New study ranks Hamtramck Pubic Schools much higher than state does

A new private study on the academic performance of public schools ranked Hamtramck Public Schools much higher than how the state Department of Education grades Hamtramck.


By Charles Sercombe

If you factor in the effects of Hamtramck’s nearly 50 percent poverty rate, the public school district here is performing fairly well.

That’s the finding of The Center for Michigan, a non-partisan think tank that did a major study of education in the state.

The Center conducted 250 community meetings throughout the state, including one in Hamtramck.

Using a number of factors, including the fact that 90 percent of Hamtramck’s public school students qualify to receive a free lunch or a lunch at a reduced price, the Center ranked Hamtramck Public Schools’ academic performance at 200 out of 560 districts.

That’s an uptick compared to the grade given to Hamtramck schools by the Michigan Department of Education. The MDE ranks the district in the bottom 10 percent based on student academic performance.

Hamtramck Superintendent Tom Niczay pointed out that the conservative think tank The Mackinac Center for Public Policy also gave Hamtramck schools a far better ranking than the MDE.

The Mackinac Center ranked Hamtramck schools 120th out of 585 districts.

In an email to district employees, Niczay criticized the MDE.

“Tell everyone that will listen how grossly unfair the MDE rankings are by not factoring the poverty rate,” Niczay told employees in his email.

Niczay also added: “We are ranked ahead of Livonia, Berkley, Farmington, Utica, Royal Oak and Fitzgerald to name a few.”

As for charter schools, they have consistently scored at about the same level as public schools. In Hamtramck, most of the charter schools have scored lower than the public school district.

The Center for Michigan study also sought input from the public about their perceptions and thoughts on education. The findings may surprise some:

At “best” the Center said, the public says public education is “mediocre.” Those who are toughest critics of education are minorities.

Ways to improve education, the Center reported, include beefing up early childhood education, better teacher preparation, and more support for teachers.

As for the reforms already tried, the public doesn’t think much of expanding schools of choice, increasing the school year or having kids learn online.

Editor’s note: This article was posted in 2013.

12 Responses to New study ranks Hamtramck Pubic Schools much higher than state does

  1. JAMES

    February 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    2011-2012 elementary school ranking based on MEAP score in Hamtramck out of 1556 school in state of Michigan

    Hamtramck Academy 805
    Bridge Academy 1300
    Hanley Academy 1246
    Dickinson East 1317
    Dickinson west (kosciuszko) 1450

    I have nothing against Hamtramck public schools or charter school. Just telling the truth. I beg the journalist who wrote the article not to destroy the career of our young children by misleading people with false information. Hamtramck public schools once used to be very competitive and vibrant. Now, as you can see they rank the lowest even when you compare with charter school in Hamtramck. Kosciuszko school? you rather home school!

  2. jenny

    February 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    i don’t know what you meant by ” kosciuszko school ? you rather home school!” but i will tell you that you are wrong about hamtramck public schools. i am a kms student myself and kms is a very good school … so maybe you should think before you say anything because kms is a school with smart students. i don’t know what school you went to but don’t talk about a school that you don’t know much about!!

  3. Devin

    February 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hahahah Jenny. You’re a middle school student at the school and you’re arguing that the school is “very good”. What basis do you have for saying that? Have you attended other middle schools outside the city limits of Detroit/Hamtramck? Are you a MEAP or education expert? I can tell you are a current Hamtramck Public School student by the way you write. Do they teach you to capitalize the letter “i” when referring to yourself? What about capitalizing proper nouns such as Hamtramck? Good luck in the real world.

  4. Jonathan

    February 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Devin, you sure told that proud little girl how it is! Keep her aspirations to get a good education squashed! Way to go!

    Being an asshole to kids says a lot more about a person than bad grammar. You must be a really well educated person with lots of outstanding qualities. Good luck in the real world. It must be awful to be so pathetic.

    The MEAP should not be what we care about, despite it’s inability to provide meaningful assessments of student comprehension. The schools should not be criticized either, despite some mismanaged power. As long as a majority of school funding comes from a district’s own non-homestead property taxes (business, industrial, etc.), the state is maintaining underfunded schools in areas where education is most immediately necessary. If the property value is low, the taxes are low. This is why Detroit and Hamtramck Public Schools are working with limited resources. If property value is high, the taxes are high. This is why West Bloomfield Public Schools and Birmingham Public Schools have excessive resources and extracurricular activities. Should we include that in the MEAP?

    It works in many places, but not all. Forget about MEAP scores, Michigan needs to think about how to provide a better education across the board for low income areas.

  5. jenny

    February 11, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I am not a current Hamtramck Public School student. Have you ever thought of the idea that I didnt feel like capitalizing all those words and letters. I will tell you 1 thing don’t judge my school if you have never been there.

  6. Amy

    February 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

    James is telling the truth. Those ranking were from . I went to search few school in warren and came by Hamtramck data. I am against charter school however, charter school are performing well in Hamtramck compared to other suburbs. I have to give charter school their credits.
    @ jenny… you just said ” I am a kms student myself” . What the hell? You changed your mind?

    kosciuszko school sucks. sorry jenny!!! Rates 1450 out of 1556 school in the entire state of michigan. How bad can it get?

    As a current Wayne state student a word of advise: If you go to school like kosciuszko you will suffer in the university and beyond because your base education is like a ” tree without a root”

  7. Lina

    February 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    You guys are pathetic. Asshole? Nice way to tell a kid their wrong. You gotta be kidding me. I don’t know where you went for middle school, but I’ll have you know that Kosciuszko Middle School is a very good school. Yes, I admit that we aren’t in the highest rankings, but they prove that you can learn no matter where you are and what community you’re in you can still get a good education. I don’t think being home schooled can give you hands on experience. We live in a community where one person cares for another. Our schools look after each other, if one school is worse than home schooling, then the whole district would’ve been awful. You’ve never been to KMS, so don’t judge. You have no right to discriminate against our education coming from Kosciuszko. I’ll have you know, all my family went to KMS, and they’re making it big in education. Going on to teach students of their own. 

  8. Jenny

    February 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    My mistake, I misunderstood and I am a KMS student . @ Amy…. My big sister went to KMS and now she is in college and goes Wayne State University , but she isn’t suffering….

  9. Runi

    February 13, 2013 at 3:21 am

    @ James… Wow what a great thing you said but very discouraging.
    I thought you smart and intelligent people were suppose to leave great impact on future generation!!

    @Devin…It’s really funny how your going against a middle school kid instead of going against someone your age. Smh adults nowadays acting like they’re still in middle school. What a shame yo!

    @Amy..For a sec I thought you were talking about yourself how your suffering at Wayne State because Wayne State Warriors are not narcissistic like you and how come you don’t have anything to say back to Lina??

    Oh by the way guys I’m jenny’s big sister who went to KMS and now going to WSU for P.A.

  10. holly

    February 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I went to Kosciuszko back in the days. It is not the same today. People are moving to charter school now a days In Hamtramck. Either raise your ranking up or close the school. I ask everybody to boycot Kosciuszko and Holbrook school until they raise their ranking up. At least they must do better than charter school in Hamtramck.

  11. Lina

    February 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve been a Hamtramck student since pre-school. I’m just as smart as my friends in other districts. It doesn’t matter where you go. The school isn’t bad. Some of the kids are, but not the school.

  12. ali

    February 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I agree with the philosophy that you either improve the school or shut it down or have some charter take it over. Charter school in Hamtramck are doing better. It is unbelievable but true.

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