About the Awards

For parents of color and those living in poverty, finding public schools that show consistent and strong academic gains while also proving to be an affirming place for their child to learn can be a tough job given the many challenges due to lack of resources and funding for high-poverty public schools in Michigan. ​ ​

At Building the Hope Schools, this is the rare yet standard expectation.​

Schools receiving the Building the Hope Schools awards from the Education Trust-Midwest consistently demonstrate exceptional academic progress or growth for traditionally underserved students.

Each Building the Hope school sets a standard of excellence for all students and employs culturally- and linguistically-responsive school-wide practices — including instructional practices — that facilitate students’ outstanding academic progress or growth, making them true outliers in the state of Michigan.

The 2023 Building the Hope Schools – and Schools to Watch — serve high percentages of students of color and/or students from low-income backgrounds, relative to those same subgroups statewide.

These public schools are selected for recognition because one or more of their subgroups of students — Black, Latino, and students from low-income backgrounds in particular — demonstrated higher rates of proficiency in English Language Arts and/or math than the overall state average for a given grade level on the state assessment.  In addition, they have culturally and linguistically-responsive school-wide practices — including instructional practices — that facilitate students’ outstanding academic progress and growth, making them true outliers in the State of Michigan. All the schools are Michigan public schools.

Research also looked for competencies at the schools, including:

Student Achievement
Drive for results in student assessments and attaining racial equity in achievement data​
Student Growth
Accelerating student learning​​
Belief in Learning Potential
Students of color and students from low-income backgrounds can learn at high levels​​
Affirming Student, Teacher & School Practices
Positive school climate and culture, including culturally and linguistically responsive practices​
Current and Future Success
Instructional and school leadership that creates conditions for current and future success​