Detroit Public Schools Community District sees test score improvements

Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 18:12:19-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Your children are seeing improvements. That is the message from the Michigan Department of Education as it releases a report on the Michigan Student Test of Education Progress or M-STEP results from schools across the state.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District also saw improvements.

For example in 2018 11.5% of students in grades three through seven were proficient in English Language Arts in DPSCD. In 2019 that number was up to 12.7%. When it comes to math last year 7.7% of children in the same grades were proficient. This year 10.1% are proficient.

It is a trend seen district wide.

One Mom who just transferred her twins into the district says it is yet another reason for optimism in the district.

“It makes me feel good that my kids are going to a good school,” said Darchelle Garvin.

“We can be trusted to get improvement. That is what parents want to know and now we have data to show them that,” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Dr. Vitti says it is no accident. He says since he became superintendent just over two years ago, following years under state emergency management, he saw problems.

“Our audit two years ago found students were being taught two - three years behind grade level,” said Dr. Vitti.

He says he has changed that, He has increased professional development for teachers, implemented data systems to track academic performance and added more interventions for students falling behind.

“We’re excited,” said Vitti. We saw improvement, but we know the work isn’t done.”

After all, the district still lags behind the state. In some cases the percentage of children proficient on average statewide is more than three times the percentage in Detroit. Dr. Vitti says providing resources for disadvantaged students will help change that.

The District is also calling on the community to get involved. It’s “Let’s Read” program is looking for volunteers to read to children. If you would like to get involved you can learn more at

Educators say they want parents to know that the M-STEP is just a small look at a student’s education. Teachers raise concerns about teaching to a test, instead of for meaning for learning.