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Old 04-09-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
282 posts, read 1,137,875 times
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I am doing some research based on a possible move to Michigan. We would be coming from NH. I have been in the field of education in NH for 15+ years. I am looking for information about the "best" school districts in the state. I am interested in test scores, parent involvement, class size, curriculums, etc. How is education funded in Michigan? In NH, property taxes support education, so "richer" towns have better schools, etc. School districts in NH are controlled at the local level, not at the state level. How does it work in Michigan? Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: At my computador
2,057 posts, read 3,287,795 times
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Detroit has a system that would probably be good for you. The drop-out rate is really high because the program is so demanding. However, if your kids are smart, they'll do really well.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,253 posts, read 74,402,821 times
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Better Districts to look at:

Ann Arbor*
Plymouth/Canton*
Livonia (maybe).
Grosse Ile*
Birmingham*
Troy
Rochester
Rochester Hills*
West Bloomfield
Bloomfield
Northville*
South Lyon
Novi
Dexter
Chelsea
Grosse Pointe (North and South)*
Tecumseh (Maybe)
Saline
Brighton
Milford

*These schools were in the very top grouping when I reseached the ratings about three years ago. I am missing a few that belong on this list. Some of the other listed schools may have been in the top 25% or so and I have forgotten.

Detroit Rennaisasance High is considered on the the best high schools in the State. There are one to two other charter schools in Detroit that are good, The rest of the system is pretty bad.

Most of the better schools are in the North Oakland county area.

Private schools:
COuntry Day
Cranbrook (one of the best private schools in the entire country).

I did not look at schools on the West side of the state.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,253 posts, read 74,402,821 times
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Richer towns generally have better schools. However as with all "rich" areas, the more wealthy the area the worse the drug problem seems to be. Bored kids with too much money seem to turn to drugs. A large but more middle class area like South Lyon generally will have fewer drug problems than a school of the same size in an extremely wealthy area. Of course neither one will have the problems of a district like Detroit.


It is not only "rich" areas, with better schools, you also have to have a population that prioitizes education and will vote for millage increases.

There is a big difference in size as well. Plymouth Canton High school with something like 5000 total students can offer a lot of different classes and opportunities. The campus is similar to a community college. Grosse Ile with 700 students offers less variety of classes but more one on one time and direct relationships between teachers and students/parents. The focus is on the basics of education (math, science, language arts). Both produce excellent students, test results, college matriculation, etc. Which is better? It depends on parent's preference.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
282 posts, read 1,137,875 times
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Coldjensens...........thanks for that info! My husband might have a possible job opportunity in Kalamazoo area.......which is more on the west side, so are all of these places on your list fairly far away? I need to get a Michigan map!! I don't know much about the area at all! Thanks again for your assistance.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,253 posts, read 74,402,821 times
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Yes. These schools are in the Detroit Area.

Kalamazoo is near the west side (prettier there and a better economy, but not as much stuff going on).

Kalamazoo once had the Kalamazoo promise which my understanding is that it was an endowmwnt that paid for college for every HS graduate. I am not sure if that still exists. There are some good schools in the Grand Rapids Suburbs. Not sure about anything else. Someone will let you know.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:27 PM
 
334 posts, read 1,436,210 times
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What about Utica Schools??
Great info on the schools in the area, thanks also.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
695 posts, read 3,291,980 times
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Utica also is Detroit Metro.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:39 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,145,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaK View Post
Coldjensens...........thanks for that info! My husband might have a possible job opportunity in Kalamazoo area.......which is more on the west side, so are all of these places on your list fairly far away? I need to get a Michigan map!! I don't know much about the area at all! Thanks again for your assistance.
The City of Kalamazoo mainly feeds Kalamazo Public Schools which has The Promise. Yes, The Promise is as good as it sounds: Free college tuition for every single kid who graduates from Kalamazoo Public Schools. My personal opinion is that the free college tuition is worth the challenge and hard work you'll put in to keep your kids on the straight and narrow. Kalamazoo schools have a reputation for toughness in the area, but when compared to other urban districts (GR, Flint, Detroit) it's a rather laughable comparison. My advice: Start your search here. In addition, the good restaurants are downtown. There are great historic neighborhoods to the south of downtown such as Westnedge Hill, Bronson Blvd (between Crosstown and Whites), Winchell (http://winchellneighborhood.org/default.aspx - broken link), and you'll find that housing is incredibly affordable compared to other areas of the country and state.

Portage is the traditional affluent suburb of Kalamazoo. As such, its schools are more highly rated, incomes are higher, housing stock is newer and strip malls are more upscale. Portage also has lakes, and the requisite homes that sit on their shores. It's a nice area just wasn't for me as we prefer more a historic, trees-n-sidewalks on every street, "neighborhoody" feel.

Mattawan (http://www.mattawan.k12.mi.us/ - broken link)is the booming suburban district. Growth-galore over the last 10 years has taken the once sleepy grape-farming area (http://tinyurl.com/55g3dm - broken link) and turned it into the new Portage. Mattawan also has lakes. Mattawan is unique in that it has a "consolidated school" (i.e. K-12 on the same campus) but isn't nearly as tiny as most consolidated schools. It's a great system and merits examination. You'll have fewer retail options than Portage, and fewer "urban" opportunities than Kalamazoo but more chance at buying some land with trees on it or a hobby farm (especially grapes which still grow right to the edges of a few newer subdivisions).

Since you'd be coming from out of the area, something else to like or dislike about Kalamazoo (depending on your point of view) is the state university in town. Western has about 30,000 students. The entire metro-area of Kalamazoo (basically Kalamazoo County) has only about 250,000 people, so when school is in, more than 10% of the entire area's population is students. They're concentrated right in the city of Kalamazoo (pop. 77,145 according to city-data.com) so when school is in, the city has a population of about 107,000, nearly 30% of whom are college students. In my opinion it's a great mix and I really enjoyed my years living in the area. For some, it's annoying as bars fluctuate from overcrowded to out of business depending on the time of year.

Good luck in your search!

Last edited by suydam; 04-09-2008 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: added links
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:09 AM
 
Location: NE philadelphia
550 posts, read 1,973,146 times
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I went to Western in Kalamazoo for education, I have four and a half years of experience in the area school districts! For some of the schools being "rough" in kalamazoo (i teach out east now and they are nothing in comparison), there are some FANTASTIC magnet schools within KPS. I have not found anything that compares to these awesome magnet schools out east. I did my full student teaching at a magnet school and I did many practicum experiences at other magnet schools there is so much variety and involved programs i LOVED it and thought it was fantastic!! ask me about the schools
I was also a substitute teacher in Mattawan and loved that school district! I also have close family friends who have taught in mattawan for over 25 years! they are also wonderful!
I did some "practice" teaching in Paw Paw which is in the same Intermediate district as mattawan and the schools and teachers there are great too!
One hitch with the Kalamazoo promise-in order to have your ENTIRE college tuition for free-first you have to attend KPS for your entire career, if you enter later it only goes down a bit each year but it won't be a full-ride
second is the college you choose must be in state-still awesome if you ask me!
Plainwell just north of Kalamazoo is another great small district!!
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