GLEP Urges Closure Of Up To 20 Chronically Failing Schools

MDE releases annual “Top to Bottom” ranking, and two-thirds of the worst performing schools are on the list for a second, third or fourth time 

Lansing, MI (August 22, 2013) – The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) today called for chronically failing public schools in the state to be closed.

On Tuesday the Michigan Department of Education released a new and complex accountability grading system, the state’s annual “Top to Bottom” ranking, and new lists of Priority, Focus and Reward schools.

“Less than one in twenty of our public schools are earning the highest available designation, which is not acceptable for our state’s future,” said Jim Barrett, GLEP Chairman.  “Further, of the 137 schools that are ranked in the bottom 5%, 85 of these schools have been on this list at least twice in the past four years.  In fact, 20 schools have been identified as failing schools for each of the past 4 years. Absent extenuating circumstances or significant improvements, we believe these 20 ‘worst-of-the-worst’ schools should be closed as they are not adequately serving students and parents,” Barrett continued.

GLEP believes students in these 20 failing schools would be better served by seeking other educational options from the array of traditional public, charter public or cyber schools available in the state.  If there aren’t readily available educational choices, Barrett urged the creation of new public schools to educate students trapped in the worst performing schools.

Barrett commented that 10 public schools included in the bottom 5% list have been closed since 2010.  “The authorizers and the district here are to be commended for making the tough, but necessary, decision to pull the plug on schools that simply aren’t making the grade,” said Barrett.

Barrett added that in addition to closing chronically failing schools, GLEP supports maintaining high expectations and rigorous academic standards, continued implementation of the Common Core State Standards, utilizing next-generation testing assessments that measure individual student growth, developing an effective teacher evaluation system, and adopting a simple A-F letter grading system to measure school performance.


The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) is a non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan children. For more information, please visit

Persistently Lowest Achieving/Priority Schools for 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

  1. Beecher High School (Beecher Community Schools)
  2. King High School (Detroit Public Schools)
  3. Ross-Hill Academy-Elementary (Detroit Public Schools; Charter)
  4. Ford High School (Education Achievement Authority)
  5. Central Collegiate Academy (Education Achievement Authority)
  6. Phoenix Elementary-Middle School (Education Achievement Authority)
  7. Nolan Elementary-Middle School (Education Achievement Authority)
  8. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School (Education Achievement Authority)
  9. Brenda Scott Academy for Theater Arts (Education Achievement Authority)
  10. Mumford High School (Education Achievement Authority)
  11. Pershing High School (Education Achievement Authority)
  12. Burns Elementary-Middle School (Education Achievement Authority)
  13. Denby High School (Education Achievement Authority)
  14. Southeastern High School (Education Achievement Authority)
  15. Highland Park Community H.S (Highland Park Public School Academy)
  16. Inkster High School (Inkster Public Schools)
  17. Eastern High School (Lansing Public Schools)
  18. Murphy Elementary (Michigan Educational Choice Center – EAA Charter)
  19. Trix Elementary (Michigan Educational Choice Center – EAA Charter)
  20. Pontiac High School (Pontiac Public Schools)


Persistently Lowest Achieving /Priority and Bottom 5% Schools closed since 2010

  1. Detroit Academy of Arts and Science HS (Oakland University) – 2010 PLA – Closed 2011
  2. Detroit Midtown (Wayne RESA) – 2010 PLA – Mandatory Closure 2011
  3. Michigan Health Academy (Saginaw Valley State University) – 2010 PLA – Closed 2011
  4. Capital Area Academy (Central Michigan University) – 2011 T2B – Closed 2011
  5. Academy of Flint (Central Michigan University) – 2012 T2B – Closed 2013
  6. Center for Literacy and Creativity (Detroit Public Schools) – 2012 & 2013 T2B – Closed 2013
  7. Nsoroma Institute (Oakland University) – 2011 T2B – Closed 2013
  8. Pierre Toussaint Academy (Ferris State University) – 2010 T2B – Closed 2013
  9. Discovery Arts and Technology (Bay Mills Community College) – 2012 T2B – Closed 2013
  10. Longfellow Elementary School (Saginaw Public Schools) – 2013 Priority – Closed 2013