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 at cpratt@bridgemi.com, or call her at 313-310-7867.

Articles

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.

A family run Detroit charter leads among elementary, middle schools

February 11, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy is a State Champ by paying close attention to improving teaching practices.

Cringe over troubled water - Flint’s smelly dilemma

January 29, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Flint calls on the state to clear up the city’s low-quality drinking water. Who is responsible for the city’s water problems?

Why Detroit’s new school leadership won’t much matter

January 22, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Detroit will improve its chronically low-performing schools when the system focuses more on proven, consistent academic reforms and less on changes to its power structure.

Sources: Flint’s outgoing EM to head Detroit Public Schools

January 12, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Darnell Earley has been the Flint EM since 2013. Sources tell Bridge that Gov. Rick Snyder will soon appoint Early to replace Jack Martin to head Detroit’s troubled public schools.

Upcoming fraud trial for school operator hangs over charter school industry

January 8, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Traverse City optometrist Steven Ingersoll’s federal trial is the largest ever related to a Michigan charter school, and has renewed calls for more financial accountability in Michigan’s mostly for-profit charter school industry.

As good jobs finally arrive, few Detroiters have the skills to fill them

December 16, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Thousands of positions in construction, healthcare, information technology and other high-growth fields are finally coming as Detroit emerges from bankruptcy. But a rollback in job programs and an educational system that leaves many young adults short on reading and math skills means many Detroiters can’t even quality for job training.

Detroit Public Schools taking a new approach with trade schools

December 16, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Detroit Public Schools once served thousands of students daily at vocational -technical career centers. Declining enrollment and high school closures led to cuts. DPS is now re-inventing the trade schools.

Teacher evaluation bills aim to improve performance

December 5, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Bipartisan legislation is intended to better identify areas where teachers are struggling and get them the training and support they need to improve. Historically, nearly all teachers have received high evaluations even though Michigan is among the bottom tier of states on national tests.

A-F grades for schools

November 13, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Michigan currently uses a confusing, color-coded system for grading the performance of its public schools. Some lawmakers want the state to convert to an A-F grading system that they say is easier for parents and educators to understand.

First meeting of Detroit financial review board on Wednesday

November 11, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Gov. Rick Snyder appoints New York’s Richard Ravitch to head a nine-member commission that will oversee Detroit’s finances post-bankruptcy.

Election Day Playbook: What to watch for tonight

November 4, 2014 | Ron French, Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Mike Wilkinson

Woody Allen once famously said that “80 percent of success is just showing up.” But Dems would probably settle for half that as they seek to unseat an incumbent governor.

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