Learning & Activities


The 11 Worst Schools In Michigan Today

Elementary school kids running into school, back view

The 11 Worst Schools In Michigan Today

Michigan is among the best places to live in the US, but it's also home to some of the country's worst schools. A recent study places the “Wolverine State” 27th nationally for its education levels. Thus, the state ranks slightly below the middle of the pack, besides being home to some top-rated learning institutions.

The region's slightly lower quality of education means only one thing: many schools perform below expectations. As a result, you may need help figuring out which schools befit your child's needs.

Fortunately, our comprehensive guide will take you through the worst schools in the state, from prekindergarten to twelfth grade, and the higher learning institutions with the lowest graduation rates.

Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts

18440 Hoover St, Detroit, MI 48205

Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts is a public school located in Detroit, MI, which is in a large city setting. The student population of Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts is 726, and the school serves PK-8. The student population has 49% female students and 51% male students. The school enrolls 90% economically disadvantaged students.

Brenda Scott Academy has a summary rating of 3/10 on GreatSchools.org summary rating. The facility also attained very low test scores. For instance, just 6% of scholars passed English, yet Michigan's average pass rate is 42%.

The website also rates Brenda Scot at 3/10 for student progress. The school scores 2/10 on equity, a below-average performance that indicates that underserved scholars may lag behind their rivals in the state. It could also indicate massive achievement gaps in the school. Compared to its peers in the state, the school ranks 786 for math proficiency and 1,487 for reading.

Fortunately, the school seems on the right track in resolving the academic hurdles that hinder its performance. For instance, all 39 full-time tutors are board certified, and 81% have served at least three years. The school also registers a fairly average tutor-student ratio. Combined, these attributes ensure learners get individualized attention.

Martin G Atkins Elementary School

3675 Southfield Dr, Saginaw, MI 48601

Martin G Atkins Elementary School is in Saginaw, MI, and is home to 342 scholars. The school has 47% schoolgirls and 53% schoolboys. 

Martin G Atkins has a summary rating of 3/10 on GreatSchools.org, and the review site rates its test scores at 1/10. These scores are below the state average, and the learners in the facility don't triumph in the different subjects at their grade levels.

For instance, only 12% passed the proficiency level for math, compared to the 41% state median. In addition, just 16% passed English proficiency, yet 45% of statewide learners attained the same.

Martin G Atkins' student progress rating is 4/10, below average. Therefore, your child will likely attain slower academic progress than their statewide peers as they advance their school years. In addition, the facility attains a 2/10 for equity, meaning if your child is underserved, they might lag behind others in other schools in Michigan.

Martin G Atkins Elementary School is already working towards improvement. The school now boasts a complete staff team of board-certified tutors. Even better, all educators have at least three years of work experience. 

Elementary kids in a classroom.
Only 12% of learners at the school passed the proficiency level for math, compared to the state median of 41%.

©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Marquette Elementary School

480 Bennett St, Muskegon, MI 49442

Marquette Elementary School opens our elementary schools' section. The public facility is in the Muskegon city setting and serves PK-6 to 531 scholars. The school's gender distribution includes 54% of school girls and 46% of males. In addition, about 93% of learners are economically disadvantaged.

Marquette Elementary School has a 3/10 GreatSchools.org summary rating. The school's latest test scores earn it a 2/10 on the review site, which is way below Michigan's state average. This rating comes from the low results posted by learners in the most recent state-mandated examinations.

At Marquette Elementary School, 24% of scholars passed the English proficiency mark, falling short of the 44% state average. Moreover, the learners who attained or passed the math proficiency level comprise 23%, versus the 39% state average. In terms of student progress and equity, the performance was also below performance. Marquette Elementary School registered a 4/10 and 3/10 in the respective categories.

The latest statewide rankings place Marquette Elementary School in position 910. The school boasts a reading proficiency rank of 1,228 and ranks 1,132 in math proficiency.

Cb Sabbath 68 Preparatory Academy

340 Frazier, River Rouge, MI 48218

Cb Sabbath 68 Preparatory Academy opens our middle school section and ranks as the third worst in this category. The school is in the Rover Rouge suburb setting and serves 371 scholars from sixth to eighth grades.

