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Detroit Children’s Fund Partners with Four of Detroit’s Nonprofit Charter School Networks to Reduce Racial Equity Gap and Create Opportunities for High School Students

The Detroit region currently has some of the largest racial equity gaps in the U.S. One of those gaps is the white and Black college graduation rates, with 60% white students and only 26% Black students graduating. In turn, this affects the long-term ability for individuals to care for themselves and their families, with only 17% of individuals without a college degree in the region earning a family-sustaining wage. In the city of Detroit itself, 69% of its residents between 18 and 64 without a high school diploma are also either not in the labor force or unemployed.

Gaps such as these spurred the Detroit Regional Chamber to launch the Detroit Regional Talent Compact in 2020, working toward the 60 by 30 goal of increasing the postsecondary attainment rate to 60% and reducing the racial equity gap by half by 2030. Under this initiative, institutions across Michigan, including higher education, business, philanthropy, nonprofits, and K-12 traditional and charter public schools, created plans and set goals to improve the quality of economic opportunity for residents in the Detroit region, particularly people of color.

As part of the 60 by 30 initiative and to help close those gaps, Detroit Children’s Fund recently partnered with four of Detroit’s leading nonprofit charter school networks, including New Paradigm for Education, University Prep, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, and Detroit Leadership Academy, to create the Charter High School Collaborative and develop a set of goals and plans to transform outcomes and opportunities for Detroit’s high school students. In each goal, they work in all facets of the college-going process for students, including expanding opportunities for students, improving systems, adding staff capacity, developing staff’s skillsets, and partnering with external organizations.

The goals include:

  • Postsecondary Readiness and Foundational Skills: Ensuring that every student is prepared to pursue a postsecondary degree or credential
  • Postsecondary Access and Success: Ensuring that every student has the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary degree or credential
  • Creating More Equitable Outcomes: Detroit Drives Degrees is committed to reducing by half the gap between white and Black education attainment by 2030

For the next two school years, with the potential to expand, these four school networks will work together and with additional partners to build “the best equity-focused, college-going schools in Detroit.”

Some methods they will use to achieve this include expanding dual enrollment programs, exploring an Early Middle College Collective program, increasing engagement with seniors and their families between graduation and college, and increasing the number of college success-focused staff who work with students as early as the seventh grade.

Keep up with the Detroit Children’s Fund and the Charter High School Collaborative at https://detroitchildrensfund.org/.