Against the Odds, Students Excel at Detroit High

Older, More Troubled Students Flock to Achieve at School

Detroit City High Principal Sharon Appling, student Joshua HobRobert. Frederick for NPR

hide captionDetroit City High Principal Sharon Appling watches as 10th grader Joshua Hobson does a trial run of his science presentation on earthquakes.

Robert Frederick for NPR
Detroit City High Principal Sharon Appling with 10th grader Joshua Hobson. Credit: Robert Frederick

hide captionDetroit City High Principal Sharon Appling watches as 10th grader Joshua Hobson does a trial run of his science presentation on earthquakes.

Robert Frederick for NPR

Combining students who will likely graduate high school at age 20 with trouble-making students in an inner city Detroit classroom might lead many to expect a recipe for academic disaster.

But one high school is beating those odds, and even attracting students to apply or transfer.

This week, the students finally got to go on summer vacation, but they'll be back in class in one month. Robert Frederick investigated the school's successes. He says it has a little to do with students who realize they're all in the same situation — and a lot to do with a staff that tries to nurture them.

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