Fredricka, I'm at the Cornerstone Schools here in Detroit.
There are actually three of these institutions within Detroit, one independent—this one—and then there are two that are part of the public school system.
But at all of these schools the students are excelling.
Virtually all of them go on to graduate high school.
They test well above the grade average.
But they don't teach to test here.
They actually have a very holistic approach to teaching—ethics, morals, very, very important, music and the arts.
In fact, beginning in kindergarten these kids begin learning Chinese.
Can you believe that?
Now compare the situation here with what's going on at the Detroit public schools.
Only 58 percent of the students graduate high school.
So Detroit today is announcing a big plan, shutting down more than 40 of its schools.
It's all part of a program to revitalize Detroit schools.
What they want to do is within five years boost their graduation rates.
Right now only 58 percent, as we said, are graduating high school.
They want to get that up to 98 percent. Very ambitious.
They also want the students to test at the national average within five years.
They're a long way from that.
What they are going to do is recruit top principals, recruit top teachers, but there's also another key component, something that is done here that's a key part of the success here at Cornerstone.
We say that you have a responsibility, too, not just the student.
We expect you to be at parent teacher meetings.
We expect you to see that a child's homework gets done.
The parents have to play a key role.
Educators say that is so, so important, and it is a major problem at some failing schools.
Not just parents but also over here they recruit people from the community, mentors, professionals in the community, who come to also meet with the children and encourage them and tell them exactly what they can become once they get out of school.