit schools' progress cited as emergency manager Roy Roberts announces his exit," May 2, 2013
  33. Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Snyder names Jack Martin to replace Roy Roberts as DPS emergency manager," July 15, 2013
  34. Detroit Public Schools, "Michigan Department of Education Removes High Risk Designation from Detroit Schools," November 18, 2013
  35. Michigan Radio, "Michigan AG loses a bid to remove Detroit school board members," February 7, 2013
  36. Detroit Free Press, "DPS board votes to get rid of emergency manager," September 29, 2014
  37. Detroit Free Press, "DPS board loses court battle over emergency manager," October 1, 2014