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Detroit Signs Deal to Prevent State Shutdown of Poor-Performing Schools

The Detroit public schools will avoid the forced closure of some of its struggling schools by signing a partnership agreement with the state of Michigan.

Detroit and eight other districts entered into early partnership agreement discussions with the state in March after they were identified by the School Reform Office as home to 38 underperforming schools, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The schools ranked in the bottom 5 percent academically statewide for at least the last three years. Twenty-four of those schools are in Detroit, including 16 in the district and eight within the state-run, soon-to-be-dissolved Education Achievement Authority.

Under the agreement, the state can't force the closure of any of the schools for at least three years. By July 31, each school must develop a set of academic goals as part of the improvement process that will likely mandate additional learning time for students by extending the school year or the school day, the Free Press reports.

Before signing the agreements, Detroit and several other districts had sued the state earlier this year to prevent the reform office from shutting down the schools. It remains unclear if the districts have dropped their lawsuits.

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