Charter schools ranked at the top as publications name best high schools in Michigan

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The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the top high schools in Michigan, with both publications looking at how well schools across the state prepare their students for college.

Charter schools ended up dominating both rankings – in particular, schools that are part of the PrepNet network. Three PrepNet schools finished in the top 10 in the Washington Post rankings (Wellspring Preparatory High School and Grand River Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids, and Arbor Preparatory High School in Ypsilanti), while two PrepNet schools were in the top 10 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings (Grand River Prep and Arbor Prep). There are five PrepNet schools total in Michigan.

As the country celebrates National Charter Schools Week (May 1-7), Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) President Dan Quisenberry said the rankings are yet another piece of evidence that charter schools are making a difference.

“No matter what metric people use to evaluate and rank schools in Michigan, charter schools always fare extremely well,” Quisenberry said. “Whether you’re ranking schools based on how well they outperform their expectations, or how well they’re preparing students for college, you’ll see charter schools at the top. In this case, both the Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report used a clear set of metrics to rank the highest-performing high schools in the state. When you remove the selective-enrollment schools from the lists, charter schools took all of the top spots.

“Considering we only educate about 10 percent of the state’s students, that’s remarkable. I saw a newspaper headline about these rankings that summed it up perfectly. It said that charter schools are ‘Punching above their weight.’ That’s exactly what’s happening here.”

Quisenberry had special praise for PrepNet’s showing in the rankings, and noted that another PrepNet school – Taylor Preparatory High School – is home to the 2016 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year, math teacher Ronald Brown.

“PrepNet is on quite a roll,” Quisenberry said. “They’re doing an extraordinary job of preparing their students for college, and this is just more evidence of that.”

Quisenberry also noted that Black River Public School in Holland – which showed up near the top of both rankings, as well – is home to the 2016 Michigan Charter School Administrator of the Year, Head of School Shannon Brunink.

The Washington Post rankings can be found here.

The top 10 in the Washington Post rankings (charter schools in bold):

1. Utica Academy for International Studies (selective enrollment)

2. International Academy of Macomb (selective enrollment)

3. City Middle/High School of Grand Rapids (selective enrollment)

4. Wellspring Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids

5. Grand River Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids

6. Arbor Preparatory High School, Ypsilanti

7. Troy Athens High School

8. Black River Public School, Holland

9. Dearborn Heights Crestwood High School

10. Troy High School

The U.S. News & World Report rankings can be found here.

The top 10 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings (charter schools in bold):

1. International Academy of Bloomfield Hills (selective enrollment)

2. International Academy of Macomb (selective enrollment)

3. City Middle/High School of Grand Rapids (selective enrollment)

4. Grand River Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids

5. East Grand Rapids High School

6. Birmingham Seaholm High School

7. Saline High School

8. Grosse Pointe South High School

9. Troy High School

10. Arbor Preparatory High School, Ypsilanti

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