Archived News

Attention all Parents & Staff: New Power School Login Site

As of Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 5PM, all staff and parents may log into powerschool through and use their normal login credentials to do this. will no longer work as of this date and time.

Junge Family UM-Dearborn Endowed Scholarship Assembly

JRLA 2014-15 Public Safety Drills

JRLA 2014-15 Public Safety Drills

Behind the scenes with Kyrie Irving & Jalen Rose at the USA Basketball Exhibition game in Chicago f/ the JRLA Varsity Basketball Teams

4th Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing ~ Hosted by Operation Graduation

3rd Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing 26 JRLA PIXDear Friend,

An epidemic is plaguing our country.  Did you know that every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school?  This translates into hundreds of thousands of high school students in Detroit alone at risk of dropping out. 

Despite their zip code, every student deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education at a quality school and that’s why I founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on the Northwest side of Detroit.  When we opened our doors three years ago, we made a commitment to prepare all of our scholars to not only graduate from high school, but to graduate from college – a real game changer in urban education!

Funding an open-enrollment, public charter school is not an easy task, especially in Detroit where we receive roughly 85% of what nearby suburban schools receive. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive funding to purchase, lease, or improve facilities. Often times, this causes financial challenges that can limit the charter school’s ability to provide appropriate accommodations.  To financially support both the transformational educational opportunities for students at JRLA, and to provide the necessary facilities to house these unique programs, Operation Graduation is currently planning a fundraiser to support the capital campaign.  

Please join us for the 4th Annual Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Celebrity Golf Outing presented by H.H. Barnum, Tom Gores/Platinum Equity and the Weissman, Eppler, Showich Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC on Monday, September 8, 2014 at Michigan’s private Detroit Golf Club.  Sponsorship opportunities and additional information can be found here: 

We know education must play a critical role in transforming our community into a more vibrant, intellectual and economic landscape. 

I truly believe that JRLA will lead that transformation by providing a quality education that will empower and enable our future leaders to make a substantial contribution to the growth and revitalization of our great city of Detroit.  

This will undoubtedly be a fabulous event but, more importantly, the money we raise will help improve students’ lives right here in metro-Detroit.  I hope to see you there!

Jalen Rose 

Dennis Archer, Sr. – Former Mayor of Detroit & Chairman, Dickinson Wright
Maceo Baston – University of Michigan Basketball Player & NBA Star
Dave Bing – Former Mayor of Detroit & JRLA Board of Directors
Trey Burke – 2013 National Player of the Year (University of Michigan) & Utah Jazz
Derrick Coleman – Detroit Northern, 1st Pick Overall  in 1990 Draft & NBA All-Star
Jordan Crawford – 4-year NBA Star & Free Agent
Kristen Danyal – Miss Michigan USA 2012 
Jim Davies – 8-year NBA Star & Former Detroit Pistons Player

Vincent Goodwill – Detroit Pistons Beat Writer/Detroit News
Aaron Gray – University of Pittsburgh & Detroit Pistons
Spencer Haywood – Pershing High School, 4-time NBA All-Star & 13-year NBA Legend
Anderson Hunt – Detroit Southwestern, 1990 NCAA Champion (UNLV) & Final Four MVP and JRLA Parent
Michael L. Jackson – University of Detroit Basketball Standout & Providence College Coordinator of Basketball of Operations

Dana Jacobson – University of Michigan Alum & CBS Sports Personality
David Jacoby – ESPN Producer & Grantland Host, Writer and Editor
Jonas Jerebko – Detroit Pistons
Avery Johnson – NBA Champion (San Antonio Spurs), NBA Coach of the Year (Dallas Mavericks) & ESPN Analyst 
Larry Johnson – 1990 NCAA Champion (UNLV), 1st Overall Pick in the 1991 NBA Draft and NBA All-Star
Jimmy King – Michigan “Fab Five” Legend & 2-year NBA Star
Ben Lyons – University of Michigan Alum & Entertainment/Sports Personality
Reggie McKenzie – University of Michigan Football First-Team All-American & 13-year NFL Star
Jodie Meeks – First Team All-SEC & Detroit Pistons
Kraig Nienhuis – Former NHL Boston Bruins Player
Willie Norwood – 8-year NBA Star & Former Detroit Pistons Player
Brian Olatunji – Professional Race Car Driver
Morris Peterson – Michigan State University 2000 NCAA Champs & 11-year NBA Star
Ron Rice – 7-year NFL Star w/ the Detroit Lions
Jalen Rose – ABC/ESPN Analyst & 13-year NBA Star
Pat Sheridan – 9-year MLB Star
Josh Smith – 2005 NBA Slam Dunk Champion & Detroit Pistons 
Stan Van Gundy – Head Coach & President of Basketball Operations, Detroit Pistons
Rasheed Wallace – 2004 NBA Champion (Pistons), 4-time NBA All-Star & 16-year NBA Star
Perry Watson – Michigan Basketball Coaching Legend (Southwestern, Wolverines & Titans)
… and more TBA! *Subject to Change


H.H. Barnum 
Tom Gores & Platinum Equity
The Weissman, Eppler, Showich Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Golf Cart:
Detroit Pistons
Michael & Pamela Carter Charitable Fund
Cocktail Reception:
Michael & Pamela Carter Charitable Fund
Michigan First Credit Union
Driving Range:
Shifman & Carlson, P.C.
Detroit Pistons
Tee Hole: 
Steven & Gwen Haggerty-Bearden
Nick & Ivette Khan
Creative Artists Agency
First Martin Corportion
Allstate Insurance – Schrock & Associates
Schostak Brothers & Co
Gift Bag & In-Kind Support:
Kelleher Enterprises, Inc
Beans & Cornbread
​Carl’s Golfland

Public Notice of Open Meeting – Special Meeting 08-19-14

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Board of Directors
15000 Trojan Street
Detroit, MI 48235

Pursuant of Michigan Open Meetings Act, Act No. 267 of the Public Acts of 1976, being Sections 15.261 to 15.275 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

Telephone: (313) 397-3333

PURPOSE: Board of Directors Special Meeting (Annual Organizational Meeting)

TIME: 12:00pm  

DATE: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LOCATION: Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

15000 Trojan Street

Detroit, MI 48235

A copy of the meeting minutes are available for public inspection at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, 15000 Trojan Street within 8 business days for proposed minutes and 5 business days for approved minutes.

The Academy shall comply with subtitle A of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336, 42 USC 12101 et seq or any successor law. Should you require specific accommodations(s) please contact Ms. Jones at (313) 397-3333 prior to the meeting.

Summer camp gives Detroit students a boost in STEM education

bildeJuly 30, 2014 - Troy – Christion Henderson tapped the keys on his laptop, creating a Mario Brothers-type video game.

But he wasn’t just having fun. He was learning skills involving science, technology, engineering and math as part of a three-week summer camp session that runs through Thursday at Kelly Services headquarters.

“I’d like to become a game programmer and an entrepreneur when I graduate from college, so these skills are important to learn right now,” said Christion, 16, an 11th-grader at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter high school in Detroit.
Christion and seven classmates are participating in the camp hosted by Kelly Services, a consulting and temporary staffing company. The students are learning how to create a pixel software application, as well as learning career preparedness that includes mock interviews and resume writing.

School founder, board president and former NBA star Jalen Rose said he wants to provide students with a private school education in an inner-city school.
“Kelly Services was gracious enough to allow the students to enrich their outside classroom learning, and give them something productive to do in July,” said Rose, whose school is open 11 months a year. “We are trying to create the city’s next work force.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for STEM professionals will grow almost 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, adding nearly 1.3 million new STEM-related jobs.

Doug Ross, president of American Promise Schools, a nonprofit school management organization that manages the Rose academy, said he met with Kelly Services executives and explained the school’s goals.

“We’re working together so that next summer, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy students will be able to go into internships in STEM areas at various local companies, and Kelly Services will get a new crop of students, about 25, to participate in the summer STEM camp,” Ross said.

Tammy Klugh, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Kelly Services, said students will present their completed projects before the company’s staff at the camp’s conclusion.

“We have a lot of staff members who have been working with the students, and they’ll be able to see their work,” she said. “The students then will be able to put their video games on a thumb drive and take them home.”

Lori Autrey, executive director of Pixel It Graphics and Training in Detroit, instructed the students how to create the video game.

“They’re learning animation, math, coding, storyboarding and how to create characters,” she said. “It’s not only about playing a game. People have careers just creating characters, or just coloring the characters, and they can start out earning $80,000.”

Jiyah Pitt, 15, already plans to become a pediatrician. But after creating her own video game, she’s thinking of adding those skills to her resume.

“This has been a great experience,” said the 11th-grader. “I want to go into medicine, but now I’m actually thinking about doing this, too, because you can do way more than you think you can if you just put your mind to it.”

By Shawn D. Lewis - From The Detroit News:

Junge Family Endowed Engineering Scholarship provides opportunity for Jalen Rose Leadership Academy students at UM-Dearborn


Graduates of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), interested in studying engineering, will be eligible to receive a full scholarship to University of Michigan-Dearborn because of the generosity of a UM-Dearborn alumnus. The Junge Family Endowed Engineering Scholarship, funded by UM-Dearborn alumnus John Junge, will cover the costs for two JRLA students to study engineering at the university. The first scholarship recipient will enroll at UM-Dearborn in fall 2015, with a second in fall 2016.

“I am inspired by the commitment that Jalen Rose has shown to his community with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy,” said Junge, a 1964 engineering alumnus of the university and retired owner of Champions of the West, a private holding company for All Star International. “The journey that I had at UM-Dearborn, making life-long friends, while experiencing hands-on learning through coop positions and a great education, helped position me for a successful career. I look forward to JRLA students having a similar experience.”

JRLA, located on the northwest side of Detroit, is an open enrollment, public charter high school that strives for 85 percent high school graduation, 85 percent college enrollment and 85 percent college graduation.

“JRLA provides a private school education in a public school setting; college scholarships are paramount to the success of us achieving our mission,” Rose said. “Mr. Junge’s endowment will leave a legacy at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and provide an opportunity for some of our students to not only study engineering at UM-Dearborn, but allow them to do so without having to worry about how they are going to pay for their secondary education.”

The university will also begin a collaborative partnership with JRLA, aimed at introducing students to and stimulating interest in engineering fields. Students, faculty and staff from the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at UM-Dearborn will implement a series of outreach activities to collaborate, mentor and build relationships with JRLA students, parents and staff. The university will also assist with educating JRLA students and parents on the process to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

“We are actively involved in outreach activities throughout the region to introduce students in K-12 systems to engineering. For some, this is the only access to engineering they have,” said Tony England, Dean, CECS. “Through programs like this, UM-Dearborn alumni, like John Junge, make it possible for young people, specifically engineers, to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

UDM Student-Athlete Marchant Takes Mentoring Partnership Program to Next Level (at JRLA)


DETROIT (5/8/14) – Graduate student Shannon Marchant of the University of Detroit Mercy women’s track and field team has helped initiate a group-mentoring program during the 2013-14 academic school year. The program is designed to assist students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) to transition and succeed through their high school years, into college, and beyond.

“Being a Scholar Athlete for Life: An Anti-Substance Abuse Pro-Alternative Program” is the name of the program that was in the planning stages in the summer of 2013 and came to fruition in the spring of 2014. That is when Marchant began to put her stamp on the program after the foundation was piloted for three years at other area high schools for general students. 

“When Shannon interviewed for a position at the Institute for Leadership and Service, it was clear that she was capable of leading important projects. Her commitment to service and the Detroit area was evident and we wanted to encourage her talents,” said Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster, Co-Director of the Institute and Professor in the Department of Psychology at UDM. “Shannon’s experience as a student athlete for four years at UDM was the perfect fit for the growing partnership between the Institute and the Department of Athletics, and she was just the person we wanted to take that lead.”  As the program was looking to grow, Marchant’s application to work with the Ford Community Corps Project (FCCP) came at the perfect time.

Marchant applied for a position to assist with programs that are funded through UDM’s Institute for Leadership and Service by the Ford Motor Company Fund (a non-profit arm of the Ford Motor Company). The Ford Community Corps Partnership (FCCP) programs typically pair student leaders with faculty and/or staff to create intentional service projects.  Since Marchant had experience as a student-athlete competing for women’s track and field, it was a natural next step to pair her with UDM’s Assistant Athletic Director for NCAA Compliance, Steve Corder to work with other student-athletes and create a partnership in the environment that she lives in everyday. Marchant also expressed her desire to contribute to the community of Detroit that had supported her throughout her years living in the city.  She thought this project could provide the same opportunity for other student athletes, too.

Corder loved the idea and started working with Marchant to plan the outline for the program over the summer. Together they came up with a proposal that went beyond the previous “Step Up” Program and focused specifically on student athletes. The next step was to confirm a location for the project to take place and the timing was perfect because the principal at JRLA, Joe Tenbush was looking to expand the work that had already begun with UDM.

Since 2010, the University had developed a formal agreement with the newly formed JRLA. The University assisted in evaluating the environmental health of the building chosen to serve as the school and participated in planning and development of the new school that first opened its doors in the fall of 2011. The goal of the formal partnership was to have JRLA students interact with UDM through campus visits, activities, guest lecturers, and college mentoring. Beginning in the 11th grade, JRLA students will be granted the opportunity for dual enrollment at UDM. Thus, the intention is that many of the participating students will graduate from JRLA, as well as from UDM.

Dr. Zimmerman-Oster set up a meeting with Marchant, Corder, Tenbusch, and Professor Diane Manica who has been serving as the liaison for the JRLA-UDM Partnership since 2010. Because of Marchant’s enthusiasm and ability to organize the project, Tenbusch committed to the project right away..

“Shannon was a great starter for this and she really has taken it forward with her athlete’s perspective. We are looking to grow the program so that it can be a sustained partnership between the two schools,” said Dr. Zimmerman- Oster.

“We go to the high school and we talk about leadership and being a scholar athlete, about being a good kid, and anti-drug initiatives and alternatives to drug use. I was attracted to it right away,” said Chris Shevins, a junior on the UDM men’s lacrosse team. “I feel like in the Detroit area it is tough to find role models and I think some athletes who are from the surrounding area definitely want to give the JRLA students guidance for the future.”

Information  about the 12-week program is shared with the students at JRLA, who are required to formally apply to the program.  Sessions occur on both the UDM and JRLA campuses and the Univeristy provides transportation to get both sets of students to where they need to be. The topics discussed during these group mentoring sessions included:

Balancing Life as a High School Student
Reducing Agression
Leadership Development
How to Intervene When Someone Needs Help
How to Reduce Prejudice
Social Media and You
Preventing Substance Abuse 

When Marchant first started planning the program, she thought there was going to be a major focus on substance abuse. But, she realized that lecturing on that every week gets old. Instead, in line with current thinking in the drug prevention field, she altered the program into a pro-alternative program to address other topics and to teach life skills. So both sets of students participate in study sessions and attended a Titan basketball game and pot luck dinner together.

For every student-athlete from UDM, there are two students from JRLA academy making it a 2-1 ratio and providing students with the opportunity to grow closer to their mentors.

“As I was getting ready to graduate, I knew I wanted to be a student leader and partner with someone somewhere in the community. That narrowed it down because I knew I wanted to work with students because I am not too far removed from being a high school student myself,” said Marchant. Eventhough I was in my last year of undergraduate school at UDM, I knew it wasn’t too late to step things up and take my own leadership to the next level.

Bad Boys Unite To Help Detroit (including JRLA) And Celebrate The 25th Anniversary Of The 1989 NBA Championship

Players Coming Back Together To Commemorate Iconic Team, Raise Money 
For Detroit Charities… Private Fundraiser Event To Be Held March 27… Championship Team To Be Honored At Pistons vs. HEAT Game March 28

AUBURN HILLS, Mich – The Bad Boys and members of the 1989 NBA Championship team are coming together to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their first NBA Championship, a title that energized the City of Detroit and solidified the Bad Boys’ place in basketball history.  A special charity fundraising event called “Bad Boys Unite” will take place on Thursday March, 27 at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit.  Team members will gather the following day for a special halftime celebration on Friday, March 28 when the Pistons take on the Miami HEAT at The Palace of Auburn Hills (7:30 p.m.). 

The 1988-89 Detroit Pistons won 63 regular-season games and stormed through the postseason beating the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and finally the Los Angeles Lakers.  Team members included Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams.   Constructed by Jack McCloskey and coached by the legendary Chuck Daly, Brendan Malone and Brendan Suhr, the 1989 team was cherished by fans in Detroit and gained national notoriety for their physical style of play.

Hosted by the Come Together Foundation, “Bad Boys Unite” will raise funds for six local charities – Forgotten Harvest, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Cornerstone Schools, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Rhonda Walker Foundation and CATCH (Sparky Anderson’s Charity for Children).  

“The Bad Boys mean so much to our franchise, our fans and the City of Detroit,” said Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores.  “They played with toughness, passion and heart.  They are champions.  They reflect the spirit of the people of Michigan in so many ways.  It is an honor to celebrate their legacy in a way that continues to inspire and give back to the community.”

For fans interested in joining in the 25th anniversary celebration and cheering on this historic group of Pistons Legends, the Pistons vs. HEAT game on Friday, March 28 will include a special halftime ceremony featuring player introductions and video tributes that honor the “Bad Boys” and the 1989 NBA Championship team.

“The 1989 NBA Championship is a special moment in our franchise’s history,” said Pistons President of Basketball Operations and 1989 NBA Finals MVP Joe Dumars.  “Detroit fans supported our team with great passion and it’s fitting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of that team in a way that supports the city and connects with our fans.” 

“I’m pleased to help bring our team together again in a way that impacts the turnaround of this great city through education, youth development and basic needs.” said former team captain Isiah Thomas.  “The Detroit community has always been important to us and I look forward to celebrating the history and tradition of the Pistons organization in a meaningful way.”

 April 3, 2014: BAD BOYS UNITE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF 1989 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION - Raises More Than $300,000 for Detroit Charities  

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Bad Boys and members of the Detroit Pistons 1989 NBA Championship reunited to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their first NBA Championship, raising more than $300,000 over two days with net proceeds shared equally between six Detroit-based non-profits. 

Hosted by the Come Together Foundation, “Bad Boys Unite” raised money for – Forgotten Harvest, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Cornerstone Schools, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Rhonda Walker Foundation and CATCH (Sparky Anderson’s Charity for Children) – at the “Bad Boys Unite” fundraiser March 27 at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit, including sponsorships and silent and live auctions, and at the March 28 Pistons-Miami HEAT game at The Palace of Auburn Hills with in-arena and online auctions.

