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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

New Detroit school district unveils academic plan | Detroit Free Press

Photo: Ann Zaniewski
"The plan focuses on literacy, career pathways, innovation and other areas." summarizes Ann Zaniewski, Metro and Politics. 

The interim superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools Community District unveiled an ambitious academic plan today that will be rolled out over the next few years, focusing on areas such as literacy and innovation.

Alycia Meriweather said all high schools in the district will be organized around career clusters, much like the Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine, the site of this morning's  news conference. District officials are shooting for a 10% increase in student academic growth between now and the 2017-18 school year.

"We will no longer accept small, incremental growth ... We need to be very, very focused on improvement," Meriweather said.

The plan will be organized around five pillars: literacy, career pathways, innovation, family and community and wraparound services.

Officials did not provide many details explaining specifically how all the changes will be implemented.

Meriweather said on the literacy side, the district will implement "competency-based personal learning," specific to the needs of each individual student. All staff will undergo professional development around increasing student literacy.

High schools will be organized around career clusters starting in fall 2017, she said. Courses will focus on particular career fields, such as education or architecture. The specific clusters have not yet been identified.

District spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson said expanding the curriculum could be challenging, but officials are committed to the work.

Meriweather said: "One of the rules that we have around career clustering is that you would have an advisory board that consists of business, industry, universities. ... you want advice and insight from the people who know the industry.

"What people would see first is high schools having an affiliation with a career cluster, you should see an advisory board in place at each school, and you should see that the actual career pathway is outlined at the school level."
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Source: Detroit Free Press

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