Forum to seek solutions to Detroit’s problems with frequent school moves

Educators and experts will gather next week for a forum to discuss a Bridge Magazine and Chalkbeat special report on the chaos wrought by pupils frequently changing schools in Detroit.

Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and Darienne Driver, president and CEO of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, are among those expected to participate in the community conversation.

The discussion, 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 15 at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library at 5201 Woodward, will be moderated by Stephen Henderson and will be recorded and later aired on two shows he hosts, “Detroit Today” on WDET-FM and “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television.

Hosted by Bridge, Chalkbeat and its Detroit Journalism Cooperative partners WDET-FM and Detroit Public Television, the discussion will focus on “Moving Costs,” a series of articles that examined the toll of frequent student movement in Detroit. The series focused on one classroom where the average student had cycled through more than four schools and the road to eighth grade.

Exacerbated by school choice and neighborhood turmoil, the project revealed that 1 in 3 Detroit elementary students change schools each year. Such movement drags down test scores, worsens behavioral issues, fuels dropout rates, and makes it more difficult for all children to learn.

Panelists include series authors Erin Einhorn, Detroit bureau chief of Chalkbeat, and Chastity Pratt Dawsey, a Bridge reporter covering Detroit; Ben Pogodzinski, a Wayne State University education professor; student enrollment and engagement specialist Maria Montoya; parent and advocate Dawn Wilson-Clark of the 482Forward school advocacy organization; Katherine Andrews, a teacher at University Preparatory Academy; and Alisandra Woods, principal at Bethune-Elementary-Middle School, which was the focus of the Moving Cost series.

Registration is free but required. To register, follow this link.