Proceeds from the sale of “Bad Boys Unite” T-shirts were at the March 28 game and from the Pistons 50/50 Payday raffle were also donated to the charities.

Pistons “Bad Boys” teammates – Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams – also served lunched at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on March 28 with Forgotten Harvest. 

The 1988-89 Detroit Pistons won 63 regular-season games and stormed through the postseason beating the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and finally the Los Angeles Lakers.  Team members included Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams.   Constructed by Jack McCloskey and coached by the legendary Chuck Daly, Brendan Malone and Brendan Suhr, the 1989 team was cherished by fans in Detroit and gained national notoriety for their physical style of play.

Nearly 20,000 fans joined the 25th anniversary celebration, cheering on the historic group of Pistons “Bad Boy” Legends, at the March 28 game, which featured a special halftime ceremony with player introductions and video. 

Black Enterprise – Jalenland: For the Ultimate Doer, a Higher Purpose Calls Back Home

black-enterprise-logoThe most outspoken member of the Fab 5 is a one-man media conglomerate. It’s because he’s trying to put his city on his back –transforming one mind at a time

By Darren Sands

November 22, 2013 — At 40, he’s a young man by every standard except that of a professional athlete. It’s only through that lens does the week of Nov. 10 make sense for Jalen Rose.

On Nov. 11 he tweeted that it was snowing in Detroit. The next day Mr. Rose did College Gameday at the United Center where four of the top five teams — Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky and Duke — played two riveting, highly watched games. The next morning he hopped on a 7 a.m. flight for an NBA Countdown meeting. On Friday he did the show with Bill Simmons and his good friend Sage Steele. None of that accounts for briefings on what’s happening on the school he founded. Mr. Rose also has a book coming in 2014 and founded Three Tier Entertainment, the production company that produced the Fab 5 documentary with ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

“Jalen had College Gameday last night and flew in this morning from Chicago on a 7 a.m. flight, and he didn’t miss a beat,” Countdown coordinating producer Amina Hussein wrote in an email. “He’s just a tireless worker. Like that first kid in the gym, always working on his craft.”

According to, Mr. Rose made well over $100 million over the course of his playing career. So why is he working so much?

Is it the failure associated with not winning a national championship as a member of the University of Michigan? The sting of having never met Jimmy Walker, the No. 1 pick of the 1967 draft, who, it should be noted, happens to be his late father? Is it the work ethic he honed on the basketball court, the same attitude about work that seems encapsulated by the phrase Detroit vs. Everybody?

For Mr. Rose, it is a simple equation.

“The more I build up Jalen, the more I build up JRLA.”

He spoke by phone from Los Angeles, fresh out of a meeting for Countdown which ended in time for staffers to watch Game 1 of the World Series.

“I wasn’t a Hall of Fame player. I wasn’t a 10-time All-Star. I don’t have people just closing their eyes willing to give me a blank check. So I really have got to roll up my sleeves and be committed to do it. It allows me to be a beacon and a champion for the cause of graduating young men and women from high school and college.”

Rise of a multi-media superstar

Separately, Grantland founder Bill Simmons and former NBA star Jalen Rose are appealing–as producers of crowd-pleasing content (Mr. Simmons produces a reader-driven mailbag column and Mr. Rose’s mantra comes from the O’Jays’ “Give the People What They Want” ), both healthily obsessed with the NBA. Together they are one of the most interesting duos at ESPN, which has had success pairing personalities (i.e. the inseparable Jemele Hill and Michael Smith; in the past year they have launched a successful podcast and are a formidable duo on Numbers Never Lie). Mr. Simmons and Mr. Rose have developed an on-camera chemistry that makes Mike & Mike look like a failed experiment.

Mr. Simmons’ Book of Basketball has been called a Bible for hoops. His status has, of all things possible, afforded him a lengthy interview with the reclusive Bill Russell, in his home for hours on end. Mr. Rose however has finagled his chemistry with Mr. Simmons, his devotion to entertainment value and lasting connectedness to the league to emerge as one of ESPN’s most versatile talents. He knows college hoops and the pros with extensive contacts across the coaching and management ranks. He’s developed into an excellent studio analyst. His foray into multimedia has been marked by his work on the Internet, namely his podcast on the Grantland network.

Their chemistry was on full view during the Grantland-produced “Bill and Jalen’s 2013 NBA Preview”, a series of 18-20 minute videos which ranked and discussed each NBA team’s season. The videos analyzed shot charts of specific players, explored summer roster moves and let Rose loose on the topic of the city’s nightlife offerings.

Had he anticipated the experiment to be as huge as it was? “I actually did,” Mr. Rose says without hesitation. “That’s why we did them.”

In one sitting, Mr. Rose says, he, Mr. Simmons and the producers sat there for seven straight hours without eating or using the bathroom, and did it again the second day for five hours. “And the last time we did it for three-and-a-half.”

Grantland insiders aren’t shy about how grueling the process was, and Mr. Simmons, for his part seemed to feign mild resentment, saying at the end of the series, “That was a lot of work. I don’t know if we’re ever doing this again. It might have ended [David] Jacoby’s marriage, and I know it almost ended mine.”

But to Mr. Rose it represents the kind of dedication it takes to deliver content people will gravitate to, the kind he insists they want. “We wanted to show commitment to it. That’s like the work that you put in in the gym during practice that people don’t see. It’s a good lesson for young people that want to get into this industry. If you’re fortunate to be talented enough, you’ve still got to do the research and put the work in.”

Mr. Rose’s determination last year was crucial to last year’s NBA Countdown show, which featured Mr. Simmons and Mr. Rose, but also Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon — both whom have since departed. Without a regular host, Mr. Rose welcomed the challenge of getting the broadcast in and out of breaks and sometimes pivot the discussion, Hussein said.

“I almost feel like we did him a disservice,” she said laughing recently. “But the fact that he was willing to take on that challenge speaks to his personality and the competitor in him. He’s definitely excited about challenges and he loves what he does, and always wants to do more. The benefit of having Sage [Steele] is now he’s solely an analyst. I think now he can focus solely on his points and formulating his opinions.”

ESPN extended Mrs. Steele’s contract in October, making her part of the Countdown team. She and Mr. Rose knew each other from when he played for the Indiana Pacers and she was a reporter at the local CBS affiliate.

“I’m an interesting linchpin because I’ve gotten the chance to work with each one of these individuals in my last 12 years doing media,” Mr. Rose said of Mr. Simmons, Mrs. Steele and new addition Doug Collins. “It’s our job to not try and emulate the previous edition. We need to be informative, funny, current and the type of show that when people watch, feel like they learned something that they didn’t know. The product speaks for itself.”

As for the new look and feel of the show, Mr. Rose vehemently denies that Simmons had anything to do with Johnson’s departure from the show, a rumor that had been promulgated by the sports blog Deadspin. Hearing of the rumor, he says was, “almost like being on a team in the locker room and knowing certain guys’ dynamic on the team, then you read something in the newspaper that’s totally off the team dynamic.”

“Magic Johnson,” he continued, “is one of the most successful people that just happens to play basketball in the world — he’s a Hall of Fame mogul. And I love Bill Simmons. But if somebody actually thinks that Bill Simmons has the power to run Magic Johnson off of anything … Magic Johnson could probably own Bill Simmons’ house right now if he wanted to.”

‘You know things’

David Jacoby, Grantland’s do-it-all producer, to use a basketball metaphor, finds Mr. Rose in his sweet spot, to use a basketball metaphor — giving him the ball where he likes it.

It was late October of 2012 when Rose correctly predicted that James Harden was going to be traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder. On the next Jalen Rose Report, Mr. Jacoby went all Rondo on the mic.

“Jalen —”

Mr. Rose broke into his trademark opening. “Got to give the peopleeeeeee … GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT! GOT TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED!!!”

“You know what the people want, Jalen?” Mr. Jacoby asked. “The people want the NBA season. And the people want NBA news.”

“Yes! The NBA is fantastic and I am so glad the league is back.”

“It is happening. The league started really coming back into the forefront late Saturday night — James Harden dealt to the Rockets. When you got this news what was the first thing you thought of?”


“I need to be Miss Cleo, because I just predicted it on our NBA show.”


“The first thing I said was that James Harden would be traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder.”

Ms. Hussein was watching the night Rose, emboldened by Mr. Harden’s refusal to sign a 4-year $55 million deal, predicted the star guard was about to be shipped.

“I remember when he said it. I was just sitting on my couch, thinking ‘Oh, Jalen, they’ll figure out a way to pay him … ”

It’s why Mr. Simmons paused during the preview of the Charlotte Bobcats when Mr. Rose predicted that Michael Jordan would come out of retirement and play one game this season.

“The thing about you,” Mr. Simmons said, “is you know things.”

What separates Mr. Rose from his peers is perhaps best described as a succinct knowledge and understanding of the type of alternative content people are interested in, aside from x’s and o’s and analysis of the games. It’s evident on topics Mr. Rose expounds on — pregame rituals (naps, meals), financial pressures rookies face, to being on the court when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points.

“He’s an epic storyteller,” said an insider at ESPN.

And, really, it’s no wonder: Mr. Rose, very early on, understood the entertainment value he brought as a freshman at Michigan. They filled gyms from Lansing to West Lafayette. They wore long shorts, cut their heads bald and forever connected hip-hop culture and basketball; it’s now a world where you don’t have one without the other.

From court vision, to a vision for the future, his basketball career could be interpreted as a series of calculated risks.

Mr. Rose captured the imagination of a generation with his style of play. A smooth, tall lefty point guard who modeled his game after Magic Johnson; he eventually developed a post-game, but it was taking a chance. It was a risk, in 2002, to tell a reporter from Fox Sports Net that he took money from former Michigan booster Ed Martin, who was facing federal conspiracy charges. That’s to say nothing of his outspokenness as a Michigan player,

Mr. Rose, however, does not consider those “risks.”

“In 2011, Detroit Public Schools said its 2010 graduation rate increased to 62 percent and its dropout rate declined to 19 percent,” he wrote earlier this year for the Huffington Post. “These numbers, which are an improvement since 2009, are dismal. Detroit needs and deserves better schools to provide more opportunities for its children, and its workforce.”

“The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a success story that will one day bear replication; creating educational and professional opportunities in Detroit is important and necessary,” Mr. Rose said. “And it’s not, as some funders would have you believe, risky.”

“In fact, it’s risky not to.”

To learn more about the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy visit Read Mr. Rose’s essay in the Huffington Post.

JRLA Announces Philanthropic Support from Tom & Holly Gores

Detroit – (October 29, 2013) – The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), an open enrollment public charter high school in Detroit, today announced that Tom and Holly Gores have made a $250,000 contribution to support the school’s growth and development. The funds will be used for infrastructure improvements, personnel recruitment and retention, and other ongoing needs. 

Mr. Gores is principal owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) and is Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, whose investments in addition to PS&E include Detroit-area companies Active Aero, Acument and Chassix.

“Our companies are part of the Detroit community and quality schools are critical for the long-term health of the region,” said Mr. Gores.  “On a personal level, education is hugely important to our family and we are eager to help make a difference.” 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Gores were raised in Michigan and have strong ties to the Detroit area.  

“Tom and I grew up in Michigan, went to school here and want kids in Detroit to have real opportunities to succeed,” said Mrs. Gores.  “We believe one of the most meaningful ways to help a community is through its children, and that a good education provides not only the practical tools kids need but also the hope for the future that families in Detroit deserve.” 

JRLA was founded by Detroit native Jalen Rose, a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and current ABC/ESPN television analyst, with the goal of providing a rigorous, leadership-focused high school experience for Detroit-area students preparing them to ultimately graduate from college. 

“Tom and Holly are champions for the Detroit community and I am truly honored they have graciously chosen to support JRLA,” said Mr. Rose.  “Detroit charter schools are underfunded and do not receive funding for their facilities so we have been reaching out to the community for support. This is our largest donation from a private donor to date and I hope their generosity encourages others to support our efforts to improve the educational landscape in our city.” 

Mr. Gores said the financial contribution is the first step in what he hopes will be a long-term partnership. 

“We believe strongly in what Jalen is trying to accomplish through JRLA’s mission and are pleased to support the students and staff who are all working so hard every day,” added Mr. Gores. “They have hit some impressive milestones, but the need is great and there is hard work to be done.”

Hour Detroit Magazine – Winning Attitude

Former U-M and NBA star Jalen Rose tackles the challenges of funding a charter school

By Damon Autry
Winning Attitude

November 2013 — The images of Jalen Rose as a supremely gifted 18-year-old freshman at the University of Michigan are cemented in the minds of basketball fans: the baggy shorts, the black socks, the in-your-face bravado that depicted to the world he was impervious to failure.

Rose, along with his Fab Five teammates — Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson — took college basketball by storm in 1992 as the first college team to start five freshmen. The quintet spearheaded the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Finals appearances in 1992 and 1993, where they fell short both times.

Those were harsh blows to Rose, who now admits he was “irrationally confident” during that time. It was a mind-set forged as a kid while playing pickup basketball with several neighborhood friends on a milk crate nailed to a wooden light pole.

“I always believed I was a good ball player — maybe too much so,” the Detroit native recalls. “My belief was that I was going to be somebody, that I was going to make it to the NBA.”

Rose realized that dream when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1994. He went on to spend 13 years in the league.

During the tail end of his playing days he started his television career — an endeavor that has elevated Rose to his current role as one of ESPN and ABC’s top NBA analysts.

Rose now occupies a role that grants him the opportunity to dissect the league he loves. But even though he’s now part of the media, Rose still believes many of its members have a singular opinion when it comes to judging athletes.

“The media look at professional athletes and say, ‘If you don’t win a championship, you’re a loser!’ ” he says. Having had championships elude him during his entire college and pro career, Rose is mindful of such a narrow-minded viewpoint. “Winning championships is about winning the score of the game,” he says. “I’d rather win the game of life.”

Winning, according to Rose, starts with a solid educational foundation. And he is committed to ensuring inner-city kids in the community from which he came receive that opportunity. Several years ago, he’d call various Detroit public schools offering college scholarships. Oddly, his gestures were met with indifference. He says he’d personally call schools mul-tiple times offering money, yet would often receive only two or three applications from graduating classes numbering in the hundreds.

“I was frustrated,” he says. “There seemed to be a disconnect with the leadership at the schools, because there was no reason why we should’ve gotten so little feedback.”

Rose decided to take a more direct method of in-fluencing kids. In September 2011, he opened the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), an open enrollment charter high school in Detroit. School is in session 11 months out of the year, with eight-hour days, and the month of August off. A big incentive to attending this high school is the fact there is no homework — all course work is completed in school.

“I had to ask myself, ‘How can I be a positive in-fluence and change the fortunes of a generation?’ ” he says. “The answer is to educate them. To open their hearts and minds to life’s possibilities. To put our arms around them, to be supportive, to show them we care [and] want them to have success.”

The school opened in 2011 with only ninth-graders, and an additional freshman class has been added each subsequent year. JRLA has almost 300 ninth- through 11th-graders this fall.

Rose’s efforts, however, come with a hefty price. “Nobody was standing behind me with a blank check, urging me to open the school,” he says.

While charter schools get funds from the state on a per-pupil basis, they do not receive money from a school district to purchase, lease, or improve facilities. So before the school officially opened, there were up-front costs: purchase, renovate, and bring the building up to code; hire staff and administrators; and start recruiting students. These were all activities mandated before the state would provide any funding.

Any monetary shortfalls were covered by Rose, who dipped into his own pocket seven-figures deep to ensure JRLA’s success. An expansion to the facility was also completed in August.

“I’m trying to create an inner-city Country Day or University Liggett,” he says. But that requires a year-round search for donations.

“I know that our donors are the key, and I’m just getting as comfortable as I need to be to ask for help,” he says.

Rose understands he is involved in a huge undertaking, but embraces the long-term benefits.

“I’m expecting my students to use this experience to achieve whatever goals and dreams they have in life,” he says. “I want them to be positive influences in the community and reach back to uplift the fortunes of those behind them like I’m trying to do. I’ll be happy with that.”

3rd Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing Presented by H.H. Barnum Company – Monday, September 9th

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy – 3rd Annual Celeb Golf Outing from Zara Creative on Vimeo.

A Special Thanks to our 2013 Sponsors:
Presenting: H.H. Barnum Company
Platinum: Castle Oaks Advisors, Jeep & TA Systems
Gold: Michael Carter, United Auto Workers & Wolverine Advanced Materials
Silver: Career Builder, Innovative Modular, Michigan First Credit Union, Platinum Equity & Schostak Brothers, Shifman & Carlson P.C. & The Word Network
Hole: Allstate Insurance (Nick Schrock), Creative Artists Agency, The Magni Group, Moscone Family Foundation, Nick Khan, Project Producers & Schechter Wealth Strategies
Hole-in-One: Lucido Fine Jewelry (Win a His & Hers Rolex!)
In-Kind: Absopure, Core Power & Kelleher Enterprises
Goody Bags: Carl’s Golfland, Detroit Popcorn, Dr. Michael Gray, Lucido Fine Jewelry, Pay Anywhere, Peteet’s Famous Cheescake, Serius Energy & Underground Printing

A Special Thanks to the Participating Celebs:
Dennis W. Archer, Sr – Former Mayor of Detroit/Chairman Emeritus Dickinson Wright
Maceo Baston – Former University of Michigan Basketball Standout & NBA Player
Lomas Brown – 18-year NFL Star & Super Bowl Champion
Derrick Coleman – 16-year NBA Star & All-Star
Kristen Danyal – Miss USA 2012
Jimmie Davis – Former Detroit Pistons Player
Andre Drummond – 1st Round 2012 Draft Pick, Detroit Pistons & NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2013)
Vincent Goodwill – Sportswriter at the Detroit News
Dana Jacobson – CBS Sports Radio Morning Show Host
Levi Johnson – Former Detroit Lions Player
Jimmy King – University of Michigan “Fab Five” Legend
Alan Lee – Morning Anchor at Fox 2 News Detroit
Reggie McKenzie – University of Michigan Football All-American & 13-year NFL Star
Willie Norwood – Former Detroit Pistons Player
Brian Olatunji – Pro Race Car Driver & star of the SPEED reality series “Dreams To Champions”
Morris Peterson – Michigan State University Standout & Former NBA Player
Marcus Ray – University of Michigan Defensive Back for 1997 National Champs
Jalen Rose – 13-year NBA Star & ESPN/ABC Analyst
Jamie Samuelsen – Host 97.1 The Ticket & Columnist

Pat Sheridan – Former Detroit Tiger Outfielder & World Series Champion (Kansas City Royals ’85)

Frank Tanana – Former Detroit Tiger Pitcher & 3-Time MLB All-Star
Rhonda Walker – WDIV Local 4 News Anchor

Perry Watson – Detroit Basketball Coaching Legend



*click on images to speed up slide show


Detroit News: Jalen Rose 2013 Michiganian of the Year

June 5, 2013 – For 35 years, The Detroit News has tipped its newsboys cap each year to some of our state’s most inspiring people. We’ve saluted more than 400 individuals whose excellence, courage, philanthropy or simple acts of kindness uplift not only the metropolitan area but all of Michigan.

