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A snapshot from the cover of the second edition of a school guide published by the Detroit Community Education Commission.

A snapshot from the cover of the second edition of a school guide published by the Detroit Community Education Commission.

Detroit commission publishes new parent guide to city schools. But parents will have to wait for academic info.

A citywide commission has released the second edition of a guide to Detroit schools, but it’ll be early 2020 before it includes an important piece of information some parents want: How those schools are doing academically. 

The guide is produced by the Community Education Commission, a mayoral commission that just approved a plan earlier this year to develop letter grades for every public school in the city, both district and charter. More than half of a school’s grade will be based on how its scores on standardized exams change from year to year.

“We are still in the process of determining A-F grades for Detroit schools, and expect them to be included in the third edition of the Detroit Parent’s Guide to Schools, which will be released early next year,” Stephanie Young, the commission’s executive director, said in a statement.

The letter grades the commission is working on are different than those the Michigan Department of Education will issue by Sept. 1, a deadline set by lawmakers in controversial legislation approved in December. The state grades rely less on test score improvement than the Detroit grades.

Mayor Mike Duggan created the 11-member commission last year to help improve education in the city and push for ways district and charter schools can cooperate more. So far, the commission has created a bus line that provides a school transportation and after-school program to students who attend 10 district and charter schools in northwest Detroit. It’s expanding to include four additional schools for the upcoming school year.

The guide includes information on availability of bus transportation, uniforms, waitlists, preschool programs, points of pride, activities, and before- and after-school programs.  

New in this year’s guide: Tips for parents shopping for city schools, contact information for community organizations, post-high school graduation resources such as the Detroit Promise scholarship program, resources for children in lower grades, such as a citywide reading initiative, and information specifically for adults, such as adult education and GED programs, job training, and placement assistance. There is also new information on school safety.

When it was released for the first time last year, the guide was seen as a way to provide parents with useful information to help them navigate a sea of school options in the city.

“For too long, Detroit parents have had to go from school to school to find out more information,” Monique Marks, chair of the commission, said in a statement. 

See the full guide below or view it here: