Letter: Two Detroit schools set high bar

With the new calendar year upon us, schools across the country are beginning to think about springtime testing, and at least two Detroit schools have set high bars for themselves.

In December, Michigan House Education Reform Chairman Tim Kelly and Detroit sate Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo honored students, teachers and campus leaders from Detroit Public School’s Cass Technical and Renaissance High Schools for their achievement on the 2017 Advanced Placement exams in math, science and English. Students at the two schools led all Michigan public schools in the number of African-American students receiving qualifying scores in math, science and English AP exams in 2017. Renaissance saw a 62 percent increase and Cass saw a 21 percent increase. The average increase across the state was 13 percent. Qualifying scores illustrate mastery of college-level knowledge and skills in critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. They also qualify students for course credit at most U.S. colleges and universities, reducing the time and cost barriers to post-secondary education.

Cass and Renaissance now are in their second year of the three-year College Readiness Program from the National Math and Science Initiative. Western International joined the program for the 2017-18 school year. In its 10-year history, NMSI has seen schools maintain and continue advancements in teacher preparedness and student achievement beyond the three-year program.

NMSI is grateful for funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 Invest in Innovation grant to support the program in Detroit and for the dedication of district and campus leaders, teachers and students. We look forward to additional teacher trainings and student study sessions in preparation for the 2018 AP exams.

Crystal Ward, i3 program manager

National Math and Science Initiative