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

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.

Smartest kids: What Michigan schools can learn from leading states

October 14, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Ron French

Students from Minnesota to Florida are learning more. Is Michigan ready to do something about it?

National education leader: Business must lead fight in Michigan

October 14, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Bridge sat down with Kati Haycock, founder of the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., to talk about reversing Michigan’s decline and what schools can do for low-income kids when parents aren’t in the game.

Smartest kids: Ignoring outcry, Massachusetts leaders chose excellence

October 9, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Tough standards, targeted funding and a difficult test that every student must pass have elevated Massachusetts to the top of the class.

Smartest kids: Massachusetts charter schools are few but mighty

October 9, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Charters in the Bay State are fulfilling the promise of bringing innovation and performance to public education. The state keeps a tight rein on who can open charters and sets high standards for schools to remain open.

Obamacare giveth, but courts could taketh away

July 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

A federal court case could set the stage for the repeal of Obamacare tax credits, and drastically raise health-care costs for 250,000 Michigan residents. A final decision is likely a year away.

Q&A: Home is what you make it

July 22, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

There are many cities that can be improved with planning that turns public spaces into the heart of those communities. Michigan’s “placemaking” chief explains how.

More money. More jobs?

July 15, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Southeast Michigan is poised to get a share of $1.3 billion in U.S. economic development grants. Lisa Baragar Katz, executive director of the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeastern Michigan tells Bridge how the money should be spent.

Emergency manager or emperor? Why Michigan’s law stirs contempt

July 10, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Michigan has one of the most aggressive receivership laws in the nation, giving emergency managers extraordinary power in distressed communities, but leaving hard feelings in their wake. Other states have had a smoother ride by involving elected leaders in turnaround plans, rather than shuttling them to the sideline.

Politicos were out to get me, says emergency manager

July 10, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Benton Harbor’s first emergency manager sidelined elected officials and a public war soon followed. EMs have authority to make the hard cuts that elected leaders won’t, but entrenched politics are harder to ax.

Is Detroit’s financial oversight board too big to succeed?

July 10, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

The state-created board may be larger than necessary, but it has the funding to run its own numbers, rather than relying on the city to turn over information.

F is for frustrated – disorganization at Detroit EAA schools leaves students scrambling to graduate

June 19, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Seniors graduating this month from high schools in the state reform school district complain of missing or inaccurate transcripts. Some are being told days before commencement they don’t have the required classes to graduate.

Officials’ mistake cancels Head Start in Detroit schools; ‘sin and a shame’ for district

June 10, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Detroit Public Schools missed a deadline, and now must bow out of the preschool program for low-income children, imperiling nearly 1,000 seats for 4-year-olds.

Michigan residents consumed with improving education, college affordability

May 8, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Michigan residents demand the state do something to improve schools, align training to the jobs available, and make college more affordable for students and their families.

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