The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) announced on Tuesday that its students have shown remarkable improvement in the 2023 state assessments, surpassing the state, county, and city charter schools in several areas. The district also reported that its literacy proficiency and college readiness performance exceeded pre-pandemic levels and set record highs for the historic district.
DPSCD Outperforms State and County in M-STEP and PSAT/SAT
The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) is a standardized test that measures the academic achievement of students in grades 3-8 and 11 in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies. The PSAT/SAT is a college entrance exam that assesses the readiness of students in grades 8 and 11 for postsecondary education.
According to the district, the state assessment results demonstrate across-the-board improvement and outpace statewide and county improvement. The district’s proficiency levels improved in M-STEP ELA/PSAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) to 14.6 percent compared to 12.6 percent in 2021-22 and 14.4 percent in 2018-19. The state declined 3.9 percentage points in 2021-22, which remains unchanged in 2022-23.
In M-STEP/P-SAT Mathematics Grade 3-8, DPSCD’s improvement over 2021-22 was twice that of the state of Michigan and is much closer to full recovery to 2018-19 than the state. Proficiency levels improved 2.5 percentage points to 9.0 percent compared to 6.5 percent. The state declined 4.2 percentage points in 2021-22, recovering only 1.2 percentage points in 2022-23.
DPSCD Achieves Record Highs in College Readiness
The district also celebrated its record high performance in college readiness, as measured by the SAT EBRW and SAT Mathematics scores of grade 11 students. The district’s college and career readiness rates improved in both areas, exceeding both 2018-19 and 2021-22 levels, while the state stagnated compared to 2021-22 and is significantly below 2018-19 performance levels.
The district’s average SAT EBRW score increased by 13 points from 2021-22 to 423, surpassing the pre-pandemic score of 419 in 2018-19. The state’s average score remained at 489, which is lower than the pre-pandemic score of 507.
The district’s average SAT Mathematics score increased by 12 points from 2021-22 to 406, exceeding the pre-pandemic score of 402 in 2018-19. The state’s average score increased by only one point to 481, which is still lower than the pre-pandemic score of 499.
DPSCD Credits Its Reform Strategy for the Success
DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti attributed the success of the district to its reform strategy, which was implemented before the pandemic and resumed after the disruption. He said that the significant investments made in staffing, curriculum, professional development, and school student resources over the years are reflected in these results.
“We have more work to do, and I want our community to know that the formula we have at DPSCD is working,” he said.
He also praised the resilience and dedication of the students, teachers, principals, staff, parents, and community partners who supported the district during the challenging times.
“These results are an unquestionable statement that we are back to our reform strategy and that it is improving the academic standing of our students,” he said. “We are not surprised by this improvement.”