As much of an honor as it is for our recipients to be Michiganians of the Year, it’s an honor for us to be able to single them out. From boardroom titans to community activists and from famous athletes to unsung heroes, our winners have worked unselfishly to make others’ lives and surroundings better.

The distinguished designees for 2013 range in age from 10-102, in geography from Detroit to Alcona County, and in goals from creating a vibrant Midtown to eliminating public corruption.

They share a passion and a commitment to things as tightly focused as a whimsical store in a former roller rink, and as all-encompassing as General Motors and Blue Cross Blue Shield. One founded a school; another helps parents get involved in their children’s education.

In gratitude and admiration, we add them all to the ranks of the Michiganians of the Year.

2013 Michiganian of the Year: Jalen Rose: Former NBA player, ESPN analyst and founder of the Jalen Rose Academy

Jalen Rose: Dedicated to helping the next generation

By Vincent Goodwill Jr.; The Detroit News

Perry Watson remembers a 12-year-old Jalen Rose walking up to him and declaring, “I’m going to play for you.”

Watson was then the coach of powerhouse Detroit Southwestern High School and he knew nothing of the skinny pre-teen who attended St. Cecilia School, but the early statement gave great insight into Rose’s psyche.

“He was always a perceptive young man and really knew what he wanted,” Watson says. “Jalen knew about me and SW and I didn’t know Jalen Rose. He would watch all the teams play and say he’d be better than all of them.”

The two developed a relationship from that point, fostered by Rose’s mother, Jeanne, and when he was dropped off at Southwestern High School as a freshman, she told Watson, “He’s yours now. He needs a man in his life.”

From that point on, Rose and Watson’s relationship matured, with Rose becoming a high school basketball legend at Southwestern, then becoming the leader of the University of Michigan’s Fab Five in 1991, then finally spending more than a decade in the NBA.

Even though he left Michigan after his junior year to enter the NBA draft in order to help his family financially, he finished his degree in management studies, giving him the foundation for starting his own school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on Detroit’s west side.

“My goal is to put these kids in positions where they can succeed,” Rose says while displaying various college pennants through the halls of his school. “I don’t care where they go to school, but I want them to see that it’s possible visually, and give them the requisite skills to be productive.”

The school is in its third year, and Rose has spent at least $2.5 million of his money to get the charter school off the ground. He cites the divide between the city and suburbs as something he wants to bridge, hoping today’s youth has a better chance at succeeding. “You don’t want these kids on the streets. We have longer school days, a longer school year,” Rose says. “We have to get these students up to speed.”

As a high school senior, Rose was a full qualifier to Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and Arts, in huge part thanks to the guidance of his mother and the steady hand of the coach who still mentors him to this day.

“Some of the things I said to him back then, you never knew he was listening,” Watson says. “But I’ve heard him say some of the same things to his students today and it warms my heart. I’m so proud of my guy.”

At a glance
Age: 40

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Michigan
Family: Two daughters
Person he admires: His mother, Jeanne
Why honored: His commitment to educating Detroit youth through his charter academy

From The Detroit News:


Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Strengthens Management Team

Board of Directors Contracts with American Promise Schools division of New Urban Learning

May 6, 2013 (Detroit) — Jalen Rose, Founder and Board President of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, today announced the Board’s decision to hire the American Promise Schools division of New Urban Learning to manage the Detroit public charter school for the next three years.

“Bringing in this all-star team of educators with a track record in Detroit and Chicago of graduating more than 90% of their students of color from high school and sending more than 90% on to college strengthens the promise I made to Detroit families to provide a public school that will prepare all of its students to succeed in college,” Rose explained.  “I’ve never been more confident that we will deliver on that promise.”

The American Promise Schools, a non-profit division of New Urban Learning, was created this year to help good urban schools become great, and to turnaround traditional public high schools that have been low performing for years.  Its founders are veterans of the urban education reform movement:

Doug Ross, the President of the American Promise Schools, is the founder of the University Prep schools in Detroit that have consistently graduated their open enrollment students and enrolled them in college at rates between 90-100%.  Mr. Ross was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Detroit Public Schools.

Joe Tenbusch, who will serve as the Superintendent of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, is a Detroit native who founded and led the nationally acclaimed Rowe-Clark Academy of Science and Math.  This high school is part of the Noble Street charter schools in Chicago that have prepared their African American and Hispanic students to earn an average of 21 on the ACT – a level of college readiness virtually no other open admissions urban public schools have attained.

Melissa Hamann, the CEO of the American Promise Schools, is a former Detroiter who worked on school reform in New York and Chicago before returning to Detroit where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Emergency Financial Managers Robert Bobb and Roy Roberts.  Ms. Hamann will direct the operations for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

“Jalen Rose has been an inspirational figure in this community with his commitment to found a public school that gives each of its students the education they need for college and a real shot at the American Dream,” Joe Tenbusch explained.  “I am very excited by the challenge of working with the school’s Board to take a good school here in Detroit and make it great.”

Applications for 9-11th grade are now being accepted for the 2013-2014 school year; students are encouraged to apply early as space is limited.

JRLA Facility Expansion Plans



 Former NBA player, member of Michigan’s Fab Five committed to helping Detroit students succeed in college

Link to video:

April 4, 2013 – Jalen Rose admits it’s not easy to open and operate a charter school but he is committed to doing it in Detroit.

Rose, a former NBA player, member of the Fab Five at the University of Michigan and current ESPN and ABC analyst spends a lot of his time focused on his public charter school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in northwest Detroit.

Local 4′s Rhonda Walker recently interviewed him about the school and why he wanted to open it.

“That’s the best way I feel like it is to give back to our young men and women. I always felt like the eight most important years of somebody’s growth is the four that they should be in high school and the 4 that they should be in college,” said Jalen Rose. “You ask any adult where their dreams went awry, a lot of times it happens during the eight year period when they start driving start trying to figure out whether you are a leader or a follower. You start being exposed to sex, drugs, violence, gangs and all of a sudden you start making poor decisions and or great decisions that influence your future.”

Rose opened the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in 2011. This year it has about 200 9th and 10th grade students. Rose plans to expand another grade level each year.

The motto of the school is “Enter a learner. Exit a leader.” The kids see that message as soon as they walk into the school.

“It’s really about choices and while we want you to be very well versed and educated also you got to be able to handle yourself out here and in real life situations,” said Rose.

Rose wants his school to be a safe learning environment and keeps it small with a 20 to one student teacher ratio. The school offers real world and project based experiences and leadership training.

“We are asking for a longer school day 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” said Rose. “A longer school year, 211 days, in order for our young men and women to compete in the global economy that is what it is going take.”

JRLA, as it is often called, is a public charter high school.

It is partially funded by Michigan Future Schools and has committed to having 85 percent of its students graduate high school, 85 percent to go onto college and 85 percent to earn a college degree.

That can be a high expectation, especially when some students enter JRLA behind their grade level in reading and math. Rose keeps it in perspective.

“If you get a 9th grader that is reading at a 4th grade level and that young man or that young woman grows up to be functioning member of society with a job with a family and creates a positive outcome as opposed to become a carjacker or a killer or a drug dealer,” said Rose. “Of course we want Rhodes Scholars, of course we want people to go on to be graduates and be great ambassadors of the city of Detroit, but more importantly this is about building back up the city.”

It is too soon to measure the success of Rose’s charter school.

Michigan Future Schools, which creates small high schools in Detroit to help prepare students to quality and succeed in college, issued this statement about the school.

“Michigan Future is proud to have been one of the first investors in the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. We made a four year $800,000 grant to the school. Like most start-up schools, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy has faced daunting challenges but Jalen’s commitment to the school has been consistent and unwavering. The kids at JRLA know they have a school founder who is fully committed to their success in high school and beyond. We at Michigan Future Schools are committed to working with Jalen and his team to create a great school.”

JRLA was issued its contract to operate under The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University.

“Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is one of the newest schools in our portfolio and we are working closely with the Board of Directors to address common issues with new school start-ups, which include the academic, operational and financial challenges of providing a quality educational experience for their students. We recognize that developing successful urban high schools is one of the most difficult challenges in K-12 public education today. CMU values our partnership with the JRLA board as they strive to provide educational options for students in Detroit and to prepare them academically for success in college, work and life,” said Cindy Schumacher, Executive Director for The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools at CMU.

A real challenge for Rose is raising the money necessary to provide the education he wants these children to get.

“The money we get for the state keeps on the lights and pays our teachers, everything else wee have to find ways to raise funds,” said Rose.

As part of his fundraising efforts, Jalen Rose has also issued The Detroit Challenge to area businesses. He is looking for 15 companies or individuals in metro Detroit to partner with JRLA by making a $10,000 donation to help the school create educational opportunities Rose envisions for the school. Happy’s Pizza and Lady Janes Haircuts for Men have already made that commitment. For details click here.

Rose graduated from southwestern high school, and continued on to the University of Michigan where he was one of the five freshman basketball players known as the Fab Five. He spent 13 years in the NBA and is now an ESPN and ABC analyst.

Prior to opening JRLA, Rose created the Jalen Rose Foundation, creating opportunities for underserved youth including in his hometown. Those opportunities include college scholarships.

“The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is not just my name on the building. It’s blood sweat and tears. It takes a lot of time and energy manpower and money and so many people working on this project that are getting below what they normally getting paid that are working on this project pro bono, that have really dedicated themselves to help me see this vision through,” said Rose.

Students who attend JRLA love the school and the motto “Enter a Learner. Exit a Leader.”

“They want you to come to school focused, ready and leaving, taking what you learn here out into your communities,” said Aubrey Williams.

“We literally get personal help, one on one interaction with teachers,” said Unique Bailey.

“We have had some success and we will be that (Detroit) ‘Country Day’ (School) of the inner city soon,” said Rose.

The school is currently taking applications for new students. For more information, click here.

To view full story, click here:


Enrollment for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Begins March 1st

March 1, 2013 (Detroit) — Applications for enrollment to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) are now being accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.  The Academy will accommodate 9-11th grade this upcoming school year and students are encouraged to apply early as space is limited. To download an application or for more information, students can visit or call (313) 397-3333.

2013 Information Sessions
Prospective students, parents and/or school counselors are invited to visit JRLA during the 2013 Information Sessions to meet staff and learn more their break-the-mold plan for educating urban youth. An open enrollment, public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit, the Academy began its first academic year in September 2011.  JRLA currently serves 200 ninth and tenth grade students who commute from all across Detroit and the nearby suburbs; an additional freshman class will be added each subsequent year.

Join us every Wednesday @ 6pm for an information session!

Download an application here: JRLA 2013 Application


The Detroit Challenge… to benefit JRLA

Dear Neighbor,

As a philanthropist who truly gives from the heart, I established the Jalen Rose Foundation in 2000 to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth.  Since its inception, I have personally donated over $1.2 million.  My most substantial outreach initiative to date is the establishment of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and I need your help! I am launching THE DETROIT CHALLENGE to help raise much needed funds to support this initiative in my hometown.  If you are a successful metro-Detroit based company or individual looking for a way to give back to our community, please join me in my efforts; we all know “It takes a village to raise a child!”

Detroit schools are in crisis and, consequently, students are not receiving the education necessary to prepare them for their future.  In an effort to address this crisis, I established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) as an open-enrollment, tuition-free public charter school in 2011.  JRLA currently serves over 200 ninth and tenth grade students who commute from all across Detroit and the nearby suburbs; an additional freshman class will be added each subsequent year. Students receive a leadership-focused experience that engages and inspires Detroit youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree and thrive in life.  Thanks to a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy, students will be immersed in the culture of college experiences during their Junior and Senior Year with the opportunity for dual enrollment to ensure a seamless transition for college entry.

Detroit charter schools receive less state-aid than Detroit Public Schools; including roughly 85% of what nearby suburban schools receive and unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive funding from their school districts to purchase, lease, or improve facilities. Often times, this causes financial challenges that can limit the charter school’s ability to provide appropriate accommodations. JRLA will need to expand its existing facility to accommodate the needs of its growing student body. It is vital to raise significant funds from private sources to meet our ambitious educational goals.

Over the next six months, we are looking for 15 key companies or individuals across the metro-Detroit area to partner with us in our efforts to raise $150,000 collectively ($10,000 per company) to financially support both the transformational educational opportunities for students at JRLA and their families, and to provide the necessary facilities to house these unique programs.

JRLA offers Detroit children unique opportunities that they would not receive from any ordinary public school; my goal is to offer a private school education in a public school setting.  Your support will allow the Academy to continue to grow and reach more students and their families.  Attached you will find the pledge form along with the benefits of joining this campaign.  Thank you in advance for your consideration and I look forward to you joining the “JRLA Village!”

Enter a Learner: Exit a Leader.
Jalen Rose, Founder 
ESPN/ABC Analyst

Click here for pledge form and sponsorship information: The Detroit Challenge JRLA Sponsor Letter




Take Part: NBA Star Jalen Rose: Athletes Must Step Up and Fight for Fair Education in Their Hometowns

February 1, 2013 – In this exclusive op-ed, Jalen Rose and reformer Kevin Chavous speak up about the impact sports stars can have on education.

By the time you finish this sentence, another student in America will have dropped out of high school.

Every day, nearly 7,000 high school students across the country give up on the dream of a diploma, and by extension, a shot at a better life. A staggering number of these students are African-American and Latino, and come from low-income families.

Students drop out of school for a host of reasons, from family and social challenges, to poor instruction. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: Students in our nation’s most economically deprived areas need help. No high school diploma means kids will have very limited opportunities for employment, forcing many of them into a life of crime or poverty—or both.This narrative rings especially true in inner-city Detroit, where less than 30 percent of ninth-grade students will go on to complete high school. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, located in Northwest Detroit, hopes to change this neighborhood’s narrative. 

Every day, students from this community attend the charter school, eager to receive a high-quality education. The focus of the Leadership Academy is to provide these students with the tools necessary to succeed in a safe and positive environment and ultimately graduate with a college degree.   

The Leadership Academy is just one example of how sports and entertainment celebrities can put their star power to good use. Many of our top athletes in the NBA and NFL come from some of the most academically and economically depressed neighborhoods in America. It’s time athletes and other national figures roll up their sleeves and spend time and energy giving back to the communities where they grew up. 

The greatest fan base for an athlete is their hometown. Isn’t it time to give those fans something more valuable than a championship—what’s going to truly help them succeed? Many kids growing up in these areas idolize the stars that have come out of their neighborhoods and make the nightly highlight reels on ESPN. Many of these children do not realize that it took more than athletic prowess to make it to the majors.  
Education is fundamental to achieving success, both on and off of the court. It is arguably the greatest determining factor for the outcome of a child’s life. The more educational options available to the student, the more likely they are to succeed. 

Joining forces with sports icons such as WNBA and Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Leslie, NFL Pro Bowler Greg Jennings, and former NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell, the American Federation for Children has launched an effort to engage athletes in education reform.  

Traveling the country in order to raise awareness for the need of educational options, these athletes understand it’s important to use their notoriety for more than just signing autographs and selling merchandise.

These athletes have made the commitment to help the students in their communities and across America receive an education that gives them the opportunities that every child deserves.  Our nation values our sports stars. From multimillion-dollar endorsement deals to the staggering number of tickets sold each year for sporting events, our sports leaders find much success channeling their fame into helping those in need. Joining this group provides sports stars with a platform to truly give back in a big way. 

With the ability to cross all barriers in terms of age, race, and political persuasions, sports stars are in a unique position to advocate for education.  

And now is the time to do it, as this week marks the third annual National School Choice Week, the largest celebration of education reform in American history. Until every student in America is given an equal opportunity for success—no matter where they live or how much money their family makes—we must make expanding educational options a national priority.  

We can’t solve the issues that plague our inner-city neighborhoods until we address the deficits in our education systems. By placing a greater emphasis on the need for education reform, we can get one step closer to achieving this goal.

Jalen Rose is a former NBA player, current ESPN/ABC analyst, and the founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. Kevin P. Chavous is a former Washington, D.C. City Councilman and the executive counsel of the American Federation for Children, the nation’s leading educational choice organization.

View complete article here:

The Huffington Post (Blog) JRLA: Bringing a Quality Education and Jobs to Detroit

February 1, 2013 – I grew up on the northwest side of Detroit.  My mother, a factory worker for Chrysler, raised me to be the man I am today.  Although there were times we went with no heat, I remember how hard she worked to provide for my brothers, sister and me.  There seemed to be plenty of jobs back then in the Motor City.  Times sure have changed.

What most of you remember from my days at Michigan happened on the basketball court.  Very few realize that I was actually a good student who also made the Dean’s List.  Education was always important to me and that’s why despite leaving college early for the NBA draft, I made it a priority to go back and earned my bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland University College.  Basketball was my spring board to college, but all inner-city kids aren’t that fortunate.

I will always be proud to call Detroit my hometown.  What I’m not proud of is the lack of high-performing schools for our kids and the lack of jobs for their parents.  This is a national epidemic, but as most know, it is especially bad in Detroit.  Education in Detroit must play a critical role in transforming the community into a more vibrant intellectual and economic landscape.

In 2011, Detroit Public Schools said its 2010 graduation rate increased to 62 percent and its dropout rate declined to 19 percent. These numbers, which are an improvement since 2009, are dismal. Detroit needs and deserves better schools to provide more opportunities for its children, and its workforce.

As a philanthropist who truly gives from the heart, I established the Jalen Rose Foundation in 2000 to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth.  Since its inception, I personally donated over $1.2 million, which included more than 40 college scholarships to Detroit Public School students.  Over the years, I was disappointed in the quality of the scholarship applications and always wanted to do more to improve the educational landscape in my hometown.  It wasn’t fair these kids were being sent to college unprepared and in need of remediation.

That’s why I founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in 2011. This new public charter high school not only provides Detroit’s children a strong education and hope for a bright future, it also provides jobs to people in the community. My goal at JRLA is to provide a private school education in a public school setting so that a student’s ZIP code doesn’t dictate the education they receive. I am humbled by the opportunity to help further the education of our youth as well as be able to create jobs for my community.

