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How many kids can read by third grade? How many schools offer health services? This is how the Detroit schools plan to measure their success

Alan Petersime

After a series of 15 meetings with 367 parents, students, educators and community members, the leaders of Detroit’s main school district have laid out a vision for a district that will “educate and empower every student, in every community, every day.”

The Detroit school board is expected to vote Tuesday on its new strategic plan called Blueprint 2020. The board last month approved some aspects of the plan including its mission, vision, and priorities. Tuesday night, in a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Osborn High School, it will vote on the strategies laid out in the plan as well as the “essential metrics” the district plans to use to measure progress toward its goals.

The district, for example, will measure itself by how many students enter and exit the third grade with the ability to read. That’s a crucial question as a new state law will soon require schools to hold back third-graders who aren’t able to pass the state’s English Language Arts exam. If that law had been in place last year, fewer than 10 percent of the city’s students would have been allowed to advance to the fourth grade.

But the district will not be judging itself only on test scores. Other factors it plans to use to measure success include the percentage of students who report feeling safe and engaged at school and the percentage of schools that offer social-emotional and health services on site.

Read the full strategic plan that the board will vote on below.

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