Note: We used High School Proficiency Test scores from 2010 because it was the most recent year that we could get scores for all four districts for the same tests. We looked at the four largest districts of the Wayne RESA network of Michigan public schools, which is the largest network in the state.
The Detroit Public School system was founded in 1842, and today it is the largest school district in the network. It covers 97 schools and 48,000 students. In 2016, it had a budget of $666 million. They spent $13.9k per student. The students are 87% black. In 2010, 37% of High School students passed the reading proficiency test and 16% passed the math proficiency test.
The second largest district is Utica Community Schools with 28,000 students. They had a budget of $277 million in 2016. They spent $9.9k per student. The students are 88% white. In 2010, 72% of High School students passed the reading proficiency test and 63% passed the math proficiency test.
The third largest district is Dearborn City School District with 18,300 students. They had a budget of $227 million in 2016. They spent $12.4k per student. In 2016, 66% of the entire student body was Arab. The inflated cost is supposed to be covering the cost of a bi-lingual education. (The Federal government classifies this as a 91% white district by the way). In 2010, 69% of High School students passed the reading proficiency test and 52% passed the math proficiency test.
The fourth largest is Plymouth-Canton Community Schools with 17,100 students. They had an annual budget of $154 million in 2015. That is $9.0k per student. Students in this district are 73% white. In 2010, 79% of High School students passed the reading proficiency test and 71% passed the math proficiency test.
So what is the point of all this?
Major media outlet have reported that nearly half of Detroit is functionally illiterate. Since 2010, Detroit High School proficiency rates have only dropped. Why does the school district with the highest cost per pupil have the worst-performing pupils? When is the mainline media is going to talk about this?