Mackinac Center Ranks Detroit Elementary No. 1


DETROIT — Thirkell Elementary in Detroit, where Beyond Basics has operated a one-on-one tutoring program for reading, writing, and word comprehension for eight years, was ranked No. 1 in a new statewide report card from The Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The Center released a report card last month that ranks 2,362 elementary and middle schools in Michigan. The Context and Performance report card takes student poverty level into account, in order to better examine school performance, and is based on four years of student test scores. The report had this to say: “Although about 90 percent of Thirkell’s students are from low-income households, 84 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient on the MEAP mathematics and reading tests in 2012. Thirkell students, on average, did far better on the MEAP than the state average. Adjusting for student background makes Thirkell’s success even clearer.”

This week, Audrey Spalding, director of education policy, and Dan Armstrong, marketing and communications manager or the center, recognized Thirkell’s accomplishments, students, and leadership. During her acceptance speech, Thirkell Principal, Clara Smith, recognized Beyond Basics president and founder, Pamela Good, as a wonderful partner. Smith credited Beyond Basics’ one-on-one reading program, which pairs students with certified tutors, as a key driver in improving literacy.