Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Chastity Pratt Dawsey covers Michigan’s cities and urban affairs for Bridge. She joined the Bridge team from the The Detroit Free Press after more than a decade of providing authoritative coverage of Detroit Public Schools. She has broken many of the biggest stories regarding education in the state’s largest city over the past decade. Pratt Dawsey’s work also has appeared in USA Today, Essence Magazine and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal. Before the Free Press, the native Detroiter was a reporter at Newsday in Long Island, NY, and The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. She started her career as an intern at The New York Times. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from the University of Michigan. You can reach Chastity via email, or call her at 313-310-7867.

Articles

Sink or swim: Higher education is key to Michigan’s future

December 10, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

A new report by education, business, philanthropic and government leaders says Michigan’s rise to an elite state depends on getting far more students to graduate from college or obtain a technical certificate after high school.

To rebuild Detroit, restore the schools

December 1, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

As state leaders contemplate the next, new education plan for Detroit students, parents warn that more families will leave if the schools don’t improve.

Amid Flint’s water crisis, a quiet success story

November 19, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Flint has seen roughly 30 percent of its blighted homes demolished since 2014, exceeding the city’s goals when it received federal funds to fight blight.

Why Flint is planting clover, rather than grass, on vacant lots

November 19, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Cities are turning to this perennial plant as a low-mow solution for maintaining abandoned or vacant properties.

How Snyder’s plan to fix Detroit school debt impacts other districts

October 27, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

There is a growing acknowledgement in Lansing that the debt that accumulated in Detroit’s schools while under state oversight should be borne by the state.

Building a path to better, higher-paying Michigan jobs

October 22, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

The second of three Center for Michigan summits focused on ways to increase upward mobility for Michigan workers.

For impoverished Michiganders, a little help in the kitchen

October 15, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Nancy Derringer

Low-income people often find it harder to eat well. Classes designed to teach basic cooking skills, and how to find food growing wild on vacant lots, aim to fill the gap.

Echoing state, Detroit schools cut back on standardized tests

October 8, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Bowing to complaints about test fatigue, Detroit reins in the amount of time students spend on in-district standardized tests.

Residents bullish on job training, and want employers to carry load

September 17, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Residents say additional training, apprenticeship and internship programs will give young and older workers a boost.

In Michigan heroin epidemic, deciding whose lives are worth saving

September 1, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

With heroin and prescription drug abuse at historic levels, lawmakers are pushing for wider access to naloxone, a life-saving antidote, for some drug abusers.

Lawmakers to big box stores: Pay your fair share of taxes!

August 11, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Legislators want to stop big box retailers from using a controversial tax strategy that is cutting their property tax payments in half; a maneuver that small towns say is crushing their budgets and spreading to other businesses.

One teacher, 25 kids and the enormous challenge of turning around Detroit schools (Chapter 1)

June 18, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

The state is in the midst of yet another fix for Detroit’s troubled schools. So this spring, Bridge spent time in William Weir’s social studies classroom to get a sense for what works, and what doesn’t, for one Detroit teacher.

One teacher, 25 kids: For struggling students, a push to 'dream bigger' (Chapter 2)

June 18, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

For third- and fourth-graders with limited reading skills, a teacher must take creative measures to make lessons stick.

One teacher, 25 kids: ‘Can I sleep at night?’ (Chapter 3)

June 18, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Budget deficits in Detroit mean even larger class sizes come this fall. Will Mr. Weir meet the challenge for his young students?

Michigan’s jobs rebound also brings a lower paycheck

May 12, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Michigan, a pioneer of the American middle class, is adding jobs but wages have fallen below the national average in the past decade.

State struggles to boost lives of the working poor

May 12, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Four-in-10 Michigan families can’t afford life’s basics, according to a report by the United Way. The report contends that helping struggling workers will ultimately benefit the state as a whole.

Dreaming big: A walking trail spanning Michigan’s vast coastline

April 21, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Could Michigan’s coast tracing the Mitten and Upper Peninsula be the centerpiece of a Great Lakes walking trail? At more than 10,000 miles, a proposed Great Lakes trail would be the world’s longest.

With state welfare cuts, caseworkers fear less time to help families

March 31, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Grand Rapids DHS office took the biggest hit, losing 35 workers. That could leave overburdened caseworkers with a heavier administrative load.

A bump in deliberations over Detroit schools

March 17, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Resignation offers piercing criticism, insider glimpse into high-powered coalition studying Detroit’s schools.

When is college credit not a credit? Too often, when it’s earned at a community college

February 26, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

For thousands of low-income students, a four-year college degree is only within reach if they start at community college, saving money on tuition. State lawmakers are leaning on colleges and universities to make that process easier by ensuring students’ hard-earned credits transfer with them.

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