Detroit's public schools have been called "arguably the worst in the nation" by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, but many students and teachers in the district are trying to turn things around with a host of new programs and initiatives.
Instead of calling parents to tell them when their kids have done something wrong at school, some teachers call parents to tell them that students have grasped a new concept or done a good job. And, certain organizations, like Detroit Parent Network, have cropped up to help reconnect parents with their children's education and keep students in school.
Early warning programs also help school districts identify students who are at risk of dropping out at an early age. Michigan has begun implementing a program called the "dropout challenge" in many of its public schools to reduce the number of students who aren't graduating from high school.
"A lot of our initiatives are really focused on engagement in school, about building connections, about relevance. Relationship is extremely important, and to make sure that kids feel connected, so that when they come to school, it is someplace that they want to be." - Michael Kaufman, Romeo High School
"Freshman year, my grades started slipping really bad, and I was like, there's no point in even doing it. I can't bring my grades up. It's not going to happen. There's no point in even trying anymore." - Katelynn Morris, Romeo High School
1. What is the purpose of education? Why are you in school?
2. What do you know about Detroit? Why do you think its public schools might be having an especially hard time keeping kids in school?
3. What are some reasons why students might drop out of school?
1. What solutions did you see in this video to the dropout issue? Which do you think would be most effective? Why?
2. Have you or your friends ever faced any of the challenges that some of the students in this video faced? How did you address the problem?
3. Why do you think it's so important to teachers and schools that students graduate? What is your school doing to make sure students don’t drop out?
'Dropout Factories' Fight to Raise Graduation Rates: