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February 02, 2011 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-02

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6B Vednesday, February 2, 2011 The Statement
From Detroit
Public Schools
to the
Leaders Best
By Kristyn Acho

VWednesday February 2,201 The Statement3B
news in review
.Five of the most talkied-about stories of the week, ranked in ascending order of actual importance

On Monday, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and the Department
of Health and Human Services
released its latest dietary guide-
lines. The guidelines emphasize
healthier eating and portion con-

Google unveiled on Tuesday the
Google Art Project, a site that
allows visitors to digitally explore
art work from 17 museums. The
Museum of Modern Art and Pal-
ace of Versailles are among the
participating institutions.

The 2012 Democratic National
Convention will be held in Char-
lotte, N.C., First Lady Michelle
Obama announced on Tuesday.
Other possible convention loca-
tions included Cleveland, Ohio and
St. Louis, Mo.

A Pew Hispanic Center report
released yesterday announced that
the number of illegal immigrants
in the United States remained the
same the past two years. Border
security and a weak economy have

Continuing protests prompted
maligned Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak to announce on
Tuesday that he will not run for re-
election in September. However,
Mubarak will not immediately

contributed the immigration rate. vacate his position.

The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan singled
out the Detroit Public School district in February
2009 during a nationwide discussion on the quality
of education in America by stating his extreme concern over
the education Detroit Public School studentswere receiving.
Two years after making those comments, Duncan has yet
to provide any concrete plans for the district.
It's not uncommon for politicians to make blanket
statements regarding the Detroit Public School system.
Based on test scores, grade point averages, attendance
records and dropout rates, Detroit Public Schools are a
struggling educational system. But accordingto DPS alumni
who currently attend or have graduated from the University
of Michigan, these numbers only tell half the story.
The district
The Detroit Public School system comprises zoned,
alternative and optional schools. As early as kindergarten,
students may attend "optional" schools in which an
examination is required before students are admitted. In
middle schools like Bates Academy and Hally Magnet,
students are placed in accelerated reading and math courses,
which are rigorous academic programs compared to the
average neighborhood school in Detroit. In the eighth grade,
every Detroit Public School student takes an examination to
determine whether he or she will gain acceptance to one of
the district's college preparatory high schools -King High
School, Cass Technical High School and Renaissance High
School - commonly referred to as "The Big Three."
University alum Byron Conway, who attended the
University on a full academic scholarship and is currently
attending Boston University Law School, was the only
student from his class at Kettering High School in Detroit
to gain acceptance to the University in 2006. Conway said
the distinction between test-in schools and neighborhood
schools greatly affects the mentality of DPS students and
their decision to continue on to higher education.
"Those schools were already bringing in students that
have the successful mentality. They have the 'I want to
succeed' mentality, whereas a lot of the other high schools
were community-based high schools - which means they
took in anyone from their community - and so they see a
lot more of the 'I just don't care mentality,' " Conway said.
"That's what really separated the caliber between the Cass
and Renaissance and Martin Luther King schools from the
Mumfords, the Murray Wrights and the Ketterings."
LSA Senior Bianca Renae Lee, a Renaissance High School

alum, saw the negative effects of this kind of mentality
"I've known people that took the exam and didn't get in
(to a 'Big Three' school), so when you throw people off like
that, they have that mentality for the rest of their high school
career," Lee said.
Andre Criswell, a University alum and current School of
Social Work student, graduated from Renaissance in 2006.
He said there is a large disparity in the academic curriculum
between test-in schools and neighborhood schools.
"The academics at Renaissance were extremely
challenging. And it has the reputation in Detroit as being
more challenging than Cass because it's more difficult to
get into, so Renaissance helped me a lot," Criswell said. "I
can't imagine how it would have felt coming from a place like
Mumford or Central to Michigan."
Who's applying?
The dichotomy between Detroit's college preparatory and
neighborhood schools is on display in the admissions data
for the University of Michigan provided by the University's
admissions office. In 2009, Cass Tech and Renaissance high
schools sent a higher number of students to the University
compared to neighborhood schools like Mumford, Denby
and Kettering. Based on the 2009 data, only a small pool
of students from neighborhood schools applied to the
University. At some neighborhood schools, no students
+ Ford High School - a neighborhood school in Detroit
with an enrollment of more than 1,200 students during the
2008 to 2009 school year - had only four students apply
to the University in 2009 compared to the 73 students who
applied from Renaissance, which had a comparatively lower
enrollment of 1,031 students during the same academic
year. During the same school year, more than 130 Cass Tech
students applied to the University.
Not one student out of the 2,147 enrolled in Detroit's
Southeastern High School during the 2008-2009 academic
school year applied to the University, according to data
provided by the University's admissions office
Conway attributed low application numbers among DPS
students to his peers' realistic attitude. Conway said that
though he graduated with a 4.0 GPA, the next highest grade
point average was a 3.5 and the next highest ACT score was
10 points below his.
James Logan, who graduated from the University in 2008,
is the only student out of the four accepted from his Mumford

