Sarah Winchell Lenhoff assistant professor and Ben Pogodzinski, associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education, releases study on “Student Exit, Mobility, and Attendance in Detroit" as featured in Chalkbeat.Return to news listing
Thousands of Detroit students leave the city every day to go to school. A new study helps explain why.
By Erin Einhorn
Advocates for Detroit schools have long lamented the daily exodus of students from the city — the nearly 30,000 Detroit children who hop on buses or get in cars every morning to attend schools outside of Detroit. Now, a new study sheds light on who these students are and why they might be leaving. Knowing the answer is important for Detroit, said Wayne State University education professor Sarah Winchell Lenhoff who, with her colleague Ben Pogodzinski, released a study Monday that looked at several major challenges facing Detroit schools. When students leave the city for school, whether they’re attending suburban charter schools or traditional school districts in the suburbs, they take their state funding with them. That’s nearly $8,000 per student. “That $8,000 follows them to Oak Park,” Lenhoff said. “It doesn’t stay in the city to support the success and quality of the schools here. That leads to the further
deterioration of our schools and to more kids leaving.” The study is part of a project funded by the Wayne State College of Education and the Skillman Foundation. “It’s meant to be a collaborative effort to produce rigorous academic research that’s relevant to policymakers in Detroit,” Lenhoff said. “It’s meant to help build a foundation for ongoing collaboration where policymakers and educators can start driving the research agenda instead of it coming from the outside.”