Bringing high-quality education to Detroit’s disenfranchised inner city isn’t easy.   Detroit charter schools receive less state aid than Detroit Public Schools, including roughly 85 percent of what nearby suburban schools receive. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive funding from their school districts to purchase, lease, or improve facilities. Often, this causes financial challenges that can limit the charter school’s ability to provide appropriate accommodations. And boy, have we had our financial challenges.  Traditional banks are reluctant to finance new public schools — particularly innovative ones — because of the perceived risk in investing in low-income communities.  We have a non-profit partner, Operation Graduation, that was able to mortgage a former elementary school building; however, we needed to renovate the facility to bring it up to code and make it functional for the high school students we were recruiting.  That’s when we turned to NCB Capital Impact, a community lender with a long record of successfully financing projects in low-income communities.

A loan from NCB Capital Impact in the amount of $1.1 million allowed Operation Graduation to begin renovations on its facility that is occupied by the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, which served approximately 120 ninth graders in its first year, 88 percent of whom qualified for free or reduced price lunches. The loan allowed for renovations of the former elementary school to accommodate high school students; the school now serves more than 200 ninth and 10th graders and an additional freshman class will be added each year.

It has also helped create 17 new permanent jobs including administrators, teachers, and building maintenance positions for people in the community. And we plan to hire additional staff as the school expands.

We are currently working to expand our existing facility to accommodate the needs of our growing student body.   Although we are situated in a stable neighborhood on the northwest side of Detroit, we find ourselves once again struggling to find a lender to finance the first phase of our expansion which will include additional classroom space. We are optimistic that NCB Capital will assist us again.

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a success story that will one day bear replication; creating educational and professional opportunities in Detroit is important and necessary. And it’s not, as some funders would have you believe, risky. In fact, it’s risky not to.

And without the help of NCB Capital Impact, and Create Jobs for USA, none of this would have come about.

Create Jobs for USA is an initiative founded by Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network, a network of community lenders, like NCB Capital Impact. It mobilizes donations that go to community lenders, and they lend it to community businesses, like Operation Graduation/JRLA, to create jobs. So far, it has created or retained more than 5,000 American jobs.

I urge you to help create more opportunities by donating to the Create Jobs for USA JobRaising campaign at Every donation will go toward job creation in low-income communities across the U.S. helping provide opportunity, hope, and a better future for children, adults, and communities in need. You can also learn more or support the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy by visiting

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Ndamukong Suh’s November Attendance Challenge

Detroit News – Lions LB Stephen Tulloch’s kindness puts JRLA students on right path

Stephen Tulloch, left, and 10th-grader Armani Wiggins talk about the football team at Jalen Rose Academy. Tulloch sponsored an essay-writing contest at the school, with tickets to the Seahawks-Lions game the prize. (Ricardo Thomas/Detroit News)
October 17, 2012
By Josh Katzenstein

Detroit — When Stephen Tulloch was growing up in Miami, former all-pro Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas came to speak at his middle school.

Tulloch grabbed a front-row seat and watched in awe as Thomas spoke.

And as much as Thomas became a role model for Tulloch on the field, the Lions linebacker and defensive captain said he was an example of how an athlete can help his community.

On Tuesday, Tulloch discussed leadership with about 200 ninth- and 10th-graders at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on Detroit’s west side.

He answered questions about his upbringing, stressed the importance of school and explained how hard work helped him earn a five-year contract with the Lions after many teams passed on him before the 2011 season.

Tulloch grew up in a single-parent home with his mother raising him and two siblings, so he understands some of the hardships facing Detroit youth.

“My dad wasn’t around when I was (growing up), so I didn’t have that father figure to really show me right from wrong, so I learned off of other people’s mistakes,” he told the group. “I had to figure out how to do the right thing.

“I wake up every morning, and — I’ll tell you no lie — I pinch myself. I could never imagine being here in front of you guys to talk to you guys about life, character and about growing into young men and young women.”

The students, though, were the ones pinching themselves, and some will need to wake up from another dream soon.

For the second straight season, Tulloch will bring 55 students from the school to a Lions game, but as with life, he’s not giving the tickets away. He asked the students to write an essay about leadership, and the homeroom class with the best scores in each grade wins the tickets.

And since everyone won’t win, Tulloch handed out consolation prizes, including an autographed photo, team stickers, a Lions pen and candy.

“I think it’s a good thing for him to give back to the community,” said ninth-grader Ahmad Abdullah, 14, of Detroit. “It really motivated me because I’ve never seen him play, and I’ve never been to a Detroit Lions game, so I though this would be a good opportunity to see him play.”

The winners of his essay contest will attend the game against the Seahawks on Oct. 28.

The principal, Kenya Crockett, said one student was especially motivated.

A 10th-grader wrote a seven-page essay, far longer than the one- to two-page assignment, and asked Crockett to proofread it before and after school. The boy went to the game Tulloch provided tickets for last year and hoped to go again.

Crockett said Tulloch’s contest and presence at the school has given students a responsible, confident role model to follow.

“It is a huge opportunity for them to meet people that are doing things in the community that we are teaching them how to do,” she said. “For the kids to see people that are influential doing positive things… is phenomenal.”

Through his foundation, Tulloch has consistently given back to communities in Detroit, Miami and Nashville, Tenn., where he spent five seasons with the Titans. His “Operation 55″ has given at least 55 underprivileged people, mostly children, tickets to every Lions home game since he joined the team last season.

“I drive around the city (and) I see what’s going on, and it’s rough,” Tulloch said before the event. “You’ve got to find a way to keep moving, and hopefully — the little that I do — I could reach out to certain people and give them the extra boost to try to get to where they want to get.”

He later told the students: “I come here out of love. … I love this because I’ve been there. I’ve been where you guys have been, so I want you guys to realize it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.”

From The Detroit News:

Detroit 2020: Jalen Rose’s Detroit Charter School

This week, Detroit 2020 is showcasing athletes who give back to the community. Jalen Rose has turned to a successful broadcasting career after playing 13 years in the NBA.

Rose starred at Detroit Southwestern High School, and then at the University of Michigan. Now he’s taking on a unique challenge. He’s started an academy that’s all about leadership.

When Jalen Rose put the call out-and former Michigan basketball coach Steve Fisher responded. Rose’s high school coach at Detroit Southwestern Perry Watson came out as well.

The two coaches joined others for a day of golf to raise funds for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy–a tuition-free charter high school, now in its second year in Northwest Detroit. “A lot of athletes, a lot of successful people will just, you know, count their blessings and move on and I’m just so proud,” Watson said.

Students are learning-in small classes and through plenty of one-on-one teaching and mentoring.
There have been challenges-including staff turnover-as well as curriculum changes for year two-but Rose is determined to make a difference.

“I’m just a vessel in the educational piece that’s trying to do what I can to help uplift the young men and young women in the city of Detroit,” Rose said. He’s in the building at least once a month and more often when he’s in town.

Rose is engaged with students and wants them to have a chance to succeed. There’s a focus on character and leadership.

“Jalen exemplifies what a true leader is all about and for him to be at the helm of this-I think those of us who know Jalen Rose, this does not surprise me at all,” Fisher said.

Foundations are supporting the school and its mission. Chrysler Jeep is a committed partner and individuals have also stepped up. Former Pistons great Isiah Thomas receives special praise from Rose for his financial support.

If the school is to succeed–and change lives in his hometown–more support is essential. How do we turn around our fortunes? It has to be through education,” Rose said.

Rhee’s StudentsFirst Announces Diverse Board to Help Bring Ed Reform Message, Mission to National Audience… includes JRLA Founder

September 17, 2012 — Sacramento, Calif. — StudentsFirst announced today the appointment of a team of diverse and dynamic leaders to its board of directors. Each will help bring the StudentsFirst movement and its message, that all kids deserve a great education, to a wide-ranging audience.

Joining StudentsFirst founder and CEO Michelle Rhee on the board are:


  • Connie Chung, award-winning television news journalist
  • Bill Cosby, comedian and educator
  • Jennifer M. Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Franklin Resources Inc. – Roland Martin, award-winning journalist, host of Washington Watch and syndicated columnist
  • Joel Klein, former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, current Executive Vice president, News Corporation and CEO of Amplify
  • Roland Martin, award-winning journalist, host of Washington Watch and syndicated columnist
  • Jalen Rose, former NBA star, current ESPN Analyst and Announcer, Charter School Founder
  • Blair Taylor, Starbucks Chief Community Officer and former President of the Los Angeles Urban League

“We at StudentsFirst are grateful that these talented and passionate leaders are joining our effort to build a grassroots movement that puts children’s interests at the center of decision making in our schools,” Rhee said. “This board is going to do so much to help us communicate our message to a broad and diverse group of people and will provide the counsel and energy needed to further expand our efforts nationally.”

Among the advocates joining the board of StudentsFirst is Bill Cosby, who announced the new board to StudentsFirst members today.

“I’ve long been an advocate for public schools and educational programs that have focused on the developmental needs of children,” Cosby said in an email to StudentsFirst members. “In fact, in 1976 I earned a doctorate in education – and my passion for education didn’t end when I received my diploma. I’ve been arguing that we need to make a greater commitment to education ever since.”

Joel Klein, former Chancellor of the New York City public schools, pointed to the successes StudentsFirst has had in building a movement and advocating for common sense education reforms across the country.

“What I’ve learned from working to improve public schools is that you have to be willing to take on the toughest fights and stand on principal in order to make a difference, even if the sort of reforms you’re working for seem like they should be common sense,” said Klein. “In its first year and a half of work, StudentsFirst has taken on tough fights and made a real difference to help improve our nation’s schools, and I’m proud to be joining their work to fight for great schools and great teachers for every kid in America.”

The new board members succeed founding board members David Coleman, Ann-Margaret Michael and Jason Zimba.

About StudentsFirst:

StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 1 million members nationwide, working to focus our education system on what’s best for students. Today, too many of America’s children are not getting the quality education they need and deserve. StudentsFirst is helping to change that with common sense reforms that help make sure all students have great schools and great teachers. We are working to ensure educators are valued for the critical role they play in kids’ lives, families have high-quality school choices and a real say in their child’s education, and our tax dollars are spent wisely on what works for kids. Launched by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in December 2010, StudentsFirst has successfully helped pass more than 70 student-centered policies in 17 states, and our movement continues to grow.  More info:

Detroit Free Press: A year inside Jalen Rose’s Detroit charter school

September 2, 2012 - By Chastity Pratt Dawsey Detroit Free Press Education Writer

• Video: Inside Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

• Picture Gallery:

Detroiter Talia Flowers sat calmly while her son’s future rested in a container the size of a tissue box.

Flowers and 14-year-old son, Alaye, were in the auditorium of an old elementary school that had been transformed into a charter high school last fall. On this spring day, one student — only one — would get a chance to enter 10th grade at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

Flowers was here for a lottery — 10 students on the waiting list were hoping for a fall 2012 seat in the school founded by Rose, a former NBA player and University of Michigan “Fab 5″ basketball star. The spot opened up when a student already enrolled left.

Flowers wanted to get her son out of Detroit Public Schools. At his current school, Cody High, the freshman would wait every day inside the building until his ride came to pick him up at dismissal, fearful of the gang fights that made the campus a tinder box, fearful of what lurked around the dozens of abandoned homes that surround the school.

This small charter high school promised her son hope — a school that Rose opened in his boyhood neighborhood, a stable area of small brick homes on the city’s northwest fringe.
The college scholarships he offered weren’t attacking the problem at the root. So Rose opened the charter high school in fall 2011.

Rose’s celebrity attracted big donations, as well as sponsorships from Chrysler Jeep, which adopted the school after an employee commended it.

For parents like Flowers, the school represented a way out of a district that has been too bad for too long. Others say a city that has had the worst test scores in the nation has to give experimental schools like this a try.

As the lottery box was shaken up on that day, the shuffling could be heard at the back of the silent room.

While other parents chatted with each other and the staff, Flowers was stoic. Until the name of the child was called: “Alaye Flowers.”

“Yaaay!” the mother belted out, raising one arm triumphantly in the air. “I want him to learn as much as he can. I want him to start his own business when he grows up; I want him to be a leader,” Flowers said of Alaye.

Flowers — and her son — had won.

But what did they really win?

They won a way out of a gasping urban school district that has lost 100,000 students in a decade and where less than 1% of high-schoolers test as college-ready. They won a seat in the first charter school to start from scratch with help from Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of local education, government, community and philanthropic leaders formed in 2010. Excellent Schools Detroit vowed to raise $200 million to replace Detroit’s troubled and shrinking school system with a new “system of schools” with up to 70 new schools.

Excellent Schools Detroit includes some local powerhouses — the Skillman Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Jalen Rose’s academy is part of a national trend in urban education whereby state takeovers of school boards and closures of traditional public schools are leading to a rapid expansion of start-up charter schools. Thirty-one new charter schools are expected to open in Michigan this fall, 10 in Detroit.

Led by New Orleans, where 70% of kids are in charters, Detroit ranks third in charter school population with 37% of kids in charters. Other cities, such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, Mo., also are turning to new charter schools to try to improve low scores and high dropout rates.

The Free Press visited Rose’s school for much of 2012 — it recesses only in August. The months of unfettered access showed a school where small classes and one-on-one teaching stoked higher expectations among students, and a business partnership with Jeep provided eye-opening experiences and money beyond the $800,000 in start-up funds provided by Michigan Future, an education nonprofit that is one of the partners in the coalition. Rose, now an ESPN commentator, also donated “six figures,” though he won’t reveal an exact number.

As president of the board at the school that bears his name, Rose travels to Detroit at least once a month from his home in Los Angeles, where he operates Three Tier Entertainment, a production company, or from Bristol, Conn., where he is often in the ESPN studio. Having ascended to a high- income bracket, the father of two said he wants to give low-income kids from his hometown a quality education they could not afford.
“We’ve got to get out of the blue-collar mentality,” Rose said of Detroit. “I think these are the kids that are the leaders of tomorrow.”

Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future, the Excellent Schools Detroit partner that is providing start-up grants to up to 35 new high schools by 2018, said schools like Rose’s represent the future of high school education in the city.

“The city of Detroit is going to be the closest thing to a pure marketplace as anywhere in the country for K-12 education,” he said. “You’re going to end up with a zillion different models. The hope is that everyone has the same achievement standards.”

Parents are attracted to the new school’s small class sizes, safe atmosphere, longer school year and caring staff.

However, the new school met some challenges in its inaugural year: Most of the 120 ninth-graders who comprised the entire school its first year had low scores on an ACT preparation exam at the start and end of the year; the building was inadequate; money was tight; students sorely needed mentoring to develop socially; staff turnover was high, and the curriculum didn’t meet expectations. (Come back to the Free Press on Monday for more on the school’s curriculum.)

A test of patience
Freshman Brendyne Shelton represents the new school’s most pressing challenges.
The 15-year-old is well-known at the school. Usually it’s for his skills at center and forward positions on the basketball team. But one particular winter morning, it’s because he’s throwing food at classmate Daezha Coves during lunch. And he quickly finds himself nose to nose with her boyfriend, Patrick Harbin Jr., a tall and accomplished wrestler.
Kids quiet to watch.

Brendyne often uses his popularity to negatively influence peers. “If Brendyne says something is cool, it’s cool,” says history teacher Taylor Casarez. “We try to get him to use his powers for good and not evil.”

Brendyne is a problem — and he knows it. He starts arguments regularly. He doesn’t respect girls. He viciously back-talks the women on staff. On this day, he had no reason to pick a fight with Daezha and knew squaring off with Patrick could mean suspension — again.

“I just didn’t care,” Brendyne later said.

But the confrontation didn’t escalate into a fistfight. The fact that he let matters go only so far earned him a lunch with Rose at a nearby McDonald’s. At 6 feet 2, Brendyne is big for his age and could be viewed as a threat on the streets of Detroit, Rose said. But Rose saw him as a child who needed guidance.

Brendyne’s route to the school is full of an all-too common urban pathos.

At DPS’ Murphy Elementary Middle, Brendyne had fifth-grade skills, but still was sent through to high school, said his mother, Kendra Shelton, 34.

“He was bigger than most of the teachers,” Shelton said, “so they couldn’t have him around all of the smaller kids.”

His mom attributes his bad attitude to growing up in the poverty-stricken Brightmoor neighborhood on the far west side.

“The kids are not looking at your report card. If you’re not tough, they’re going to swallow you up.”

Brendyne was suspended several times during the first two months at Jalen Rose and was on the cusp of expulsion. Shelton broke down into tears in the principal’s office.

“Mentally, I was just tired,” she said. “They were like, ‘Back off, Mom, and let us do this.’ “
The boy who sat across from Rose at McDonald’s was an educator’s biggest test: a student who didn’t care enough to give his best. Rose asked the boy to do something he has been unprepared to do: excel.

“I think he was a young man that probably has been failed by the system. To get to the ninth grade but read and do math at the levels that he is reading and doing math at … is almost embarrassing,” Rose said this spring. But despite several suspensions, Rose did not expel Brendyne.

Instead, the school’s co-founder, native Detroiter and businessman Michael Carter, took Brendyne as a mentee. Carter lives in Tennessee, but the two talk at least once a week and text each other often.

The school also set up Brendyne with free counseling at its partner school, University of Detroit Mercy.

“Our job is to grow each young man, each young woman so they can take pride in what they are and be a success story,” said Rose, who graduated from the University of Maryland in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in management studies.

If the individualized attention doesn’t work, though, it’s over for Brendyne.

“I’m investing my time, my energy and my money,” Rose said. “There has to be a standard of excellence.”

Brendyne is not an anomaly. Rose’s students have the same demographic issues as the rest of the city — 85% come from low-income households .Most of the freshman class tested two to three years below grade level in reading and math — some did worse — on diagnostic tests when they started the school year.

Casarez, a first-year teacher fresh out of the University of Michigan, says for students to exceed the state average on the ACT, they will have to study harder and better. “Twenty-one (on the ACT) is not so much a number as it is a lifestyle,” he said.

Rooms do double duty
One of the biggest challenges is that the new school is located in a small, old building near 8 Mile Road and the Lodge Freeway. It’s hard to find an intact building in Detroit that will suit a high school, so new schools often have to make facilities adjustments to meet their needs.

Midday, the screeching sound echoing through the new school is the noise of students dragging chairs and tables from classrooms to the lunchroom, also known as the “cafenasium.” That’s the school’s word for the 40-by-60-foot gym that doubles as a cafeteria.

The furniture is blue and yellow — the school colors and those of the University of Michigan, where Rose was one of the “Fab 5″ basketball players who made history as freshmen when they led U-M to the NCAA championship game in 1992.