High School class who decided to attend the University. He
believes many DPS students outside of "The Big Three"
are apprehensive about applying to the University largely
because they didn't think they would receive financial aid.
"So I think I was the only one that decided to come to
Michigan because I said, 'I don't care how much money I get,
I got into the best school in the state, let alone one of the best
schools in the nation, and I'm going."'
Logan also described a stereotype he believes many DPS
students associate with the University.
"They feel the stereotype of Michigan is not welcoming to
Detroit Public School students - more specifically, blacks,
to put that out there, and I think that a lot of students may
not consider Michigan as an option," he said. "I would say
they have an inferiority complex. There were 500 seniors my
senior year. If 400 graduated and only five applied, and only
one went in2004 - that's pretty shocking."
According to several former DPS students, there is a
public relations problem between the University and the
Detroit community. Former DPS students say the only thing
their classmates knew about the University was what their
parents said about it and that they perceived Michigan as a
huge University that was essentially an Ivy League school.
But the most common perception students from DPS share is
that "being a young person from Detroit, they would have no
place there," Logan said.
*jWhere is the 'U' recruiting?
For years, the University has actively recruited students
from Renaissance and Cass Tech. From an efficiency
standpoint; the University officials look to these schools
because they can recruit and admit qualified students. But
this causes a disadvantage those ,DPS students who, for
other circumstances beyond academic qualifications, did not
attend the city's premier high schools.
According to Conway, the University did not actively
recruit students from Kettering during his time at the high
school from 2002 to 2006.
"It's a little disturbing and a little unnerving to know
that, as much as I love the University, that they don't
necessarily think that it's worth the time to go into schools
like (Kettering)," he said.
But Ashley Spratling, an LSA junior and the 2008
valedictorian at Mumford High School, said that the
University actively reached out to the students of her
Mumford class. She recalls University staff coming to
Mumford with applications and pointers for the application

0 1 2 3 0 4 5 67 8 9 101
quotes of the week fom the archives
"I've got no problem with a competitor developing Their parents would be proud
an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innova-
tion, in my book."
AMIT SINGHAL, A GOOGLE FELLOW, on recent allegations that Micro-
soft search engine Bing copies Google search results.
"My sense is that theft is on the rise as there are so
many people in desperate times."
INC., on the purported increase of vending-machine robberies due to a
poor economy.
dd Jason Coben and Nick Velissaris to the University's list of decorated
alumni. In 2006, the recently-graduated duo posted an 18-3 record en
the rules route to conquering the inaugural World Series of Beer Pong ("For two
alums, beer pong not just an excuse to drink," 1/31/2006 ).
For their victory, the sharp-shooting pair - monikered "Team France" -
No. 310: No. 311: No. 312: received a handsome $10,000 check (pocket change considering the $50,000
The Super.Bowl If you're on If you are reading prize given to the winners of the 2010 series, according to Bpong.com). As the
Michigan Daily noted, however, not all parties were quick to celebrate the Wolver-
is more than just Facebook in class, this, you must ines' feat, " ... the fact that they won one of the world's biggest drinking contests
commercials. It's you're rude. If it's have survived has sent ripples of discontent through the athletic department and some alumni
also good for chips Twitter, you're an SnowpoCalypse networks."
And a contest it was. The pair bested an 80-team pool in their quest for beer-
and dip. informed citizen. 2011! Congrats! swilling supremacy. The lesson: perseverance is Key(stone).
by the numbers OTEYFHWLTBT
Millions of illegal immigrants in the Unit Millions of illegal immigrants reportedly <' Percent of the foreign-born population
ed States as of March 2010, according to a in the United States in 2007, the nation's that are illegal citizens in the United
3 recent Pew Hispanic Center report- highest illegal immigrant count. States.

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