Excellent Schools

A city-wide initiative to evaluate school success

The Problem

Detroit schools have suffered from population decline as well as loss of funding, crippling their ability to consistently deliver a high standard of education to our city’s youth. The city of Detroit has turned its focus on making sure that every child in Detroit has an excellent education by setting up a nonprofit organization dedicated to resurrecting those high educational standards for all Detroit children.

Excellent Schools Detroit (ESD) is a coalition of Detroit’s education, government, community and philanthropic leaders who released an education plan with steps to achieve excellent schools for Detroit children by 2020, however they needed help implementing the plan.

The Solution

ESD approached Dandelion about conducting a quantitative and qualitative review of 200 Detroit area schools. Dandelion co-designed a process through which volunteers could act as community reviewers, assessing the schools based on a rubric which we helped build. We developed the process of implementation in collaboration with the ESD team. Hundreds of Detroiters were recruited from across the city to conduct two school reviews each. Dandelion arranged the training and designed all the materials for the reviewers, including everything from the review rubric to the badges and t-shirts the community reviewers wore. Our team then helped to compile the raw data, and visualized key metrics in a way that made them easier for the average citizen to understand.

The entire four-month process was standardized and documented so it could be accurately and expeditiously reproduced year after year.