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Rise & Shine: These students fear repercussions for a viral graduation speech

Good morning!

On Friday afternoon, a charter school management company called the police on its former students. 

More than a month earlier, two top students at Universal Academy in Detroit had criticized their school in graduation speeches that went viral online. Now recent graduates feared that the company managing the school was withholding their final transcripts in retaliation.

Company officials told the students there was no connection between the transcripts and the speeches, and that the transcripts would be released by the end of this week. But when students and their parents tried to visit the company headquarters, it didn’t go well.

In other education news, the Detroit Public Schools Community District released initial data on who is enrolling in a new application-only school on the campus of Marygrove College. One key takeaway: Many of the 90 students didn’t previously attend district schools.

That story is here, and the weekend’s education headlines are below. Happy reading!

— Koby Levin, reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


NEW RECRUITS Detroit district leaders say a new school is attracting dozens of students who didn’t previously attend a district building. That could be a hopeful sign after years of declining enrollment. Chalkbeat

BACKLASH? Recent graduates of a Detroit charter school say administrators are holding back their transcripts in retaliation for a class salutatorian’s viral graduation speech. Chalkbeat (Detroit Free Press)

SAW IT COMING A former Michigan state superintendent argues that trouble in the Benton harbor school district should be a canary in the coal mine for state policymakers — a warning about what he calls a “dysfunctional educational funding model.” Crain’s

BUSING A columnist reflects on her own experience being bused to school in Alabama, and asks what’s next for desegregation efforts in Detroit nearly 50 years after the region’s busing plan was ruled unconstitutional. Detroit Free Press

TOUGH TOPIC Schools across the country often misstep as they work to teach students about the history of slavery. The Detroit News

PLACE-BASED Across Michigan, students are learning about science and problem-solving by getting outdoors. The leader of a nonprofit argues that local ecosystems offer an unparalleled learning opportunity. Bridge

SKILLED TRADES Political leaders in Detroit and statewide are touting a plan to attract more Michiganders into the skilled trades. The publicity campaign will boost Gov. Whitmer’s goal of increasing the number of citizens with a post-secondary credential. The Detroit News CBS 62