Student Exit, Mobility, and Attendance in Detroit
By: Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, Ben Pogodzinski, Jeremy Singer, and Walt Cook
Collaborative Policy Research
This research is the result of a collaboration between Wayne State University's College of Education and a constellation of community partners interested in improving Detroit schools. We orient our work around the pressing policy needs of the Detroit education community, and we seek to inform the design of local educational reforms. We believe that education reform in other places has important lessons for our collective work in Detroit, but that any solution for Detroit will have to respond to the unique strengths and needs of our community.
This is the first of a series of reports in which we will apply social science research techniques, cycles of improvement on our own research methods, and feedback from community partners to explore critical policy problems and potential solutions in the Detroit education landscape. In this first study, we examine the following questions: What factors affect the odds that students leave the city for school, switch schools, or miss 10% or more school days? How do the conditions in residential and school neighborhoods affect student outcomes? What else do policymakers, educators, and families need to know in order to affect positive policy change?
We Want to Hear From You
This report provides an overview of student exit, mobility, and absenteeism in Detroit. Our future reports will go deeper into these issues to explore questions that community members need answered to contribute to educational improvement in Detroit. We will provide our interpretation of this research, based on data, studies from other cities, and the historical and contemporary Detroit context. But we are not the only experts. Detroit students, parents, educators, and advocates are in the best position to help us understand what our findings mean and how to act on them in policy and practice. To that end, we want to hear from you.
Sarah Winchell Lenhoff is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies. Ben Pogodzinski is an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies. Jeremy Singer is a Ph.D. student in educational leadership and policy studies. Walt Cook is a research assistant at Wayne State University.
This research was funded by the Skillman Foundation and the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies.