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Michigan Future Schools is a program of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan think tank based in Ann Arbor that is led by President Lou Glazer. The initiative ended on June 30, 2016.
To create new small high schools at scale in Detroit and to support those schools so that thousands of additional Detroit students are prepared to enroll and succeed in college.
We expect that all students enrolled in our high schools will succeed in college.
We have committed to our funders that at least 85% of each school’s students will graduate from high school, 85% of graduates will enroll in college, and 85% of enrollees will earn a college degree.
Our Core Principles
High school graduation is only the first step. Enrolling in and graduating from college is our measure of success. Designing a school that graduates students ready to succeed at a four-year, selective admission university is a fundamentally different enterprise than designing a school whose goal is high school graduation.
We care about kids and their success—not who’s in charge. We invest, financially and with our capacity-building support, in public, private, or charter schools that are committed to our goals.
We care about open doors and equal chances, not elite schools and special screening. We support schools throughout metro Detroit provided they are open to all Detroit students.
We’ve made a commitment to accelerate the expansion of new schools, not to spin wheels trying to transform failing schools.
How We Work
The initiative provides a four-year grant of $800,000 in start-up funding to each new school selected as part of its portfolio, and serves as:
- An incubator that recruits, selects, and supports founders to lead the new high schools by funding a year of planning and providing assistance during that year with staff and partner recruitment, charter authorization (if applicable), facilities, school design, student recruitment, and training for founders, principals, teachers and board members.
- An accelerator that speeds schools down the path towards excellence. The MFS grant helps to support the cost of opening and operating the school for the first three years. MFS provides training for key personnel through the first three years of operations so the schools are on track to graduate students ready for college, and offers ongoing capacity-building supports in our core service areas.
- An advocate that builds community support for new high schools, tracks data on student achievement in schools and in college, manages a learning network of MFS supported schools and promotes state and local policies that support the development of new, small, high-performing schools.