About 48% of the scholars are female, while their male counterparts form 52%. In addition, 89% of learners require help from financial assistance and subsidized feeding programs.

Cb Sabbath 68 Preparatory Academy's GreatSchools.org summary rating is 3/10, and the facility has a 3/10 rating for student progress and equity. Students also registered below-average performance in individual subject test scores. For instance, only 9% achieved or surpassed the English proficiency limit, while about 42% achieved the same throughout the state.

According to the latest rankings, only 3% of scholars achieved math proficiency, while those who scored above the level for reading only 12%. The rankings also place Cb Sabbath 68 Preparatory in position 614 among the state's middle schools. Finally, the school ranks 778 and 802 for reading and math proficiency.

Like most savvy facilities, the institution counters this by employing a workforce of board-certified tutors. The faculty members also boast years of combined experience, and all of them have more than three years of work experience.

Middle school kids in a classtoom.
Cb Sabbath 68 Preparatory Academy got a 3/10 summary rating from GreatSchools.org.


Thompson Middle School

3021 Court Street, Saginaw, MI 48602

Saginaw's Thompson Middle School doesn't consider itself merely a school but a diverse community working collaboratively to implement insightful teaching habits that can guide students to their unique potential.

Over 400 students study in Thompson Middle School, a population of 56% males and 44% females. About 91% of students in this reputable middle school face financial setbacks.

Unfortunately, Thompson Middle School doesn't feature among the best performers in the district or state. The school has a 3/10 GreatSchools.org summary rating, and the site rates it at 3/10 and 2/410 for student progress and equity.

Thompson Middle students performed below expectations in their respective test scores, with only 12% reaching the English proficiency mark. Interestingly, Michigan recorded a state average of 42% pass rate.

According to the latest rankings, just 9% of scholars passed math, and 22% achieved the same for reading. Thompson Middle School also ranks 614 among Michigan's middle schools. The institution also ranks 710 and 711 for math and reading proficiency.

This display needs quick action, and Thompson Middle has already implemented vast strategies to counter the low performance. The school implements a student-focused curriculum that's both rigorous and elevating. In addition, all faculty members have national board accreditations.

Academy of Warren

13943 East 8 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48089

The Academy of Warren concludes our middle section. This charter school's vision is to nurture and inspire learners to thrive in the rapidly evolving and challenging world. The administrative assistants and faculty members instill a global perspective, critical thinking, and acknowledgment of core values to achieve this.

The school serves 644 scholars, with the male and female populations forming about 51% and 49% of the populace. About 97% of students need some form of financial aid.

The Academy of Warren boasts numerous accolades, but the school has performed below expectations in the last few years. This unfavorable history has earned the school a 3/10 GreatSchools.org summary rating. In addition, students' performance in the respective subjects is below expectations, leading to a test score rating of 1/10. Only 11% passed English, and 6% passed math. This is way lower than the state averages of 44% and 46% in the respective units.

Despite this history, the Academy of Warren's latest performance in the latest examinations is an improvement. The school ranks 614 in the state and 112 in the charter category. In addition, the school ranks in positions 773 and 807 for reading and math proficiency.

A young girl raising her hand in class.
Academy of Warren ranks 614 in the state and 112 in the charter category.

©Diego Cervo/Shutterstock.com

Oakland International Academy – High School 

2619 Florian St, Hamtramck, Michigan

Oakland International Academy is our first high school on the list. The institution opened its doors in 1999 and has continually expanded its population, resources, and amenities. The school serves 337 scholars between grades 9-12, a population of 49% males and 51% females. In addition, about 99% of the population faces economic limitations, but the school simplifies things through its financial aid and free and reduced-price meal programs.

Oakland International Academy's GreatSchools.org summary rating is 5/10. In addition, just 13% passed social studies, indicating a low performance in test scores. The school also has a 4/10 rating for equity, so underprivileged learners may experience additional challenges catching up with their peers in the state.

Oakland International's college readiness index is below average, and the review site awards a 2/10 in this category. This means the school is below the state median in crucial career and college readiness measures. For instance, the school's four-year graduation rate is 91%, whereas the state average is 81%. In addition, the facility's SAT college readiness rate is below 1%, compared to the state's 32%.

