In Detroit’s fiercely competitive school landscape, conversations about education are often framed as us vs. them, district vs. charter, public vs. private.
But Wednesday night, at a Catholic church in Northwest Detroit, the leader of the city’s main district will come together on stage with the charter school authorizers who oversee a majority of the privately run public schools in the city.
Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti will be joined by Rob Kimball, who heads the charter school office at Grand Valley State University, and Cindy Schumacher, who heads the charter school office at Central Michigan University.
GVSU oversees 26 of Detroit’s 60 charter schools while Central oversees six schools. Collectively, charter schools — including schools in nearby suburbs — enroll slightly more than half of the city’s 95,350 students. With 53 percent of kids attending charters in Detroit and surrounding suburbs, Detroit now has the third-highest percentage of charter school students in the nation behind New Orleans and Flint.
Vitti has vowed to compete with charter schools and lure students back to the main district.
The discussion at Gesu Catholic church, sponsored by the advocacy group 482Forward, will take place from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday night. It is open to the public (RSVP here) or watch the discussion live here on Chalkbeat or on our Facebook page.