Michigan Future Schools (MFS), an initiative of Michigan Future Inc., a non-partisan, economy-focused think tank based in Ann Arbor, announced that four new Detroit high schools it has invested in opened this fall, joining three others previously launched with investments from Michigan Future Schools.
The four new schools are:
- Detroit Leadership Academy High School (YMCA)
- W-A-Y Academy West
- University Yes Academy High School
The three original schools are:
- Dr. Benjamin Carson School of Science & Medicine
- Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
- Detroit Edison Public School Academy
Each school opens with a freshmen class and adds a grade per year. The four new schools welcomed their first freshman class this fall. Dr. Benjamin Carson School of Science & Medicine and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy go through the 11th grade and Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence will have its first graduating class this year.
In addition to these existing schools, MFS is working to restart Schools for the Future and open the Delta Leadership Academy in 2014. This will bring the MFS network to nine schools, which at capacity should serve around 4,500 Detroit high school students. All the schools were selected based on quality, not governance. The winners were chosen through a competitive process open to traditional public, public charter, and private schools. The network will ultimately consist of one DPS school and eight charter schools.
The MFS philosophy is to let the schools design their own approach to teaching and learning, while requiring them to: (1) be open to all Detroit students, (2) enroll no more than 500 students, (3) commit to high student outcomes: 85% of seniors graduate, 85% of high school graduates go on to college, and 85% of college students earn degrees (4) hire college transition and college success counselors to help students go to and stay in college and (5) where applicable, have union agreements that allow for open hiring, no “bumping,” and no work rules that interfere with innovative teaching and learning.
These investments in new college prep high schools are made possible by the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Skillman Foundation and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation which combined have contributed more than $15 million to the initiative.