Fortunately, Oakland International Academy scores a 7/10 for student progress, so your child will likely improve as they progress to their next grade level.

Frontier International Academy 

13322 Conant St, Detroit, Michigan

Frontier international academy prides itself on being a diversely rich community where students have numerous opportunities to gain knowledge and achieve their potential. In addition, the school's robust curriculum allows students to learn second languages, explore their athleticism, and enjoy vast arts activities.

Frontier International has a 4/10 summary rating on GreatSchools.org. The review site rates the international facility at 5/10 for student progress, which is average. However, the school scores a 2/10 in college readiness, a performance most parents would frown upon.

The students at Frontier International School lag behind their statewide peers in crucial career and college-readiness measures. For instance, the facility has an average SAT score of 840, yet Michigan's average is 996. In addition, the school's SAT college readiness is below 1%, compared to the state's 32%. However, the school achieves a higher four-year graduation rate than the state's, at 85%.

The latest nationwide rankings place Frontier International School in position 13,383. The institution also ranks 479 in the state and 134 in the Detroit metro area. Finally, the school ranks 1,103 in the charter schools category.  

A portrait of students standing outside in their school uniforms.
Frontier International Academy scores a 2/10 in college readiness.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Western International High School 

1500 Scotten St, Detroit, Michigan

Western International High School sums up our high school section. The institution considers itself a multicultural community of staff and learners who work jointly to optimize support for success.

There are about 1,919 scholars in this facility, 47% females and 53% males, with a 91% minority enrolment. This diverse populace comprises one of Michigan's largest bilingual populations. The school also caters to students from financially limited backgrounds, forming 77% of the populace.

Western International High School isn't among the region's best-performing institutions. The school's summary rating on GreatSchools.org is 3/10, and the site awards a 4/10 student progress score, which is also below average. In addition, the school garners a 1/10 for college readiness, with a four-year graduation rate of 71% against 81% recorded by the state. In addition, the school has a SAT score of 853 and a SAT college readiness rate of less than 1%.

Western International High ranks 13,383 nationally, 479 in the state, and 134 in the Detroit metro area.

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College         

770 N Main Street L’Anse, Michigan 49946

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College is the first higher learning institution that supports the L’Anse Indian Reservation and the surrounding area. The facility earned its charter award under the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's Ordinance No. 75-1 and served as a non-profit educational corporation.

Keweenaw Bay College provides a successful educational program that fosters students' self-esteem, dignity, and independence as they prepare for their desired careers. Moreover, the programs in this school equip students for employment, advanced degree pursuits, and personal aspirations. Unfortunately, it boasts one of the lowest graduation rates in the state.

CollegeFactual.com, a reputable review site, notes that Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College has a four-year graduation rate of 17%, while the facility's six-year graduation rate is 8%. In addition, the school boasts a 59% retention rate.

College kids seated in a classroom.
The school has a four-year graduation rate of 17% and a 59% retention rate.


Henry Ford Community College 

5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI, 48128

Henry Ford College is the final entry in our comprehensive review of Michigan's worst schools. The institution opened its doors in 1938 and has maintained its legacy as an educational gem and community resource for over eight decades.

Henry Ford College currently serves upwards of 13,000 students who explore various programs that equip them with employment skills. These diverse learners also prepare to pursue higher degrees and personal aspirations.

However, Henry Ford Community College isn't among the best schools in the state. The school's four-year graduation rate stands at 10%, and the facility has an equal six-year graduation rate.

Taking Action: How to Pick the Right School for Your Child

Understandably, Michigan's education system lags behind most of the states in the US. However, you can still find numerous facilities to enroll your child and have them go through the best learning experience. To achieve your goal, you must prioritize several key considerations.

One way to find the right education system for your child is to prioritize the oldest schools, as they boast rich histories and reputations. Also, be sure to choose a school with qualified and seasoned educators skilled to offer personalized attention to your child. Focusing on schools within a reasonable commute distance or those with reliable transportation is also important.

These considerations can help you find the ideal learning setup for your child's needs, capabilities, and talent.

To top