Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Author
One day after an investigation by Chalkbeat and Bridge Magazine found 1 in 3 Detroit elementary students switched schools every year, candidates Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer said their education plans could help.
Spend time in almost any Detroit school, and educators will tell you that perhaps the single most significant factor standing in the way of children’s success is this: Students change schools.
Overwhelmingly, in a survey conducted by Chalkbeat and Outlier Media, Detroit parents said they moved their children to new schools because they wanted better for their child — a safer school, a cleaner school, the kind of school where their children could thrive.
When students frequently change schools, that has serious consequences for kids. For their teachers, it’s a recipe for heartbreak.
One or two students leave Bethune Elementary-Middle School every week, but only a handful notify the school of their plans to leave. The rest have to be found.
To solve the problem of Detroit students changing 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 the crisis. Here are five of them.
Despite years of education reform, millions of dollars in targeted spending, scores on the M-STEP sank even lower this past school year in most grades and test subjects.