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, or call her at 313-310-7867.


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.

Long-term fixes to Michigan school funding unlikely this year

May 1, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

As election season heats up, lawmakers recognize that the state school funding formula needs an overhaul. But long-term changes to the Proposal A funding system will likely not be addressed. This leaves plenty of middle-class districts to struggle.

Study to measure cost of education unlikely in election year

May 1, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

State-funded adequacy studies are hailed by education groups and Democrats as a way to measure the true cost of educating Michigan students. But Republicans deride these studies as an effort to wring more money from taxpayers.

School funding fight turns on two visions of Michigan

April 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Charter and school-choice proponents want all districts to get an equal share of state funding. The state board and leading education groups say that rural, urban and low-income districts often need more resources to provide a quality education.

How much does it cost to educate a child? In Michigan, nobody knows

April 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Most states pay for so-called “adequacy studies” to calculate how much they should be spending to give students a quality education. Michigan is among a minority of states that have balked at such studies, while questioning their usefulness.

A brief history of Proposal A, or how we got here

April 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Proposal A was a bipartisan solution that offered property tax relief to Michigan residents while cutting the gap between poor and more affluent districts. A primer on how it works and why it needs an overhaul.

Benchmark: City services

January 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Detroit’s new mayor and City Council are taking ownership of fixing street lights, blight and bus service within six months. Can they succeed where others failed?

Benchmark: Schools

January 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Decades of reform have failed to boost student learning in Detroit’s struggling public schools. Will improved teacher training help?