Besides lacking a lunchroom, the school has no locker room or showers — yet. The dance class met in a former office. Kids cleaned their science tools in the restrooms, leaving behind fetal pig parts, because the science room has no sinks.

The only sport at the school is basketball, and the team has no home games because the gym is too small.

In the summer, the heat was stifling. School was called off several days until portable air-conditioners could be installed.

Operation Graduation, which paid $450,000 for the former DPS building and spent about $1 million on fixes, is taking out a $5-million loan to build a 30,000-square-foot classroom addition and gymnasium to the building. Construction is scheduled to start this fall.

But the building woes do not deter parents.

Shalon Washington Goldsby, the PTSA president, drives her son from Warren because Rose put his money and reputation on the line.

“Things are going to gradually come” she says of the building.Kendra Shelton, Brendyne’s mom, is more blunt, saying the one-on-one attention offered at the new school is more important than its facility limitations.

“We don’t have anywhere to go. The other (Detroit) schools are already failing. Sending my son there, that was definitely signing his death certificate or his prison papers.”

Money struggles
At the start of the school year, laptops were assigned to every student to use online curriculums. Most classes included Internet projects — from searching on the Internet for tracks in music class to creating a school promotional video, to watching documentaries on YouTube for history and English class.

By midyear, many of the computers were broken or needed repairs after months of daily handling by students. The school didn’t have the money to fix them, so fewer technology-based lessons were assigned during the last trimester. A technology contractor was hired for the next school year.

Rose’s celebrity and connections differentiate this new school from others — more than $1 million in donations have come in, including the six-figure donation from Rose and a $100,000 pledge from NBA legend Isiah Thomas. Jeep gave $100,000 in scholarships, and provides year-round financial support. Several foundations also have poured in money.

But despite donations, money is a problem. That’s mostly because the school spent more of its budget on hiring than an average school would in order to have a class size of 10 students per teacher in English and math classes, said N. Kendell Walton, the financial consultant to Operation Graduation, the school’s management company.

In May, the school was looking at a $7,000 shortfall for the month because of unforeseen building expenses, Walton told the school’s board of directors.

That’s when founders, friends and family came in handy. The school held a private party at the home of one of its board members, businessman Dennis Archer Jr., son of the former mayor. About 40 people came, raising $12,000 in donations to help pay bills.
Building social skills

The kids know that the school has a different kind of approach, that they are pioneers.
“We guaranteed not to fail,” Shamiya Estell, 15, said at lunch one day. “They have to let you do your work over if you fail.”

Shamiya and her friend Jayda Dukes, 15, wear attitudes like accessories to their blue school blazers. They were involved in numerous altercations with girls and each other, including one where their screams at each other of “stripper!” and “hooker!” echoed through the sparse hallway.

The school has more boys than girls, but the girls fought far more often than the boys. With words and sometimes blows. In the halls and over Facebook and Twitter. The first person ever expelled from the new school — and the second — was a girl.

“Why do they fight? Over ‘he-said-she-said’ and boys,” said Pamela English, the vice president of academics — commonly known as assistant principal.

As is the case in most schools, Rose’s new school had to find ways to improve kids socially, in areas such as conflict resolution, etiquette and discipline, to foster career readiness.

To deal with its “mean girl” problem, the school started a mentorship group called Jewels that included teachers and about a dozen girls. The Jewels were the girls who constantly fought and bickered — including Jayda and Shamiya.

By the end of the second trimester, Jayda left the school.

But after a few sessions of conflict resolution in the Jewels program, Shamiya started to speak more standard English and less sassy-girl.

The small student body spends too much time together to tolerate constant girl fights, she now says.

“It’s long hours and long days. … We had to learn to be friends,” Shamiya said.

Mentoring is key to social development at the school.

Ten volunteers from Jeep volunteer one afternoon a month.

They help kids like Brandon Lundy. Likable and humble, the basketball player and school emissary is expected to plan a campaign for class president. But for now, he needs to learn to manage his time, said his mentor, Rakuya Artis, a Chrysler manager.
Artis gave him a calendar, and Brandon has filled it out.

“When you start mapping out the future, the improvements will come,” she told him in a classroom after school.

They discussed a chapter on planning from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” then eased into real-life conversation. She told him to take initiative around the house to prevent his mom from nagging.

Artis is a world-class manufacturing manager at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly plant. Meeting with Artis puts a face to the place Brandon wants to get to — post-college career success. And she gives him one-on-one instruction on how to get there.

“I got faith in this school,” says Brandon, who wants to be a registered nurse. “My mentor helped me to put my priorities in order.”

Corporate donations — as well as those from nearly a dozen foundations — add much-needed exposure and experiences to develop the students socially.

Every month, Rose’s students take a field trip thanks to these donations to places such as career day at Comerica Park and a courtroom. Jeep sponsored trips that exposed students to places none had ever been. They went to the swanky auto show preview charity gala in January; the Jeep design facility, where they met Ralph Gilles — the African American who led the design of the Chrysler 300, and a basketball camp in Las Vegas hosted by members of the USA Olympic team.

“What we’ve done is empowered them to see beyond where they are today, to really look with conviction to what a future really could be,” said head of Jeep advertising, Kim Adams House, also a mentor.

At the basketball camp, the pros gave a “stay-in-school” speech. But more important, kids got to rub shoulders — literally — with young black men who have everything to lose and nothing to gain from fighting or breaking the rules.

“I look up to Kevin Durant. He’s respectful; you never see him get mad,” said Brendyne, who had never boarded a plane before. “That’s how I want to be.”

Turnover is a challenge
The school’s nine teachers hailed this past year from all sorts of backgrounds — some taught at other charter schools, some were fresh out of college, others taught in DPS or schools in other states. The staff was attracted by the promise of helping to build an innovative school from the bottom up.

However, the school hit a rough patch when three teachers left with no explanation.
Among them was the music teacher, Samuel Cook, who left in the second trimester. His departure dealt a heavy blow because he took his highly rated skills and his personal computer equipment with him. The school had attracted some students with promises of preparing them for careers in entertainment. And Cook’s class was where they learned to produce and edit videos.

The high turnover at the school mirrors a national trend. Charter schools experience 25% annual turnover, compared with 14% turnover at traditional public schools, according to a 2010 report from the National Center on School Choice at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Gary Miron and Brooks Applegate, researchers from Western Michigan University, reported in 2007 that the attrition is primarily because of teachers who are inexperienced, uncertified or dissatisfied with a charter school’s mission or administration.

Rose’s school hired Brighton-based Michigan Educational Personnel Services to recruit teachers. The teachers are employees of the company, not the school, a common practice in charter schools that keeps most personnel costs and information private.

Generally speaking, Rose said he is glad he doesn’t deal with labor unions. As a result, he has the flexibility to hire — and fire — staff as needed.

“There will be changes made, and we’re not against making them,” he said.

Perhaps the most dramatic employee departure involved a security guard.

Clarence Jackson, an employee of the firm hired to provide school security, had other roles — father figure, confidant and teacher. He called himself a courtesy officer and would track down kids in the hall who cursed or insulted other students. Because of his softer side, one kid arriving late one day told Jackson the alarm didn’t go off because the family’s electricity was shut off for nonpayment the day before.

Jackson also was the substitute teacher in gym when needed — a flexibility usually missing in traditional public schools.

In spring, Kyle Fomby, a star rapper in the school’s “Fab 4″ rap group and school video, was on his way to dissect pigs in science class when students say Jackson pushed him. Kyle hit a locker and fell to the ground. Jackson later told school officials Kyle started the altercation, and he was steering him to the principal’s office. Kyle denies it.

Students watched the altercation, stunned.

Police and school investigations were inconclusive. English, the assistant principal, felt betrayed, but resolute. Jackson was transferred from the school.

“This is not a club; he is not a bouncer here,” she said.

Kyle collected himself and headed to science. He wished he could retaliate against the guard to retrieve his pride.

As Kyle seethed, Brendyne ambled up to him. The student, who was known for instigating fights, rested an arm on Kyle’s shoulder.

“You got too much going for yourself,” he told Kyle. “It ain’t worth it.”

More Details: School innovations
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter high school, opened last fall with the help of an $800,000 grant from Michigan Future, a key member organization in the Excellent Schools Detroit Coalition. Among the innovations during the first year (2011-12):

• 11-month school year; 211 days• 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily schedule; core classes 90 minutes per day; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily schedule for third (summer) trimester.
• Daily leadership class for first two trimesters.
• No homework: All course work completed in school.
• No failing grades: Students had to retake course work till they got an A or B.
• Laptops for all students for online curriculum.
• Hands-on learning • Students expected to write a novel by graduation.
• 2-hour weekly ACT prep class
• Daily physical education class

More Details: What are charter schools?
Charter schools are public schools authorized by a university, community college, school district or intermediate school district. They have appointed school boards; many boards pay firms to run day-to- day operations, such as hiring staff and acquiring facilities.For-profit or nonprofit companies can run charter schools. Michigan leads the country in the percentage of charters operated by for-profit firms.Here is a look at charter schools in Michigan:

• Number in state in 2011-12: 255 with 115,000 students
• In Detroit: 56 with about 45,000 students (2010-11)
• Expected to open in fall: 31 statewide, 10 in Detroit
• Percentage statewide run by for-profit companies: 73% (2010-11)

More Details: Jalen Rose academy
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is authorized by Central Michigan University and managed by Operation Graduation, a nonprofit. A look at the academy:
• Opened: September 2011
• Last year: 120 in ninth grade
• Projected 2012-13 enrollment: 240 students, ninth-10th grades
• Projected capacity: 480 students, ninth-12th grades by 2014-15
• Socioeconomic status: 85% low income
• Maximum class size: 20
• Target ACT score: 21; state average is 19.6
• Target graduation rate: 85%
• Target college rate: 85% • State aid: $7,110 per pupil
• Average teacher pay: $40,000

September 3, 2012 – Charter high school founded by Jalen Rose changes direction, staff heading into its second year

By Chastity Pratt Dawsey
Detroit Free Press Education Writer

Second of a two-part series

Brandon Lundy eased out of a seat at the front of his class and stood before his classmates at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit.

His face was moist because the summer air was thick and hot, with no breeze blowing into the open windows. The 15 students, usually bunched closely together, were spread out to get some relief in the stifling room. It was the third trimester at the new school, and its 120 students endured record heat while other public schools were on break.

Brandon was standing before the Curriculum Designer class, an elective that allowed students to help rewrite the school’s handbook. Barely a year old, the charter school aims to bring innovation to urban education.

As it heads into its second year Tuesday, the school — founded by Detroit native and former NBA player Jalen Rose — is already radically changing its strategies.

Brandon, an honor roll student, had plenty to say. For example, the physical education class at the school was monotonous. It was mostly basketball.

“I can think of a lot of other sports we can learn,” said Brandon, who is on the basketball team but also wants to learn sports such as tennis. 

The Free Press visited Rose’s school for much of 2012 and found that the the school’s opening year had its shining moments developing students socially. But it had challenges, too, with a disappointing online curriculum and teacher turnover. Brandon’s classmates agreed that much must change at the school, which opened its doors in fall 2011.

Chanelle Miles said the school should have a class on instruments, and courses where students can learn to compose original songs. The school, after all, promised to focus on sports and entertainment, as well as on leadership development. Aubrey Williams said the robotics team needs more equipment.

The teacher, assistant principal Pamela English, typed notes as the students spoke. School staff planned to take the kids’ suggestions seriously. “Our students have a voice,” English said. “We listen.”

Curriculum and Learning

The first year was a rough one.

Students learned, but were not on track to earn the school’s goal of a 21 out of 36 score on the ACT college entrance exam by graduation, staff said. Right now, their score on the ACT preparation exam is about a 13.

This year, nearly everything and everyone on staff is changing.

After experimenting with a curriculum designed by a Canadian researcher, the staff shelved it. Among the innovations being jettisoned: online lessons called e-labs that were not rigorous enough and not aligned with the new national common core standards, and the unique grading scale of A, B or Incomplete.

The coming year will include some traditional schooling techniques — daily homework, an A-to-F grading scale and textbooks used in addition to laptops for technology-based projects and research.

The students entered the new school two to three grade levels behind, and the test scores didn’t budge. It takes more than a year to propel scores, but the school has made bold promises and must move scores — now.

“Because of our (low) test scores, we don’t have time to play,” English said.

Changes in this upcoming year will bring more organization and structure to the curriculum. They include:

• All teachers using the same teaching strategies.

• Teachers using the school’s weekly testing data to figure out how to help students.

• Staff being trained every week, and teachers meeting together daily to prep for classes.

“Rest assured, change has come,” said Kenya Crockett, the new school leader, commonly know as the principal.

Staff and class offerings

Crockett moved to the Detroit area this summer to take the helm at the new school.

A native of Oakland, Calif., she was inspired by her grandmother, who ran group homes for disabled people, and her great-grandmother, who raised foster children. Crockett worked after high school with special-needs students — including changing their diapers — and raised four teenage foster children, ensuring that all of them graduated from high school. Her daughter is a senior at the University of California Berkeley.

“I know what it takes to be a single parent in urban America with a child who is pursued by Ivy League colleges.”

A former administrator in the Oakland Unified School District in California, the 23-year education veteran was attracted to Rose’s school by the opportunity to build her dream school.

She is the third principal at the school; the first one resigned, and the interim principal headed back to her faculty position at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Crockett came off as brash when she bounded onto the auditorium stage in July to formally meet the students. Wearing green pants, a crisp white shirt and matching white fingernails, she demanded attention.

Crockett had visited classes and roamed the halls but had not addressed the whole school the first few days.

“Besides her in the hallway yelling,” said student Shamiya Estell.

It was time for a family meeting, Crockett told the school. Detroit must recognize its potential.

The school reform effort under way in Detroit is an opportunity to remake the city, she said. Most important, the city’s college-going rate will not improve until something is clear, she told students.

“You need to want it for yourself.”

During the 2012-13 school year, the school will offer a menu of tougher classes: a gym class that includes tennis, golf and outdoor survival skills; music production; sports management; advanced music theory; web design; art; Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

This summer, the school sent three teachers to a conference in Battle Creek to learn techniques for small-group learning developed by renowned education expert Spencer Kagan. The school will also use the organized teaching methods developed by celebrated Harlem educator Lorraine Monroe, whose school excelled under her system.

While these methods are not new, the innovation will come in when Rose’s school factors in small class sizes, an 11-month school year, all students taking classes 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and once a month on Saturdays, and character and cultural development through a mandated leadership class.

And every Thursday, students will be assessed in every class. Tutors armed with teachers’ lesson plans will be available for daily tutoring from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Besides the new curriculum, all of the teachers will be new. Some teachers were encouraged to apply elsewhere, while others left for higher pay in other public schools. The rest left because they were deflated, turned off by last year’s ineffective structure, English said. Charter schools typically see a 25% annual turnover, compared with 14% in traditional public schools.

It could be jarring to see all new teachers, but it’s not an automatic cause for alarm, said Raegan Miller, associate director for education policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

“If the teachers have strong academic backgrounds and thorough preparation, or if there is going to be a robust support system for teachers, the school could be in good shape,” said Miller, coauthor of a 2008 report called “Teacher Turnover, Tenure, Policies, and the Distribution of Teacher Quality: Can High-Poverty Schools Catch a Break?”

In a twist, new teachers had to teach a lesson to students in front of an administrator as part of the interview. Rose will not say which teachers from last year turned out to be lemons or which ones fled — and he doesn’t have to. As in many charter schools, the teachers are not directly employed by the school, but are employees of a private personnel services company hired by the school.

“All teaching and administrative positions are reviewed on an ongoing basis, allowing only the ‘best and the brightest’ to serve as leaders to our students,” Rose said.

Next year, success will be measured by growth on the Explore test, the prep test for the ACT, Crockett said. She expects double-digit gains.

Class size and offerings

The school’s small classes were good for kids, but bad for the budget last year. English and math classes had a maximum of 10 students, requiring more of the budget go to staff salaries.

This year, all classes will have a maximum of 20 students. The change will allow smaller class sizes than in Detroit Public Schools while freeing up money in the $1.6-million state aid budget. That money will provide a more diverse menu and a cash flow cushion, said N. Kendell Walton, the financial consultant to Operation Graduation, the school’s nonprofit management company.

Last year, the school had an online curriculum but often could not access lessons because of technical issues with the connections and laptops that broke down after daily wear and tear.

A teacher served as the information technology coordinator. This year, the school will be able to budget about $35,000 for a contractor to work at the school to address technology issues, Walton said. Core classes — science, math, English, social studies — will have five desktop computers, while the entire school will be stocked with one laptop for every two students.

Actions and attitudes

One morning last year, Rose was standing outside the school and saw a student in a car eating food from McDonald’s with a parent.

“School had started an hour and a half earlier,” he said. “This is what we’re dealing with. We have to change attitudes and culture.”

Despite what did or didn’t work in the school’s curriculum, the atmosphere and one-on-one attention brought profound changes in some students. The most-improved student, according to the staff, was 15-year-old Brendyne Shelton, a star on the school’s basketball team.

On one of the last days of the school’s first year, Brendyne arrived late.

After a lecture from Crockett, he headed to math class, sliding his 6-foot-2 frame into a seat across from classmate Amari Allen. Brendyne started the school year with fifth-grade skills, but with one-on-one help from teachers, his skills leaped to an eighth-grade level and a 2.8 grade point average.

On this day, the class was working on multiplying binomials. “You know how to do it, right?” Amari whispered to Brendyne.

“Yeah, but you got to explain it,” Brendyne responded.

That humble admission signaled that something in Brendyne changed over the course of the year. It changed after Rose took him to McDonald’s for lunch and told the freshman that he was a better young man than his actions portrayed. And when Brendyne had an argument with a teammate and quit the basketball team this summer, Rose told him quitting was “not an option.”

“Every time he talked to me, I felt stronger and stronger,” Brendyne said of Rose.

Brendyne is still reluctant to promise to go to college for a career other than becoming a pro basketball or football player. But he said he sees the value in school, in its intrinsic connection to a better life. He doesn’t know for sure what changes are in store for the upcoming year, but he intends to return.

“The school didn’t give up on me,” Brendyne said. “I ain’t giving up on the school.”

More details: Jalen Rose

Age: 39

High school: Southwestern High in Detroit, class of 1991

Other education: Bachelor’s degree in management studies, University of Maryland, 2005

Personal: Father of two

Career: Played guard for University of Michigan basketball team, 1991-94 and one of the Fab 5 players who led U-M to the NCAA championship game; played 13 years in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns

Current occupation: Commentator, ESPN

Giving: $1.2 million, including $240,000 to U-M to endow a four-year scholarship; 38 scholarships of $10,000

More details: About the school

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a charter high school that opened in fall 2011. It was one of the first to get start-up funds from partners in Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of local political, business and charitable organizations. In 2010, leaders from these groups announced a plan to raise $200 million to replace Detroit’s school system with a new “system of schools.”

