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University Prep Schools

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University Prep Schools (U Prep Schools) is a K-12 charter school system headquartered in the New Center area of Detroit. It has two districts within its system: University Preparatory Academy (UPA) and University Prep Science & Math (UPSM).[1]

History[edit]

U Prep Schools was established by Robert "Bob" Thompson, a philanthropist who is from Hillsdale County, Michigan. The first senior class of U Prep Schools graduated in 2007. Thompson previously attempted to give $200 million to Detroit Public Schools (DPS) in exchange for it establishing 15 charter schools, but DPS rejected the offer.[2] Instead Bob and his wife Ellen Thompson, both white, spent $15 million in establishing the system, in Detroit which is 83% black.[3]

In 2013 the coalition Excellent Schools Detroit ranked Detroit elementary and middle schools by Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) performance. The following U Prep schools were in the recommended section of the list: University Preparatory Academy Middle School, University Preparatory Academy Mark Murray Elementary, and University Preparatory Science and Math Academy.[4]

In July 2014 U Prep Schools began a program with the Detroit Yacht Club which involved its students taking sailing and swimming courses. An anonymous donor, a member of the club, financed these courses with $100,000 spent for the first year; he stated that he would pay $150,000 per year for additional years.[5]

Academic performance[edit]

As part of the establishment of U Prep,[3] the Thompsons asked the school to retain 90% of its high school students and to have 90% of them attend universities and other post-secondary education.[6] In 2010 the graduation rate was 95% with almost all of the students moving on to tertiary education.[7] 57% of the students in the class of 2007 enrolled in two-year schools as sophomores had attended the same ones as freshmen, while 83% enrolled in four year universities attended the same ones as sophomores that they did as freshmen.[6]

Dan Rather stated in the 2011 program "A National Disgrace" that the test scores in the U Prep school system "are much closer to the Michigan state average" and "many points higher" compared to test scores from Detroit Public Schools (DPS) campuses.[8]

University Preparatory Academy[edit]

Mitch Albom, a columnist of the Detroit Free Press, described the school as "one of the top charter schools in Detroit."[3] African-Americans make up the majority of the school system's students.[3]

Schools within UPA include:

  • Ellen Thompson Elementary School (New Center)[9]
  • Mark Murray Elementary School (New Center)[10]
  • University Prep Academy Middle School (Midtown)[11]
  • University Prep Academy High School (New Center)[12]

The high school, which Albom describes as appearing similar to the campus of a university, has small classrooms. Albom stated that it has "first-rate" teachers.[3]

University Prep Science & Math[edit]

Schools within UPSM include:

  • University Prep Science & Math Elementary School[13]
  • University Prep Science & Math Middle School (Midtown)[14]
  • University Prep Science & Math High School[15]

The high school, which opened in the fall of 2010 with 125 students in the 9th grade, opened in a former warehouse. The former warehouse, bought and renovated jointly by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Thompson Education Foundation, is in proximity to Chene Park. The Thompson Foundation paid $14.5 million while the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan paid $1.5 million.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "Our Offices[...]610 Antoinette St Detroit, MI 48202"
  2. ^ "Robert Thompson: He goes to the head of the class for dedication to help educate Detroit children" (Archive). The Detroit News. March 28, 2009. Retrieved on August 8, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Albom, Mitch. "Mitch Albom: Denied Michigan hopeful learns tough lesson" (Archive). Detroit Free Press. April 19, 2014. Retrieved on August 8, 2015.
  4. ^ Higgins, Lori. "Top 20 best Detroit elementary, middle schools ranked by MEAP performance" (Archive). Detroit Free Press. April 15, 2013. Retrieved on August 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Zaniewski, Ann. "Detroit charter academy system mixes math, science, swimming, sailing" (Archive).Detroit Free Press. August 2, 2014. Retrieved on August 8, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Jennifer Mrozowski (February 23, 2009). "Charter's grads staying in college". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2010-01-18. (Archive)
  7. ^ Transcript of "A National Disgrace" (Archive). AXS TV. p. 16. Retrieved on August 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Transcript of "A National Disgrace" (Archive). AXS TV. p. 15. Retrieved on August 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ellen Thompson Elementary School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "Ellen Thompson Elementary 957 Holden Detroit, MI 48202"
  10. ^ "Mark Murray Elementary School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "Mark Murray Elementary 435 Amsterdam Detroit, MI 48202"
  11. ^ "UPA Middle School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "UPA Middle School 5310 St. Antoine Detroit, MI 48202"
  12. ^ "UPA High School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "UPA High School 600 Antoinette Detroit, MI 48202"
  13. ^ "UPSM Elementary School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "2251 Antietam Detroit, MI 48207"
  14. ^ "UPSM Middle School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "UPSM Middle School 5100 John R. Rd Detroit, MI 48202"
  15. ^ "UPSM High School." University Prep Schools. Retrieved on August 8, 2015. "UPSM High School 2664 Franklin St. Detroit, MI 48207"
  16. ^ Schultz, Marisa. "DPS schools get new life as charters" (Archive). The Detroit News. October 2, 2010. Retrieved on August 8, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]