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Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools have traditionally been viewed as some of the finest in the nation. Recently, they’ve received some more mixed reviews, which will be explored in more depth. Firstly, let us see what is covered in the Ann Arbor Public Schools area.

Spread across 125 square miles, the Ann Arbor Public School district covers Ann Arbor, Michigan itself as well as parts of eight surrounding townships. The schools system operates a total of 35 schools – including 20 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 6 high schools (3 of which are designated “alternative”). Enrollment statistics as of school year 2006-2007 show a student body of just under 17,000, with a pupil to teacher ratio of roughly 16 to 1. In terms of size, it is the 8th largest district in Michigan.

In 2013, the Ann Arbor Public School district was awarded the Sunny award from the Sunshine Review, a national review board which compares and evaluates government entities for their transparency. The award was given by merit of the district’s willingness to share information on its financials, including budget layouts showing taxpayers exactly where their money was being used within the district. Distinctively, only the Ann Arbor Public School district received this award in Michigan.

In related news, Forbes did a review of public school districts on a national level. It found that the Ann Arbor Public School district ranked in the top ten of school districts throughout the United States. Forbes referred to it as a top-notch school system, citing the excellence of the schools themselves as well as the relatively low crime rates and access to affordable housing.

As to its ranking in regards to testing, the school district has suffered a bit in the past few years. Many have received yellow markings in the new educational target compliance scheme where they are expected to achieve greens. However, this is something going on on a national level currently. As school districts struggle to deal with new Core Federal education guidelines, most school districts are still aligning to the new metrics expectations.

To get a more fair picture of the district, it is necessary to look back a few years and determine how it has been functioning in regards to older, accepted standards and compare its ranking to those of other school districts. In defense of the Ann Arbor Public School district, it is noted that two of its four high schools achieved, in the U.S. News and World Report, a ranking placing it in the top 20 best schools in the country. Both Huron High School and Pioneer High School also received state rankings in 2013 of 12th and 16th in the state of Michigan.

Thus, it appears that the Ann Arbor Public School district is simply struggling, like the rest of the nation’s school districts, in realigning to meet new Core curriculum standards. Looking at a history of the school districts performance and studying its national rankings seems a far more accurate indicator as the the quality of the school district. In fact, it is quite likely the Ann Arbor Public School district will be one of the first in the state, and nation, to fully adjust to the new academic standards being set by the national government.

Know your school choice options in Michigan.

In Michigan your child can attend any school in the district (called intradistrict choice) if your child’s current school is deemed low performing. Your child can also attend a school outside the district (interdistrict choice), provided that there is space and the receiving district agrees to accept the student. Charter schools are also available.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, students attending a Title I school designated as “in need of improvement” have the right to attend a higher performing school in the district.

Top-Rated Ann Arbor Public Schools

Angell School
Bach Elementary School
Eberwhite School
Haisley Elementary School
John Allen School

Michigan Public Schools Status

Michigan harbors a total of over 1.5 million students in 3,550 public schools which ranks it the seventh largest public school system in the United States. The minority enrolment in Michigan public schools is less by 10% than the overall minority enrollment in the whole nation (43%), where the majority are the black. These schools have registered a student teacher ration higher than the national ration held at 18 students to one teacher and 14:1 respectively.

Quality of Education in Michigan Public Schools

This has been debatable all over the years especially because of its deteriorating trends. Michigan public schools continue to face a lot of pressure to expand and make their services better for the majority who have to attend them. It is however rather sad that despite the pressure, there hasn’t been extra funding towards that course. Parents are left wondering what happens next and to start with, the high student teacher ratio spells it all out. The learning process is rather hectic when teachers cannot give each and every student their attention. What’s worse, most Michigan public schools still call out on students to pay out-of-pockets for activities like sports which there should be a budgetary provision for.

Michigan Public schools ranking

Whenever a parent is out there looking for a school to enroll their children, they have a number of things they put up for consideration. Most people look at the general academic performance of the schools. This could be a wayward way of selection because it is obvious that a school with less students will have better grades. Most public schools in Michigan therefore fail to rank higher because of their high populations. Nevertheless, the best way to get the appropriate school to enroll your child would be through looking at the ratio of students to teachers. Despite their exam score rankings, most parents would choose a school which is economical for them so long as their children will learn a thing or two.

Programs in Michigan Public Schools

It is however worth mentioning that a lot has occurred to revolutionize the Michigan public schools. Considering the early ages when students would attend schools from mornings to evenings and it would be an entire learning marathon, there is a lot more to do today. Due to the high populations, segregation into groups of different extra-curriculum activities of interest. Engaging in activities like sports have increased the reactiveness of students. So that in as much as there isn’t much attention in their respective classes, a student is able to stand out in another activity besides academics.

Conclusion

All in all, there is dire need to restructure the Michigan Public schools. It is evident that there are several disadvantaged students from disadvantaged backgrounds that won’t have much of a choice but to go to these schools. Much needs to be done especially when it comes to equitable allocation of resources to these schools. This should be able to cater for all the resources needed to help these students make better people of the society. Something should be done about the student teacher ratio too.