Michigan Future, a nonprofit that is a partner in Excellent Schools Detroit, awarded Rose an $800,000 start-up grant to open a small high school that would aim to send at least 85% of its graduates to college.

Former NBA and University of Michigan Fab 5 star Jalen Rose, 39, talks about why he founded a charter high school in his old neighborhood.

Jalen Rose says his charter school is about improving lives, not about profits

QUESTION: Where did the idea come from?

ANSWER: Knowing about the plight of education in Detroit and how it’s taken a downturn, I felt like creating a school — a safe learning environment.

Q: Michigan leads the nation in companies opening charter schools to make money. Is the school making money for you?

A: Of course not. No. (The school is managed by a nonprofit.) Starting a charter school, it’s a financial burden. The building, it’s a financial burden. (Last year) we were supposed to start school right after Labor Day, and all of a sudden, I realize we’re not up to code — got to get a new boiler, got to get an elevator.

Q: Talk about your students. Who are they?

A: We’re dealing with an at-risk, underserved part of our community where a majority of our ninth-graders are not reading or not doing math at a ninth-grade level when we get them. Probably on average, fifth- or sixth-grade level.

It’s very important to try to give them the enrichment, the curriculum, the life skills, the social skills beyond just what happens in the textbook.

Q: You’re the school’s board president and visit about once a month. What other kind of involvement do you have with the kids?

A: (They call me) “Mr. Rose, Jalen.” (They say) … “Look at my report card; I see what you were telling me in September. I get it now.”

It’s a leadership role. Some people term it a big brother role or father figure role. Each student expects me to give their situation personal care, and that’s my commitment.

Q: Is this school strict?

A: Our school is strict. It’s not strict to the point where we’re going to kick you out … or recommend you for expulsion because you didn’t wear your uniform properly for two or three times. If I have to expel one or two students, or eight or nine students, to save 110, that’s what we have to do.

Q: Why don’t you have metal detectors?

A: I want the guards down. When you go to the best schools … in the suburbs, they don’t have (metal detectors), either. … I feel like I can create an infrastructure of a safe learning environment. I may actually go to (security) wands for a different reason — to search for cell phones. Who are you texting during school? We’re going to set up a check in/out system for cell phones.

Q: You’ve adopted some strategies from other countries — this year, there’s Mandarin class and the school day goes until 5:30 p.m. Why?

A: Times have changed. In order to have a career, who are you competing with for the top jobs? People all across the world. So if our students are going (to school) 179 days (the average number of school days for Detroit Public Schools students) and theirs are going 235, when they put their résumés on the desk and their kids are speaking three languages, and their ACT score is 35, and our student who is working hard, doing it the normal way like it used to be — has an ACT score of 15 — who’s going to get the job?

More Details: How you can help
To donate or volunteer, go to: Or send donations to: Operation Graduation, c/o JRLA, 15000 Trojan, Detroit 48235.

Contact Chastity Pratt Dawsey: 313-223-4537 or

Full articles:



2nd Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing

Detroit schools are in crisis and, consequently, students are not receiving the education necessary to prepare them for their future. Only 31.9% of Detroit’s public high school students graduate in four years (Source: Education Policy Center at Michigan State University) and only 12.1% of the adult population in Detroit has earned a bachelor’s degree (Source: US Census). We are working to make the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) a part of that solution, and we need your help!

JRLA began its first academic year in September 2011 with an inaugural class of 120 ninth grade students commuting from all across Detroit and the nearby suburbs. An additional freshman class will be added each subsequent year. JRLA provides a leadership-focused experience within a high-performing high school that engages and inspires Detroit youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree. Students are provided with real-world, project-based experiences within the context of leadership, sports, and entertainment. JRLA is an open-enrollment tuition-free public charter school in which students receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities, thanks to a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy.

Detroit charter schools receive less state-aid than Detroit Public Schools; including roughly 85% of what nearby suburban schools receive. It is vital to raise significant funds from private sources to meet our ambitious educational goals. To financially support both the transformational educational opportunities for students at JRLA and their families, and to provide the necessary facilities to house these unique programs, we are currently seeking significant philanthropic support from our community.

We kindly ask you to consider participating in the 2nd Annual Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Celebrity Golf Outing as a golfer, sponsor or auction item donor! This outing will be held on Monday, September 10, 2012 at Michigan’s Detroit Golf Club.  Each foursome will be paired with a local celebrity and sponsorship recognition benefits can be found on the attached form. During the event, auction items will be prominently displayed with an acknowledgement of your company’s donation followed by recognition on after the event.

JRLA offers Detroit children unique opportunities that they would not receive from any ordinary public school; therefore, this golf outing will directly impact the future of Michigan, and specifically Detroit families. We understand you are asked to support many causes, some very close to your heart. Our hope is that you find a place in your heart for the students of JRLA. What we are asking is nothing more than what is needed to give these children every opportunity to succeed. Thank you in advance for your consideration!


Dennis W. Archer – Chairman Emeritus, Dickinson Wright PLLC and Former Mayor of Detroit
Willie Burton – NBA Star
Derrick Coleman – NBA All-Star
Kristen Danyal – Miss Michigan USA 
Steve Fisher – NCAA Champion & San Diego State Head Coach

Dana Jacobson – Michigan Native, Former ESPN Host
Jimmy King – Michigan “Fab Five” Legend
Lila Lazarus – Television Personality
Herman Moore – NFL Pro Bowler & Detroit Lions
Ira Newble – NBA Star &  Current Coach of Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers NBA D-League Team)
Willie Norwood – NBA Legend
Brian Olatunji – Professional Race Car Driver
Rob Parker – ESPN Radio/TV Personality
Jalen Rose – 13 year NBA Star, ESPN/ABC Analyst
Matt Shepard – Radio & Television Broadcaster (Voice of Michigan Basketball)
Perry Watson – Detroit Basketball Coaching Legend
…and more TBA!!!


SILVER SPONSORS: T.A. Systems, HH Barnum, Wolverine Advanced Materials, Moscone Family Foundation and Charity Motors

HOLE IN ONE SPONSOR: Michigan First Credit Union

HOLE SPONSORS: Chemico Mays LLC, Creative Artists Agency, 3 Tier Entertainment, Origen Financial, Shifman & Carlson P.C., Great Lakes Wines & Spirits, CanStrong & Allstate (Nick Schrock)

IN-KIND SUPPORT: Underground Printing, Kelleher Enterprises and Absopure

AUCTION DONORS: Huntington Bank, Byrons Flowers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Tom James of Detroit, Biggby Coffee, Elements Massage,  Radiance MedSpa, Detroit Golf Club, Marriott,  The Henry, Neil Weissman, Tarek Saad, Vera Bradley and Paul Toutant

For more info or to register/donate, click here: 2nd Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing

FOX 2 NEWS DETROIT – Jalen Rose Talks about Leadership Academy

Fox 2 News Headlines

Athletes for Education Reform – American Federation for Children

On July 10, 2012, the American Federation for Children co-hosted an event in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the 2012 ESPY Awards, that brought together education reformers from the world of athletics. The event was hosted by JRLA Founder, Jalen Rose.  A video produced by the Alliance shown at the event can be seen here: Jeep hosts Jalen Rose Leadership Academy students at Chrysler HQ to learn, play

June 8, 2012 — AUBURN HILLS, MI – Deandre Straughn received a glimpse of what his future could entail today in Auburn Hills.

The 15-year-old Detroit Jalen Rose Leadership Academy student was one of about 90 students to visit Chrysler Group LLC’s world headquarters Friday as part of an ongoing partnership between the school and automaker’s Jeep brand.

“I was really grateful to have the opportunity to come out and see all the cars and to meet everyone,” he said, adding he wants to attend Western Michigan University to become a graphic designer. “They actually do some of the stuff I want to do.”

During the visit, the students learned how Jeeps are designed, got to speak with employees and executives — including Ralph Gilles, SRT and Motorsports President and head of Chrysler design — and explored some of the vehicles from Moab this year.
Gilles told the students that Chrysler can help, but it’s up to them to rewrite Detroit’s story.

“You’re the future,” he said. “You can put this city back on the map.

“We’re doing what we can, but really it’s about you, the next-generation making a big difference and you’ll be the inventors of the next big thing.”

Jeep partnered with the academy earlier this year to provide mentoring to the students and give them unique opportunities to attend events, such as the visit the the automaker’s Auburn Hills headquarters.

Kim Adams House, a student mentor and head of Jeep advertising, said the automaker hopes to expand the partnership as the academy, which former NBA basketball player Jalen Rose formed last year, grows.

“We’re invested in this relationship and partnership with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, and one of the cornerstones of the overall program is to make sure they get a broad brush, or broad look, at project-based learning,” she told

Myles Barnes, a 14-year-old student at the academy, said he particularly enjoyed the presentations from Bill Zheng and Vince Galante, two of Jeep’s younger design team members.

Zheng, a 35-year-old who grew up in China, and Galante, a 30-year-old Chicago native, described how they became designers and the wide array of options the auto industry has to offer to creative people.

“It’s a really good experience because I’ve never been out here,” said Barnes, who wants to become a robotics engineer. “It’s actually inspiring — to be young and see the different cultural diversities you have — I actually admire that … It’s really amazing.”


By Michael Wayland |

Shell Science Lab Challenge Announces 2012 Grand Prize Winner and National Finalists

April 9, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EDT – National Competition Honors Science Teachers for Developing Innovative Approaches to Providing Quality Lab Experiences to Students with Limited School Resources

ARLINGTON, Va., Apr 09, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association today announced the grand prize winner and four national finalists in the second annual Shell Science Lab Challenge. The competition encouraged teachers (grades 6-12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover valued at $20,000.

“Inquiry-based learning and hands-on experimentation are key elements for encouraging student interest in science,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Vice President, Shell Oil Company Foundation, Manager, Social Investment. “The Shell Science Lab Challenge strives to support inquiry-based instructional practices of our science teachers and excite students about the wonders and possibilities of science through active learning that emphasizes questioning, data analysis, and critical thinking. Exemplary science teaching is more relevant when it occurs in a quality lab environment where science concepts can be explored by students.”

“These science teachers have implemented truly remarkable science programs, providing quality lab experiences for their students with very little resources,” said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. “We commend the winners of the Shell Science Lab Challenge for their creativity, resourcefulness and commitment to their students.”

To enter the Shell Science Lab Challenge, science teachers of grades 6-12 in the U.S. and Canada were asked to describe their school’s current laboratory resources, explain why the school’s laboratory facilities might be classified as “limited” resources, and describe their approach to science education instruction utilizing their school’s current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries.

Grand Prize Winner: Kristy Martens, Westmount Charter School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

– Martens uses a design-based approach to teach science, giving students few procedural instructions. This allows students to explore scientific concepts and gain experience actually building something to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Westmount Charter School’s facilities create some challenges to this approach. The school has only two chemistry labs, which have inadequate ventilation and damaged lab surfaces and share one sink, while the sole physics room contains only two electrical outlets and no high school physics equipment. Martens believes an update of the labs would allow her to provide safe, hands-on science education, as well as expand the curriculum to include the full Advanced Placement science program.

National Finalist: Jennifer Bagardi, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Detroit, Mich.

– Located in a former Detroit elementary school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter high school, follows a project-based learning curriculum to inspire students to attend college and make a difference in their community. When the academy opened in September 2011, Bargardi had only $600 with which to supply the science department. She employs an “Everyday Science” approach, using familiar, low-cost items such as gelatin and rubbing alcohol to give her ninth grade students hands-on learning opportunities.

National Finalist: Lance Doss, Wagoner High School, Wagoner, Okla.

– Doss strives to make science class a hands-on endeavor for his special education students. His students learn science skills relevant to everyday life through classroom activities and lessons, preparing them to be as independent as possible. With no lab of his own, Doss borrows equipment from colleagues teaching general science education when he can. He hopes to create a lab within his special education classroom that allows for more differentiation of lessons to meet the needs of his students whose disabilities span a wide range.

National Finalist: Dr. Manuel Paul Pena, Longfellow High School for Pregnant & Parenting Mothers, Minneapolis, Minn.

– Pena uses an inquiry-based approach to science teaching to make a difference in the lives of his students. The alternative high school, founded to help pregnant and parenting female teens succeed academically, is located in a former elementary school built in 1903. Classroom space is tight, so Pena shares a room with two other teachers teaching in different disciplines. He poses questions to students for discussion, drawing on their experiences and sharing his own as they work toward an answer. Hands-on investigations are challenging as the classroom lacks secure storage for equipment such as microscopes. Although the school uses technology to compensate for what the classroom lacks in physical space, Pena says access to better lab facilities will help prepare his students for 21st century science careers.

National Finalist: Denise Ponte and Joseph Mastroeni, Roy W. Brown Middle School, Bergenfield, N.J.

– Ponte and Mastroeni share room 237 at Roy W. Brown Middle School, teaching 300 seventh and eighth graders Earth science, physics, and life science. The classroom was last updated in the late 1960s, when new lab tables were installed. Despite the outdated facility, Ponte and Mastroeni work to connect science lessons to their students’ lives using project-based lessons, creating opportunities for students to explore their world and participate in investigations, collecting data and developing critical-thinking skills. They hope that by updating the lab it will allow them to conduct more self-directed investigations and provide more collaborative learning opportunities for their students while including students with disabilities and English language learners.

As the grand prize winner, Martens will receive a science lab makeover support package for their school valued at $20,000. The prize package includes an $8,000 Shell cash grant, $8,000 in donated lab equipment, $1,000 in NSTA prizes–to include an NSTA bookstore gift certificate and NSTA conference registrations, NSTA memberships and NSTA Learning Center subscriptions for two teachers–and an expense-paid trip for two teachers to attend the 2012 NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

The four national finalists will each receive a science lab makeover support package for their school valued at $8,500. The prize package includes a $3,000 Shell cash grant, $3,000 in donated lab equipment, $1,000 in NSTA prizes–to include an NSTA bookstore gift certificate and NSTA conference registrations, NSTA memberships and NSTA Learning Center subscriptions for two teachers–and an expense-paid trip for one teacher to attend the 2012 NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

VWR is also supporting the Shell Science Lab Challenge by providing equipment to the winners.

Recognizing that the laboratory experience is integral to science education and that many schools, especially schools in urban and rural areas, do not have the resources to invest in quality lab equipment, NSTA and Shell partnered on the Shell Science Lab Challenge to bring much needed lab materials and resources to school districts nationwide and in Canada.

For more information about the Challenge, visit .

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), , is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

About Shell Oil Company

Shell’s commitment to community and social responsibility has been in place for more than 50 years. During this time, we have contributed more than a billion dollars to support community, health and welfare, environmental, arts and cultural activities, various educational initiatives, including minority education, and diversity and inclusiveness programs in Houston and the U.S.


***Help Sponsor a New JRLA Classroom***

JRLA is one of the few local charter schools with a waitlist… in order to accommodate our growing student body, we need to expand our existing facility by the 2013-14 school year. That’s where we need your support! If we get 10,000 supporters to each donate $10, we’ll reach our goal of $100,000 to build a much needed new classroom!

Donate. Make a Difference. Win Prizes!

Black Jalen Rose Dedicates Himself to Educating Detroit’s Children

The former NBA player partners with Jeep to provide a safe haven for Detroit’s next generation
by Darralynn Hutson Posted: March 22, 2012

Jalen Rose forged a path in professional basketball while just a freshman at the University of Michigan as a part of the infamous Fab Five. His balling career evolved as a first round draft pick for the Denver Nuggets, then excelled on several NBA teams, including the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and ending with the Phoenix Suns. It was during his time as an NBA player that Rose developed a philanthropic dedication to educating at risk youth. In 2011, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy [JRLA] opened its doors to over 100 9th graders on the west side of Detroit in an effort to give back to his neighborhood. caught up with the ESPN/ABC sports analyst to speak about his recent partnership with Jeep to accomplish his goal of empowering the youth of tomorrow through education.

What does it take to start and run a school in Detroit?
It takes a lot of time, energy, money and care. Last September (2011) we opened the doors to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy with 120 students and we all had the same agenda; to take at risk 9th graders—most of which fall victim to their neighborhoods—and make them leaders.

How were the students that were enrolled in the academy selected? Why was it limited to 9th graders?
We’re going after a specific demo, because 90% of our students aren’t reading at their grade level and 85% get free or reduced lunch. Why 9th graders? Because we feel that 9th grade is the age when you have to make some tough decisions that will affect the rest of your life; to be cool or smart, to lead or follow. So we wanted to catch a specific kind of student at a crucial time in their development.

Have you seen changes since the beginning of the school year?
I’m very proud of my students. They’re running up to me to show their report cards; they’re taking pride in their appearance; sitting up straight, pulling up their baggy pants. I believe we are off to a great start.

Why was it so important for you to open the leadership academy in your hometown of Detroit?
What was most important to me was to affect the same zip code that I grew up in. These days, [the kids’] innocence is gone. They’re being introduced to sex, drugs, violence, gangs and bullying in social media, all much earlier than high school. I’m loyal to my soil, though. This was the best way that I know to fulfill my duty and obligation to my neighborhood. It’s really my duty to uplift my community. We’ve lost so many jobs in Detroit and we really need all hands on deck.

What’s the mission of the academy?
First, to shatter the myth that we want to be stupid and gangbangers. We have longer school days, longer school semesters and six super Saturdays in the JRLA because we believe our students want to learn.

How has Detroit changed since you grew up here in the ’80s?
It’s tough right now for Detroit. We’re still essentially a blue-collar town; we know how to roll up our sleeves and go to work. But our parents worked at the plant for 40 hours a week, or were educated with professional jobs. They were able to set aside nest eggs and put their kids through college. Now, it’s tough on adults who have the skills but not the education. They have nothing to fall back on. We wanted to make a difference in those specific eight years of a kid’s life—four years of high school and four years of college—when their decisions are so important to the rest of their lives.

Who were your inspirations during those eight years of your life?
I had a strong mother and strong uncles and, of course, my coaches were all strong people. Back in the day, there was a part of street life that kept kids like me away from it. There were more morals and rules where people that were a part of the street life didn’t want kids with potential to be in it. Now, it’s the wild wild west with the exposure to things on TV, the radio and Internet. There is constant and continued support of buffoonery. There’s no balance. I had strong people in my life, even though we grew up in a poor neighborhood. There’s no balance now.

