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Detroiters react with praise — and fury — as district changes how it will decide who gets into Cass Tech and Renaissance

A student wearing a Renaissance High School t-shirt competes in a robotics competition.
A student wearing a Renaissance High School t-shirt competes in a robotics competition.
DPSCD

Reaction was swift and strong last week when Chalkbeat reported that Detroit’s main school district is changing the way students are admitted to Cass Technical High School, Renaissance High School and two other selective schools.

Some parents, teachers, students and members of the schools’ devoted alumni associations praised the district’s decision to reduce the role of testing in admissions decisions. But others expressed anger and concern about how the changes will affect the schools and how decisions about the changes were made.

Instead of basing admissions decisions primarily on the results of a single exam, the district will this year turn the process over to an admissions team comprised of teachers and staff from the schools, as well as administrators in the district’s central office. They will use a score card to decide admissions with just 40 percent of a student’s score coming from the high school placement exam. The rest of the points will come from grades, essays and letters of recommendations. Students currently enrolled in the district will get 10 bonus points that will give them an edge over students applying from charter and suburban schools.

The news turned into one of the most talked about stories on our site this year — and readers’ reactions ran the gamut. Read some of what our readers had to say below.

Some thought the change was problematic:

BREAKING NEWS- Dr. Vitti & DPSCD have changed the admissions process for Cass Tech & 3 other district exam admission...

Posted by Monique Bryant on Saturday, January 20, 2018

BREAKING NEWS- Dr. Vitti & DPSCD have changed the admissions process for Cass Tech & 3 other district exam admission...

Posted by Monique Bryant on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Perhaps this is well-intentioned, but it inevitably opens the system up to abuse. “Recommendations” means admission is about *who* you know. Would love to see a plan for transparency to combat this.

— Jake Wertz (@jakewertz) January 19, 2018

Others applauded the changes:

News this week includes changes to the way students will be admitted to Cass Tech and Renaissance, an effort to recruit...

Posted by Chalkbeat Detroit on Friday, January 19, 2018

"“You can imagine that there was a great deal of subjectivity to that, and if you’re a student who might not be a good...

Posted by Wear Red for Ed on Saturday, January 20, 2018

"“You can imagine that there was a great deal of subjectivity to that, and if you’re a student who might not be a good...

Posted by Wear Red for Ed on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Read the article first then read here for some stuff that is NOT in it... Principal Cohen would say this at every first...

Posted by Vicki Hooks Green on Saturday, January 20, 2018

A current Cass Tech teacher said she agreed the admissions process needed to change, but was concerned that the district did not ask for her input on the new system:

Read the article first then read here for some stuff that is NOT in it... Principal Cohen would say this at every first...

Posted by Vicki Hooks Green on Saturday, January 20, 2018

How do you feel about the new admissions process? Tell us below in the comments or weigh on on Facebook or Twitter.

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