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Hamtramck Academy Earns Top Spot in Ranking of Michigan’s Best Public Elementary schools

NHA Communications Team  |  February 12, 2020

Kelsey Pardue
(616) 464-2235

Hamtramck Academy Earns Top Spot in Ranking of Michigan’s Best Public Elementary schools

Hamtramck Academy and 18 other National Heritage Academies Schools Earn A Grade in Mackinac Center Report

Grand Rapids, Mich. – February 12, 2020 – The Mackinac Center for Public Policy named Hamtramck Academy as the top school on their 2019 Michigan Context and Performance Report Card: Public Elementary and Middle School, released this week. Hamtramck Academy also placed first on Mackinac Center’s 2017 report card and finished in the top 1% of the rankings in the first two editions in 2015 and 2013. 
“Major kudos to Hamtramck Academy,” said Ben DeGrow, the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. “To finish No. 1 in the state on two straight report cards shows a consistent ability to dramatically beat expectations.”
Hamtramck Academy, managed by National Heritage Academies (NHA), opened in 2003 and serves 538 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The curriculum incorporates college-preparatory academics and a focus on moral character, preparing students for a lifetime of educational and personal success. 
“At Hamtramck Academy, we prioritize building a supportive learning environment, where each student feels welcome,” said Alvin Ward, principal of Hamtramck Academy. “To be recognized by the Mackinac Center as the top elementary school in Michigan is an extraordinary honor and a testament to the hard work of our students, teachers, and families.”  
Additionally, 18 other NHA schools received “A” grades on the report card, which ranked more than 2,200 elementary and middle schools across the state. NHA's Michigan elementary and middle schools earning A’s on Mackinac Center’s new report card:
No. 1: Hamtramck Academy, Hamtramck 
No. 49: Detroit Enterprise Academy, Detroit
No. 62: Great Oaks Academy, Warren
No. 80: Eagle Crest Charter Academy, Holland
No. 88: Detroit Merit Charter Academy, Detroit
No. 91: Ridge Park Charter Academy, Grand Rapids
No. 98: South Arbor Charter Academy, Ypsilanti
No. 102: Detroit Premier Academy, Detroit
No. 106: Legacy Charter Academy, Detroit
No. 129: Linden Charter Academy, Flint
No. 130: Vista Charter Academy, Grand Rapids
No. 134: Vanderbilt Charter Academy, Holland
No. 140: Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy, Plymouth
No. 145: Achieve Charter Academy, Canton
No. 174: Fortis Academy, Ypsilanti
No. 194: Warrendale Charter Academy, Detroit
No. 203: Canton Charter Academy, Canton
No. 214: Vanguard Charter Academy, Wyoming
No. 216: Cross Creek Charter Academy, Byron Center
The Mackinac Center bases a school’s CAP (Context and Performance) score on how well its performance compares to the results expected based on the socioeconomic makeup of its students – meaning it adjusts for student poverty levels when evaluating a school’s academic performance. Scores are based on three years of assessments for grades 3 through 8, and also gives recognition to schools that have made the biggest improvements over time.
“What sets apart our CAP report card is a recognition that students in poverty tend to bring more challenges to school with them,” DeGrow said. “Schools that help low-income students overcome barriers to achieve deserve recognition.”
View the full report card here.

About Hamtramck Academy:
Hamtramck Academy, managed by National Heritage Academies, is a free, public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth-grade in the Hamtramck area. For more information, visit

About National Heritage Academies:
National Heritage Academies is a network of 88 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through eighth-grade. For more information, visit
About Mackinac Center for Public Policy:
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Michigan residents by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions. It assists policymakers, scholars, businesspeople, the media and the public by providing objective analysis of Michigan issues.