MAPSA Statement on IFF Report on Detroit Schools: “Rethink, Reset, Rebuild”

LANSING, Michigan – IFF, the largest community development financial institution in the Midwest, today released a report on K-12 education in Detroit, called “Rethink, Reset, Rebuild: A Shared Vision of Performing Schools in Quality Buildings for Every Child in Detroit.” The report can be found here:

The IFF report’s findings and recommendations include:

  • A push to open more quality schools in Detroit.
  • Taking steps to ensure that all of those quality seats are filled, which includes the adoption of a data-based assessment and accountability system.
  • Holding schools accountable for their performance by intervening with poor-performing schools.
  • Encouraging cooperation between entities to ensure that shuttered school buildings are able to find new life as schools.

Below is a statement on the report from Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.

“IFF has done an excellent job of identifying the challenges and roadblocks that have prevented too many children in Detroit from getting a quality education,” Quisenberry said. “The report highlights the fact that charter schools have been far outperforming other public schools in Detroit, while rightly acknowledging that performance needs to greatly improve across the board.

“We were especially pleased to see several of the recommendations in the IFF report, especially the notion that we need to do everything possible to ensure that every child in Detroit is receiving a quality education in a quality school. This involves opening more quality schools – particularly at the elementary level – and then giving parents the tools they need to enroll their children in those schools. IFF calls for a data-based assessment of schools that will allow parents to made side-by-side comparisons as they search for the right fit for their child.

“IFF also notes that Detroit’s students are the ones who lose out when a school building closes and steps are then taken to keep that building out of the hands of another entity – usually a charter school – that seeks to repurpose it. MAPSA has been fighting this battle for years, and we’re encouraged to see that IFF agrees with us. Michigan’s charter school community is excited to work on making all of these goals a reality. Our children can’t wait another day.”