Jeep just recently came on as a sponsor for the academy. How did that come about?
Jeep cares and they give back in a big way. They’re rolling up their sleeves and providing real support to the academy. Our team reached out to Jeep while we were still in the planning stages and periodically kept them abreast of the progress. The partnership just made a lot of sense to me. I had a God–fearing mother who worked at Chrysler for many years. It wasn’t a forced sponsorship. They were looking for ways to make real differences in the community and it made for a great partnership.

Obviously, it takes a lot of partnerships to make a school work. Talk about those partnerships in JRLA?
First and foremost, there’s Mike Carter whose the co-founder of the JRLA. When we first started to talk about our involvement together, we came with the same goal to give back. There’s the University of Detroit Mercy, which allows our students to experience their campus with liberal arts classes that let them understand college life. Isiah Thomas stepped up and donated one of the classrooms to his late mother. And, of course, our board members, who don’t necessarily have kids in the Detroit public school system but understand that it takes time and energy to give back.

Your philanthropic efforts don’t begin and end with the academy. What are some of the other things that the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Foundation has supported?
We established an endowment at the University of Michigan. We have influenced high school and college school students providing 40 kids education scholarships.

How can people help in your educational efforts?
Donate at We’re raising between $5 million and $7 million to build a start of the art facility. People with money send their kids to better schools that have more state of the art facilities. Our demo of students don’t have that option; so why shouldn’t they have the same learning environment? Why should I continue to support a system that continues to support poor performing schools, students and teachers? When I was growing up in Detroit, I felt like we were better than Chicago, better than Los Angeles; that was until I went to Chicago and LA and I saw five-star hotels and international chair restaurants. Then I realized that Detroit was lacking in more areas than we realized. I’m trying to influence how Detroit kids see their hometown.

Founder, Jalen Rose, on Channel 7 Action News Discussing Open Enrollment

March 19, 2012

Founder, Jalen Rose, on Fox 2 News Discussing Open Enrollment

March 19, 2012

JRLA Featured on CNN with Soledad O’Brien

The Jeep® Brand Partners with the JRLA

March 8, 2012 — The Jeep® brand has partnered up with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), an open enrollment public charter high school in Detroit, to develop a multi-phased development program that will expose participants to programs and events designed to enrich and develop their educational path.

Elements of the partnership include a mentoring program between Jeep brand employees and students, field trips to several Chrysler Group facilities including the Jefferson North Assembly Plant and the Jeep Design Studio, development of a marketing project, and sponsorship of the academy’s boys’ and girls’ basketball team.

“The Jeep brand is honored to partner with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and build a relationship within our community.  This program is an authentic, hands-on approach that will fuel leadership, provide educational empowerment and develop life skills for the students,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With this program, we hope to help students reach their fullest potential.”

“A philanthropic project of this nature requires support from the entire community and it is a privilege to have the Jeep brand join our team,” said Jalen Rose, JRLA Founder.  We will work together to have a positive influence on our future leaders.”

The program kicked-off in February and will continue for the next seven months.  Additionally, the Jeep brand also will award $100,000 in college scholarships to the first graduating class of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

Jeep Brand Mentorship Program

Focusing on educational empowerment and the development of leadership skills, Jeep brand employees will partner with select students from JRLA to participate in a seven-month long mentorship program.  Each session will focus on personal improvement skills such as goal setting and career planning.

Students  will also embark on a series of educational excursions that will include a trip Chrysler Group LLC’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit and a trip to the World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., where the students will visit the Jeep Design Studio and meet the designers.

In January, students attended the North American International Auto Show Preview, where they snapped photos of the event, Jeep vehicles and their favorite product features.  Their task was to develop a photo journal that outlined their favorite Jeep brand vehicles.

Marketing Competition

Select JRLA students will participate in a marketing competition where students will be given a marketing assignment in which they will compete amongst each other for an opportunity to win an all-expense paid trip for a family of four to a USA Basketball exhibition game in Washington, DC.

JRLA Basketball Team Sponsorship

The Jeep brand will sponsor the JRLA boys’ and girls’ basketball team.  The sponsorship will provide funding to support their team fees, uniforms and equipment.

As part of the Jeep brand’s affiliation with the USA Basketball, the brand will also provide JRLA students with the opportunity to participate in a summer basketball clinic hosted by USA Basketball legends and Jalen Rose.

About JRLA

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is an open enrollment, public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit. The Academy opened its doors in September 2011 to 120 ninth grade students; an additional freshman class will be added each subsequent year. Detroit area students receive a leadership-focused education based upon real-world, project-based experiences within the career context of sports and entertainment. Students will receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy. Immersed in the culture of college, they will take three university courses as upperclassmen to ensure a seamless transition for college entry.   As a Michigan Future Schools initiative grant recipient, the Academy recognizes their expectation of 85% high school graduation, 85% college enrollment, and 85% college graduation, and will meet or exceed these standards.  For more information about JRLA, please visit

Jeep Brand

Built on over 70 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all six Jeep models are sold outside North America – and all are available in right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Chrysler Group LLC sells and services vehicles in approximately 120 countries around the world.


The Oakland Press: Jalen Rose juggles sports, education — and thinks of being Detroit Mayor

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
By CAROL HOPKINS; Twitter: @waterfordreport

Jalen Rose is no slouch.

Last Saturday he was in California calling the Long Beach State-Santa Barbara college basketball game for ESPN.

He watched Sunday’s big NFL conference games and then caught a redeye flight back to Detroit, arriving in town at 6 a.m. Monday.

The day was packed with meetings at his fledgling Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a Detroit charter high school that provides free tuition to students.

And now, following in the footsteps of one of his mentors, Dave Bing, he is considering a new gig.

“Maybe, hopefully, fingers crossed, ‘Mayor of Detroit’ might be a title I carry one day,” Rose, 38, said Tuesday.

A photo of Bing at the academy’s ribbon-cutting sits on a shelf in Rose’s office.

“I’ve known Jalen since birth,” said Bing, who played for the Detroit Pistons with Rose’s father, Jimmy Walker. “Not only was he an outstanding basketball player, but he’s an outstanding humanitarian who made it out of the ’hood, but never left.

“I support him wholeheartedly and wish him the best of luck,” Bing said, adding Rose has invested his own time and money in helping to improve the lives of those around him. “Those kids in his school are the recipients of his good nature.”

Rose didn’t elaborate about his political aspirations, but the idea of him being mayor doesn’t sound that far-fetched once you dig into his history.

A Detroit native, Rose was a star at an early age, an All-American basketball player from Southwestern High School, according to Rose’s website, At the University of Michigan he was part of the legendary “Fab Five,” where he and teammates Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson changed the sport on the court and off by wearing baggy uniform shorts, black socks and black shoes.

The only team in Final Four history to ever start five freshmen, they led the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Championship game appearances. In 1994, Rose was drafted in the first round by the Denver Nuggets. According to Rose’s website, his most memorable NBA moments during his 13-year career included winning the NBA’s “Most Improved Player” and “Player of the Week” awards in 2000 and “Eastern Conference Player of the Week” accolades in 2005. As a member of the Indiana Pacers, his team appeared in three straight Eastern Conference finals including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2000.

The 6-foot-8 Rose left the NBA for TV in 2001, becoming a reporter and on-air personality for Fox Sports Net’s famed “Best Damn Sports Show Period.”

A mass communications major at U of M who ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland University College, Rose is now an ESPN/ABC sports analyst.

In 2007 he started his own production and management company, and in 2011 served as executive producer on the memorable “The Fab Five,” ESPN’s highest rated documentary. He has two daughters who live in Georgia.

School open six months

But around this area, it’s the academy — a former elementary school in a neighborhood east of the Lodge Freeway and just south of 8 Mile in Detroit —that keeps him busy.

Right now the school has 120 ninth graders — 48 girls and 72 boys, including three students from Oakland County — who were chosen by lottery.

Rose plans to add another grade each year until the school has 480 students in ninth through twelfth grades.

Even with his frantic schedule, Rose says he has only missed one monthly board meeting since the academy opened its doors last September.

Rose, an Oakland County resident, raised $2 million to buy the school building and bring it up to code, and is working to raise another $5 million to expand the school so it can hold more students.

The school sits on a good-sized lot near a neighborhood. Inside, students work on laptops and attend school from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will have a longer school year — 211 days.

“We’re trying to compete in an international global economy,” said Rose, noting children in Thailand and China attend school more than 230 days a year.

Only 6 percent of the students came to the academy ready for ninth grade math, teachers said. The majority are reading between a fifth and seventh grade level.

The academy keeps the student-to-teacher ratio in classes at 20-to-1. In math and English, it’s 10-to-1.

“They need that extra time and boost to help them catch up,” he said.

Ninth grader Brandon Lundy of Detroit — who wants one day to be a registered nurse, then a doctor — said he likes how staff “give you a chance. Some schools give you a grade and that’s it. Here you get a second chance. Some people learn at different paces. Teachers are really good at helping students.”

All the students wear blue blazers and white shirts. Boys wear ties.

“Uniforms are very important to create a culture where (students) can focus on learning, not on what kind of new gym shoes they have,” said Rose.

“You dress how you look, and the students look good.”

When administrators went out looking for teachers, Pam English, vice president of academics, said they wanted innovative instructors who would “think outside the box.”

Teaching, said Rose, means investing time, energy and caring.

If you are just coasting in the classroom, “kids will see right through it,” said Rose.

“It’s almost like being a coach. Some players need a kick in the butt and others need a pat on the back. It’s my job is to find which button to push with administrators and students.”

Barbara Smith, the academy’s school improvement director, said students earn As, Bs or “Incompletes.”

Smith and Rose shared how several students ran up to Rose this week showing off their report cards. Some of them had “Incompletes,” and Rose asked them what they were doing about it.

“They knew exactly what they had to do,” said Smith.

At the academy, they are not just being given a lower grade with no accountability.

“When charter kids get to college, that’s when many drop out because they look around and their confidence is low,” she said.

Jalen Rose Leadership students will have to do the work to get the higher grades, she said.

In March, students will take their first major tests to judge how they are doing.

“The goal is college,” said Rose.

Smith and Rose appear happy with the progress so far.

“The kids speak for themselves,” said Smith.

“I’m not Bill Gates”

Rose has to think for a minute if there is any photograph of him displayed at the school that bares his name.

“Yes, on the wall with the rest of the board members,” he said.

Rose sits at his desk in a small office. Over in a corner a cooler packed with bottled water hums.

Talking about his motivation for starting the school, he said, “I never wanted to be considered a dumb jock. In high school I made the honor roll, in college I made the dean’s list. I graduated from college.”

Rose speaks of wanting to give back to his hometown.

“Say Detroit when you’re out of town, unfortunately, and a lot of times the first thing that comes out of someone’s mouth, especially someone who has never been here, is negative,” he said.

“If we don’t educate our youth, how can we grow the fortunes of our great city?

“So many parents, educators, individuals are trying to turn around Detroit, I just want to be one of the people doing my part.”

Rose talks of people being able to send their children to great public and private schools.

“It all boils down to money,” he said.

“Adults know what I mean. If you have the means and responsibility, you move to a better school district.”

Besides keeping up on the academy’s operations, he spends much of his time raising money to keep the school going, he said.

“I have to build the brand,” he said, “using every resource to create donors, internships (for the students). I’m looking for mentors.”

Rose is dismayed that governments spend an average of $37,000 annually on prisoners but only $7,000 on students.

He praises his friends, former Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Dave Bing, for helping raise money for the school.

He said Jeep and Chrysler have offered to provide $100,000 in scholarships.

“I’m not Bill Gates, I don’t have a blank check, this is all pro bono,” Rose said.

“We have lot of legwork we are doing,” he said, “trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

“I’m doing whatever I can to make this thing succeed.”


Contact Carol Hopkins at 248-745-4645 or Follow her on Twitter @waterfordreport or on Facebook @OPcarolhopkins.


Highlights of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Milestones

2011 Milestones

The Wall Street Journal: The Weekend Interview – From the Fab Five to the Three Rs

December 31, 2011

After 20 years of basketball fame and fortune, Jalen Rose returns home to Detroit to promote school reform and parental choice.

The 40-minute cab ride from the airport to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Northwest Detroit isn’t pleasant. Nearly every other home is boarded up, abandoned, dilapidated, with rusted-out cars in the front lawn on sale for as little as $300. Some of the houses can be snatched up for as little as $5,000, and the main commerce visible are liquor stores, auto-repair shops and seedy bars. “You may have noticed,” says Jalen Rose, “there aren’t any Ritz-Carltons here or five-star restaurants, or even many businesses at all.” Welcome to the land of broken families and bankrupt businesses.

And school reform. Every weekday, 120 high-school freshmen from these neighborhoods attend Mr. Rose’s academy, some arriving after two bus trips and all before 7:30 a.m. Located in a former public school building, the school has spartan facilities—a science lab with almost no equipment, cracked windows—and few modern frills, though every student is given a computer.

As you approach and knock on the front door (the school is always locked to keep troublemakers away), you cross over a blue line. “When you cross that blue line,” explains Mr. Rose, “you have to agree to leave all your troubles behind for the next eight hours.” This is a sanctuary—and “one of the most promising school reform initiatives in the state,” according to Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has also offered praise.

For non-sports fans: Now a regular commentator on ESPN, Jalen Rose was a member of the University of Michigan basketball team’s controversial and multitalented “Fab Five” from 1991-93. He joined four other high-school all-Americans—Juwan Howard, Jimmie King, Ray Jackson and Chris Webber—who became the first major team to start five freshmen. Not only did they start, but they won and won, going to two straight national championship games. In the process they became a cultural sensation with their yellow jerseys, baggy shorts, black socks and brash, trash-talking style of play. Fans either loved or hated them.

After skipping his senior year to enter the pros, Mr. Rose played 13 seasons in the NBA, earning millions in salary and endorsements—and getting his college degree along the way. On this drizzly and cold December afternoon, he could be living the good life in Palm Springs or South Beach.

Instead he’s here building a school, work for which he takes no pay. And he doesn’t just lend his name to the letterhead—he’s often in the building for 20 hours a week, he says.
At 6 feet 8 inches, he towers as we stroll down the halls of his school at midday. “Do you notice that?” he whispers. “Listen to how quiet it is.” He’s right—the school has a serene quiet that suggests kids may actually be learning.

Since the Leadership Academy is a charter school free to set its own schedule, the students spend 20% more time in the classroom than they would in Detroit’s traditional public schools. The school day runs from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and the school year is 211 days, not 176. Only one student has dropped out since the school opened in August.

“We didn’t cherry pick these kids,” says Mr. Rose. “They chose us,” he notes, through an oversubscribed lottery system. He adds: “Did you ever see the movie ‘Waiting for “Superman”?’ The excitement and the joy of families that got in here was similar to that.” As the kids scurry past us between classes, they’re in crisp uniforms. Several I spoke to exuded confidence—plus awareness that being here could be a life-altering experience.

Mr. Rose plans to start with this freshman class and add a new grade each year until there are some 500 kids in grades 9-12. “This is college prep. We expect 90% to 100% to go on to college”—no mean feat when many students are entering ninth grade with only fourth-grade levels of reading and math proficiency.

The youngest of four kids, Mr. Rose was raised by his mother and never knew his biological father, former NBA player Jimmy Walker. (“The only time we were in the same place at the same time was in 2007 at his funeral,” he notes with obvious regret.) He was driven to pursue of his dream of playing in the NBA, he says, “to try to help take my family out of the financial situation we were in.”

Mr. Rose’s Fab Five days ended badly, with the team losing the 1993 national championship when Chris Webber earned a technical foul in the waning seconds by calling for a time out the team didn’t have. (“Coach told us five times in the huddle we had no more time outs,” says Mr. Rose.)

Then a federal investigation found that a Michigan booster had paid Mr. Webber, who was indicted for perjury in the case. Mr. Webber eventually pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt misdemeanor and performed community service. The scandal landed Michigan basketball on probation—leading the Fab Five’s Final Four banners to be removed from Chrysler Arena.

Mr. Rose staunchly defends the team’s legacy. “Michigan has only been to the Final Four five times ever, twice with us. Now they act like the Fab Five never happened, even though we made tens of millions of dollars for the university and they’re still making money off of us.” He fervently denies that he or Mr. Webber ever violated NCAA rules on payments from boosters. “Chris was my childhood friend. If he was getting that kind of money, we wouldn’t have been still driving our mother’s cars,” he laughs.

Despite the scandal, Mr. Rose is at peace with the university’s administration and is hopeful the banners will be returned to the rafters after the program’s probation ends in 2013. He also sponsors an academic scholarship at the university, part of his charitable efforts beyond the Leadership Academy.

Those efforts drove him to start the school in the first place, since he saw many promising high-schoolers who had earned straight-As but couldn’t score higher than a 14 out of 36 on the ACT. “What were they teaching these kids? There are just so many poor-performing schools here, and there are so many kids in our city that want to do the right thing, and families that want to put their kids in a quality school. But they can’t.”

So he threw out a life raft by starting his academy. “Only 28% of ninth graders in the Detroit public schools are graduating high school,” he notes. The rest “become the statistic you read about in the newspaper. They are the people that are robbing you at the ATM machine.”

Why’s the situation so bad? “It starts at the top. A lot of the schools are poorly managed,” he says. “Some of them have models that aren’t set up for success. The kids have no interaction. They get lost.”

At the Leadership Academy, “we have a 20-to-1 student teacher ratio and 10-to-1 in math and English. We want to invest in every young man or woman who comes here.” That means tailoring achievement standards for every student. “There may be a kid reading at a fourth-grade level [when he enters ninth grade] who when he graduates is reading at a tenth-grade level. That’s a victory.”

His school also doesn’t have tenure for teachers. “I hate tenure. Tenure allows teachers to put their feet up on the desk and possibly have a job forever. That’s why I got turned on to charter schools. It’s a business model. Every employee and every teacher will be monitored by performance.”

Kids too: “We have a code of conduct here. If they act up, they’re suspended. They come back with a better attitude.”

What about the risk that setting up a high school means intervening too late in kids’ lives? “I feel like the eight most at-risk years for young men or young women are the four they’re in high school and the four they should be in college. You ask any adult whose dreams didn’t come true or goals they didn’t get accomplished, they point back to that eight-year period when they started driving, their hormones started taking over, they started having sex, they started partying,” says Mr. Rose. “That’s when you’re in a position to make those poor decisions and actually execute them. That’s why I really wanted to influence this age group.”

