US News: Charter School is Top Open-Enrollment High School in the State for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, a charter school has been ranked as the best open-enrollment high school in the state by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine released its annual rankings of the “Best High Schools in America” this week, and charter schools performed extremely well in both the state and national rankings.

Grand River Preparatory High School in Kentwood was ranked No. 4 overall in Michigan, but the top three schools were all selective-enrollment schools, so Grand River Prep ranks as the top open-enrollment school in Michigan. Grand River Prep was one of only seven schools in Michigan to receive a Gold Medal from U.S. News & World Report.

This marks the second year in a row that a charter school has topped the rankings. Last year, Wellspring Preparatory High School, a charter school in Grand Rapids, ranked as the No. 1 school in the state. The U.S. News rankings are based on a metric that looks at how well each high school in the country prepares its students for college. In the national rankings, charter schools took the top five spots this year.

“The U.S. News & World Report rankings are highly respected, so this is one more piece of evidence that charter schools are working,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. “It’s no coincidence that charter schools continue to be ranked at the top. High school is all about setting students up for success later in life, and charter schools are obviously succeeding at that.”

Grand River Prep is managed by PrepNet, a Grand Rapids-based, for-profit charter school management company. The school is authorized by Grand Valley State University.

In addition to Grand River Prep taking the top spot, charter schools had a dominant performance throughout the rankings. In all, four charter schools earned Silver Medals, while 14 earned Bronze Medals.

Only three Detroit schools made the rankings – all with Bronze Medals – and the only open-enrollment school was a charter school, Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA). DEPSA also made history in athletics this year as only the fifth school in Michigan history to win a state championship in both boys and girls basketball.

A look at all the charter schools in the U.S. News & World Report rankings:

GOLD MEDAL

Grand River Preparatory High School, Kentwood

SILVER MEDAL

Black River Public School, Holland

Michigan Mathematics and Science Academy, Center Line

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, Grand Rapids

West Michigan Aviation Academy, Grand Rapids

BRONZE MEDAL

Central Academy, Ann Arbor

Charlton Heston Academy, St. Helen

Concord Academy Boyne, Boyne City

Crossroads Charter Academy, Big Rapids

Detroit Edison Public School Academy

Henry Ford Academy, Dearborn

Landmark Academy, Kimball/Port Huron

Marshall Academy, Marshall

Merritt Academy, New Haven

Riverside Academy West, Dearborn

Star International Academy, Dearborn Heights

Summit Academy North, Huron Township

Trillium Academy, Taylor

Washtenaw Technical Middle College, Ann Arbor