Student Exit from Detroit

Nearly a quarter of students who live in Detroit attend a public school outside the city limits. The Detroit Education Research Partnership studies who these students are and why they choose to exit Detroit for school. Our research seeks to provide policymakers with actionable information they can use to increase quality and access to schools in Detroit.

Major Findings Include:

  • Nearly a quarter of Detroit students attended a public school in the suburbs in 2017-18. Most had previously attended school in Detroit. Students were more likely to have attended school outside the city when they had fewer city schools near where they lived, raising important policy questions about school locations, closures, and access.
  • Students who exited had lower quality schools (test score performance, teacher and student stability, new teachers, discipline) in Detroit than students who stayed.
  • Students who attended a non-Detroit school enrolled in schools that had, on average, higher discipline rates, more new teachers, lower teacher retention, and higher test scores than their choice sets in Detroit.
  • Black K-8 students had, on average, lower quality choice sets than non-Black students in Detroit and they attended lower quality schools than non-Black students when they exited.

Check Out Our Research on Student Mobility in Detroit

Student Exit from Detroit - Report 1  Student Exit from Detroit - Report 2

Download a PDF of the technical appendix.

Download a PDF of the Exiting Detroit for School: Inequitable Choice Sets and School Quality executive summary.

Detroit Education Research Partnership