VIDEO: High school choice and the long commute

VIDEO: High school choice and the long commute
September 14, 2016 Detroit Public TV

In Michigan, Schools of Choice has created legions of transient students looking for better opportunities in other schools, sometimes far away from home.

Accounts tell of parents and children in Detroit burning hours, taking multiple bus rides as thousands of students crisscross the metropolis to enroll in faraway charter schools.

Then there’s phenomenon of the pattern migration of African American students from the city to inner ring suburbs as white students leave their inner ring suburbs to sample schools out in the ex-suburbs.

These days Metro Detroit is a leader in the renaissance of school re-segregation.

This black and white flight that dates back to the 1990s, when the Schools of Choice experiment was unleashed. Now studies show that chances are high that if a student decides to leave their local district, they’ll end up moving on or returning to their home district after a few of years. More studies show that schools of choice do not necessarily lead to better achievement for those students on the move.

Detroit Public TV, a Detroit Journalism Cooperative partner, takes a look at the choices made by one African American family living in a predominantly white suburb with a highly rated school system that’s decided their best option means traveling nearly two hours a day, a regimen that begins well before sunrise and ends long after sunset every day, just to get the public education they feel they deserve, even if it’s closer to the urban core, in River Rouge.


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