Detroit Charter Aims to be “Finest K-8 School in the Nation”

The following excerpt is from Accountability for All: 2016. For more on Detroit Merit Charter Academy, click here.

Detroit Merit Charter Academy is a K-8 charter school authorized by Grand Valley State University. More than 90 percent of Merit’s students are low-income, 98 percent are African American, and about 11 percent have disabilities. Despite what many might think when looking at these numbers, Merit students are beating their peers across the state no matter their income-level or race.

Close to 70 percent of Merit’s students are proficient in math, far above the state average for all students, which is about 30 percent proficient. In reading, the school does even better – 88 percent of students at Merit can read on grade level or above. That number is only 64 percent statewide. In writing, too, the school is defying the odds, with 83 percent of students writing on grade level or above.

When asked what makes Detroit Merit so successful, Principal Sandra Terry-Martin says, “it’s not rocket science.”

“We have really high expectations,” says Terry-Martin. “We believe all students can attend and graduate from college. We make sure students know exactly where they are as far as performance. All students know whether they are ahead or behind and how much they need to grow to get where they need to be.”

For more on Detroit Merit Charter Academy, click here.

Capitol Update

House Appropriations Committee met on Friday and Monday to hear testimony on the House Republican plan to address Detroit Public Schools. View video of the March 4 and March 7 meetings. Bills considered included: House Bills 5382 (Pscholka – R), 5383 (Price – R), 5384 (Garcia – R), 5385 (Poleski – R), 5386 (Jacobsen – R) and 5387 (Garcia – R).

Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday, March 1 to hear testimony on Senate Bills 754767, which are aimed at reducing red tape for schools and streamline reporting requirements. Bill sponsors include Senators Pavlov, Booher, Colbeck, Hansen, Horn, Knollenberg, MacGregor, O’Brien, Schmidt, Shirkey, Stamas, and Zorn.

Upcoming Meetings:
State Board of Education. Tuesday, March 8 at 9:30 am. Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room, Fourth Floor, Hannah Building or watch onlineThe agenda is available here.

House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee. Tuesday, March 8 at 10:30 AM. Room 426 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Programs
  • Innovation Schools
  • Career & Technical Education Programs

Senate Education Committee. Tuesday, March 8 at noon. Room 210 of the Farnum Building. Agenda:

  • HB 4822 (Price – R) regarding early literacy proficiency

House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee joint with Senate K-12, School Aid, and Education Subcommittee. Wednesday, March 9 at 8 am. Agenda: Quarterly Reports on Deficit Districts.

Senate K-12, School Aid, and Education Subcommittee.Wednesday, March 9 at 8:45 or after the conclusion of the joint hearing with House School Aid Appropriations. Harry T. Gast Appropriations Room, 3rd Floor, State Capitol Building. Agenda:

  • Update on Pilot Adult Education Program
  • Presentation on Career and Technical Education: Sections 61a, 61b, and 61c
  • Discussion of Changes Proposed for Adult Education

Click here for full update.