He also wants to influence parents—empowering them to demand better schools for their kids. The rigid system of school boards telling families where their kids have to go to school perpetuates poverty and a sense of entrapment, he says: “Forty-seven percent of Detroit area parents are functionally illiterate. So that puts their kids at a real handicap. Say my mom is one of those 47%. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a fair opportunity for a quality public education. But since my mom is functionally illiterate and we grew up on the west side of Detroit, I’m forced to go to this school that has been a poor-performing school for 30 years.”

“There should be parental choice,” he says clearly. “Schools should be open. If it’s a public education, and the school in your district is poor-performing, you should be able to put your student or kid wherever you want.”

Choice could be relatively easily implemented, he says. “I’m a taxpaying citizen, right? So if I’m paying $4,000 worth of taxes and I don’t want my kid to go to this school, why can’t they give me my $4,000 and allow me to pick where I want to put my kids?”

Mr. Rose wants to end this injustice by starting small, with 120 students, and then scaling up—but it won’t be easy. His top administrator totes around a nearly three-inch-thick binder of charter-school regulations and bylaws that he must comply with.

Parents at the Leadership Academy pay nothing, as 70% of the school’s funds come from the state and the rest from private donations. The school is in the midst of a $5 million capital campaign that has included fund-raisers with other NBA celebrities like Isaiah Thomas, who donated $100,000 to the cause.

The school spends about $10,000 per student, a bargain compared to the roughly $14,000 average in Detroit’s public schools. Mr. Rose’s aim is to “keep the costs down, but yet still have an educational model and a facility that compares to Country Day,” one of Detroit’s most prestigious private schools.

Mr. Rose is no saint, and for much of his life the outspoken personality has been surrounded by controversy.  He earned criticism for appearing in an ESPN documentary and calling a former college hoops rival, Duke University’s Grant Hill, an “Uncle Tom.” Mr. Rose explains: “This was what we thought about these middle-class black kids. We came from the inner city and had nothing and were jealous of their jerseys, their shoes and nice hotels—all the things they had that we didn’t. We thought they were spoon-fed. I wanted what they had. I was jealous. The term ‘Uncle Tom’ was an ignorant term, but that is how we felt.”

He continues: “I apologized—because I like Grant and we get along. And he owes me a visit to the school. He promised me that.”

At the end of our interview, Mr. Rose says that most former athletes have voids in their lives after they leave center stage. They often can’t find a new mission in life. But he has the Leadership Academy: “I just really felt I had to help the community I came from. I know how hard it is to make it out of here.”

Mr. Moore is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.


$100,000 donation is the largest individual gift to the school to date

DETROIT – (November 14, 2011) – The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) announces a $100,000 gift from basketball legend Isiah Thomas.  The gift will be used to name a classroom in memory of Thomas’ mother, Mary.  Thomas’ gift is the largest individual donation to the school to date.

JRLA is a new tuition-free 9-12 college-prep public charter high school in Northwest Detroit. The Academy currently enrolls 120 ninth grade students, who will be followed by an additional freshman class each subsequent year.

“I’m trying to help get the project off the ground with some of my resources,” said Thomas, who played in Detroit for the NBA’s Pistons for 13 seasons, where he won back-to-back World Championships. “The more athletes can re-connect with their communities the better off we’ll all be. Some of us do a lot, and some of us don’t do enough.”

Thomas, voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in the history of the NBA, has spent his post-playing career as a basketball executive and coach. He is currently the Head Coach of Florida International University’s men’s basketball program.

“With this generous gift, Isiah is once again proving to Detroit that he is a leader,” said Jalen Rose, JRLA Founder and himself a 13-year NBA veteran.  “Isiah has been a basketball idol of mine since childhood and he is now a mentor of mine in the field of education. His support is a blessing and I appreciate his efforts to help push our vision forward to build future leaders by giving them the education and skills required to not only graduate from high school, but to earn a college degree and have a successful  career.”

Thomas coached Rose when he played for the Indiana Pacers and was President of the New York Knicks when Rose played for the Knicks.

JRLA Gala Celebration @ MGM Grand (Nov. 6)

You are cordially invited to:



with a special performance by Ms. Chante’ Moore…
and  Mr. Bill Bellamy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011
MGM Grand Detroit
1777 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48226

Master of Ceremonies – Emmy Award-Winning Broadcaster Ed Gordon

Celebrity supporters of JRLA will be in attendance including: 
Bill Bellamy (Comedian/Actor) *Special Performance!
Lomas Brown (NFL All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion)
Rashied Davis (Detroit Lions WR)
Justin Durant (Detroit Lions OLB)
Howard Eisley (NBA Star and LA Clippers Assistant Coach)
Tommy Hearns (Hall of Fame Boxing Legend)
Jimmy King (Michigan Basketball “Fab Five” Legend)
Helen Phillips (NBC’s Season 7 Winner of Biggest Loser)
Stephen Tulloch (Detroit Lions Linebacker)
Ekpe Udoh (Golden State Warriors)
Perry Watson (Detroit Basketball Coaching Legend)
& more to TBA!

6:00pm – Cocktails & Silent Auction
7:00pm – Seated Dinner 
7:10pm – Opening Remarks and Live Auction
8:15pm – Special Performance
8:30pm – Strolling Dessert and Dancing with Simone Vitale Band

Cocktail Attire – Complimentary Valet Parking

Host Committee: 
Tonya Allen  ~  Dennis Archer Jr.  ~  Michael Carter  ~  Tim Gale  ~  Ron Klein  ~  Mick Koster  ~  Diane Manica  ~  Craig Myers  ~  Jalen Rose  ~  David Schostak  ~  Perry Watson  ~  Neil Weissman


LEGACY Sponsor ~ $25,000
* Two tables of 10 with Jalen Rose seated at your table (priority seating)
* Recognition on event signage
* Recognition on
* Recognition in gala press release
* Full page ad in gala program
* Recognition on the cover of gala program
* Mention during promotional media interviews
* Recognition as Presenting Sponsor in JRLA Annual Report
(One Available – Please call 800-975-0001 if you are interested to check availability)

LEARN Sponsor ~ $10,000
* Two tables of 10 (priority seating)
* Recognition on event signage
* Recognition on
* Recognition in gala press release
* Full page ad in gala program

LOVE Sponsor ~ $5,000
* One table of 10 (priority seating)
* Recognition on event signage
* Recognition on
* Recognition in gala press release
* Half page ad in gala program

LIVE Sponsor ~ $3,000
* One table of 10 (priority seating)
* Recognition on event signage
* Recognition on

Patron Ticket ~ $250

We appreciate the important role your participation plays in making a positive impact on the students at the JRLA… thank you in advance for your support!

Sponsorships and event tickets can be purchased online through Operation Graduation below – you will receive an email confirmation. Questions pertaining to the event or sponsorship opportunities can be directed to 800-975-0001.































Coach English: Love Conquers all… Story of how Ms. English, VP of Academics, donated her kidney to her husband

Michigan - Life is strange. Most people sleep, wake up and eat and sleep and wake up and eat. It is a gift that too many take for granted. As long as things are moving along most of us never think about how and why that happens.

Donshell and Pamela English have come face-to-face with the reality of the everyday function of the body. Not that every organ in the body is not important; however, the English family has had to come to a hallelujah meeting with their kidneys.

The kidneys play a vital role in our health. As the renal organs, the kidney’s job is like a chemist, which is to constantly monitor the quality of the blood. Its main job is to ensure that the blood circulating around our body is pure and are free from harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, waste products, excess water and many more.

The bean-shaped organs that act like the waste disposal of the body, became the focal point in the lives of Donshell and Pamela. They are both teachers and have been married for 18 years and have two children, Kaylen and Kendall. Donshell was an exceptional athlete at Cass Technical High School, graduating in 1986. He attended Eastern Michigan University, where he was instrumental in helping the team win the MAC Conference Championship and the California Bowl in 1987. He played defensive end and served as team captain.

Strong and athletic, Donshell appeared to have everything a person could want sitting right in front of him. Taking over the Southeastern football program in 2002, in two years he took the Jungleers to its first Public School League (PSL) Division IV Championship, and they were runners-up for the City Championship.

It did not stop there as he guided Southeastern to a two year record of 22-3 (2008 and 2009). English and the Jungleers won a city title in 2008 and took all on an unforgettable ride to the state semifinals and played in one of the most memorable and talked about games in PSL history — a close loss to Sterling Heights Stevenson. At the peak of his successful life, his kidneys took control, forcing him to resign from the game he loved to focus on getting his health in order. “Fourteen or fifteen years ago I was told my numbers were not right,” Donshell recalled. “I did everything the doctors told me to do as far as medicine and other stuff. It all worked out okay until 2007 when I started feeling bad and having pain. Eventually they diagnosed me with diverticulitis. I had to have surgery where they removed part of my colon and I had to wear a colostomy bag for a year. Man my life changed unbelievably.”

Through coaching, teaching, and the kids, he managed to find a deterrent that helped him not dwell too much on the health issues.

“Being a coach in the inner city is a full time job,” he explained. “There is so much more than just coaching needed if you want to do the job right. I had to make sure they were going to class, I had to clothe some of them, feed some of them and be a father or big brother when needed. Football became a safe haven for many of my kids.” Donshell was one of the PSL’s best coaches and mentors until January of ’09. Not feeling too good for a while he finally went to the doctor and his test results showed his creatinine level had climbed to 15. The next morning he had his first kidney dialysis and stayed on a schedule of dialysis three times a week until this past June.

“We were at a meeting and the question came up about a donor kidney, so I raised my hand and said I’d try,” Pamela recalled. “After some tests I found we were a match and it was a no-brainer from there. It was life and death and the quality of life possible for my husband and the father of my kids.

“We never had any doubt that my kidney would take, because we have a strong faith in God. After the surgery. recovery went well for both of us. We have had great support from our church and family. We are trying to live life to the fullest. We are happy!”

Said Donshell: “Everything is working fantastically. It is a true blessing that I’m done with dialysis. I hope to be back coaching next year.”

To view article, click here:



Fox Business: America’s Nightly Scoreboard

WDIV Channel 4 Detroit: Jalen Rose Talks About the New JRLA


EAGtv – Jalen Rose Addresses MI Senate Education Committee

Mackinac Center for Public Policy – School Opportunity in Detroit: JRLA Video

MAPSA Trailer Featuring JRLA

JRLA Back to School BBQ & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

August 22, 2011

1st Annual JRLA Golf Outing Articles


Associated Press:

Detroit Free Press: odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CSports%7Cp

The Detroit News:’s-woes-make-Larry-Foote-ecstatic

USA Today:

MSNBC – NBC Sports:

National Football Post: Sports:











1st Annual JRLA Golf Outing Media Coverage

CELEBRITIES CONFIRMED! JRLA 1st Annual Golf Outing – July 11, 2011


Celebrities Help Raise Funds For Tuition-Free School of Excellence

DETROIT – (June 13, 2011) – On Monday July 11, 2011, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) will host its First Annual Golf Outing at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Founded by ESPN/ABC studio analyst, NBA Star and former University of Michigan “Fab Five” star Jalen Rose, the tuition-free, public charter high school is scheduled to open in September. This outing represents the first public fundraising effort to support the JRLA.

Please click here for a list of sponsorship opportunities as well as a registration form

For more information, call (248) 953-8123.

Each foursome in the Outing will be assigned a celebrity to be a part of their group. Celebrities scheduled to participate include:

· Jalen Rose
· Anita Baker –
Grammy Award Winner/Platinum R&B and Soul Jazz Singer-Songwriter
· Lomas Brown – NFL All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion 
· Lloyd Carr – Michigan Football Coaching Legend 
· Derrick Coleman – Detroit Basketball and NBA Star 
· Braylon Edwards – Michigan Football and New York Jets Star 
· Howard Eisley – NBA Star and Assistant Coach LA Clippers 
· Vincent Ellis – Pistons Beat Writer for the Free Press
· Larry Foote – 2-Time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers 
· Brandon Graham – Michigan Football and Philadelphia Eagles Star 
· Willie Green – University of Detroit Mercy Star and NBA Veteran 
· Manny Harris – Michigan Basketball and Cleveland Cavaliers Star
· Jimmy King – Michigan Basketball “Fab Five” Legend 
· Lila Lazarus – Award-winning journalist 
· Dana Jacobson – Michigan Native and ESPN Host 
· Chris Mullin – Basketball Hall of Famer
· Tayshaun Prince – Kentucky Basketball and Detroit Pistons Champion
· Jamie Samuelsen – Sports Director WCSX-FM 94.7 Morning Show & blogger
· Matt Shepard – WDFN Host/U of M Basketball Announcer
· Mike “Stoney” Stone – On-air Host 97.1 The Ticket 
· Steve Smith – Michigan State Star and NBA All-Star
· Charlie Villanueva – UConn Basketball and Detroit Pistons Star 
· Rasheed Wallace – N.Carolina Basketball and Retired Detroit Pistons Champion 
· Perry Watson – Detroit Basketball Coaching Legend 
· LaMarr Woodley – 2-Time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers
· And more TBA…

Proceeds from the Golf Outing are dedicated to benefit JRLA, a new 9-12 college-prep charter high school in Northwest Detroit, established by Rose.

A special thanks to our sponsors… Platinum Sponsor: Telemus Capital; Silver Sponsors: Charity Motors, Constar, Inc. & HH Barnum; Hole Sponsors: T.A. Systems, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, The Smith Family & ICM/Nick Khan; Contest Holes: Comerica & Clark Hill PLC; In-Kind:Underground Printing, FatHead, Kelleher Enterprises, Inc, Absopure, O&W, Inc, Ann Arbor State Bank & LaFontaine Automotive Group!!!

JRLA Opening – Media Coverage

A Message from Excellent Schools Detroit… featuring JRLA

CBSDetroit News – Fab Five Wants A Slam Dunk For Detroit Area Students

Reporting Greg Bowman
June 7, 2011 – DETROIT (WWJ) – He was known as one of the Fab Five on the basketball court at the University of Michigan… Now Jalen Rose is trying for a slam dunk for Detroit area students.

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a charter high school for 9th through 12 graders set to open in September on Detroit’s Northwest Side. Rose says he decided to open the tuition free charter school because Detroit is facing a crisis in education.

“Only 30 per cent of 9th graders will graduate from high school,” Rose said. “When you hear those numbers, if we were a third world country, it would be declared a crisis, and there would be a state of national emergency.” Rose added that while graduation numbers are going down, the crime rate, the unemployment rate, and the poverty rate in Detroit  are all going up.”

Rose says he’s not competing with the Detroit Public Schools, but giving parents and students more choices for a high performing school in the city.

Rose tells WWJ, “When you talk about high performing schools in Detroit, you think about Cass Tech and Renaissance. We went to offer the same quality of education as those schools, and be comparable to private schools in the suburbs, but without charging tuition.”

The academy will enroll 120 ninth grade students this Fall, followed by an additional freshman class each subsequent year with a total enrollment of 480 students at full capacity after four years.

USA TODAY GAME ON! Jalen Rose will remain true to this school

By Reid Cherner
June 8, 2011 – ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose is opening his own school in Detroit.

The former University of Michigan and NBA star is returning to his roots. He was a USA TODAY All-USA second-team member after his senior season at Detroit Southwestern. (On the first team were future Michigan teammates Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.)
The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will be a tuition free charter school for students in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

“Only 30 per cent of 9th graders (in Detroit) will graduate from high school,” Rose said. “When you hear those numbers, if we were a third world country, it would be declared a crisis, and there would be a state of national emergency.” Rose added that while graduation numbers are going down, the crime rate, the unemployment rate, and the poverty rate in Detroit are all going up.”

March 18, 2011 – JRLA Sign Unveiling with Mayor Bing & CMU

On March 18th, the new Jalen Rose Leadership Academy sign was unveiled. Jalen was joined by Mayor Bing, Co-Founder Michael Carter, CMU’s Mary Kay Shields, JRLA Board members as well as many other supporters. JRLA opens September 2011!


Identified as one of the last surviving cars from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” donated from Jalen Rose’s private collection

DETROIT – (May 11, 2011) – Beginning May 22, 2011, one of the world’s last surviving 1969 Dodge Chargers from “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show will be auctioned on eBay Motors with proceeds to benefit the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in Detroit.

Donated from ESPN/ABC studio analyst and 13-year NBA veteran Jalen Rose’s private collection, the vehicle was one of the last four vehicles remaining from the set and was purchased by Rose in 2001. Bids will be accepted for the auction starting at noon on Sunday, May 22, and the auction will run for a 5-day period, concluding at approximately noon on Friday, May 27. It will be a “No Reserve” auction, with a starting bid of $45,000.

The auction can be viewed at the following link:

The iconic “General Lee” vehicle up for auction features a 360ci V-8 crate motor, four-wheel disc brakes, Alpine sound system with trunk mounted sub-woofer, custom embroidered “Charger” floor mats and white letter BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires. The rear decklid is autographed by Rose and John Schneider – who played “Bo Duke” in the original series – with personal messages.

Rose decided to customize this unique vehicle, changing the “01” on the door to his basketball number “05” and replaced the Confederate flag and General text with a nickname given to him by his Grandparents, for being so tall at an early age, “Longboy.”

“The ‘General Lee’ is one of the most well known cars in American television history,” states Jalen Rose. “I am proud to own such an esteemed car, but it means so much more to benefit the lives of Detroit youth with the launch of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy this coming September. Funding for schools is essential to their overall success, and I saw the auction of the General Lee as a key way to help raise money and awareness for the school.”

Proceeds from the auction are dedicated to benefit JRLA, a new 9-12 college-prep charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit, established by Rose. Scheduled to open in September 2011, the Academy will enroll 120 ninth grade students this Fall, followed by an additional freshman class each subsequent year, with a total enrollment of 480 students at full capacity after four years.

Students will receive a leadership-focused education and will be engaged through individualized learning, prepared to excel on the ACT and challenged to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to earn a college degree by receiving extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy. JRLA is a recipient of a Michigan Future Schools initiative grant, which comes with the expectation that 85% of students graduate from high school, enroll in college, and earn a college degree. Using a grade 9-16 mentor model, the plan at JRLA is to exceed those standards.

Applications for incoming freshman are now being accepted at JRLA for the 2011-2012 school year during its open enrollment period through May 31, 2011. JRLA will meet all state and federal requirements for open admission and is tuition-free.

Interested families and/or students are encouraged to visit for additional information or to download an application.

About Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
The Mission of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is to provide a leadership-focused experience within a high-performing high school that engages and inspires Detroit area youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree and thrive in life.

Such a mission is driven by a critical and timely vision: Education in Detroit must play a critical role in transforming the community into a more vibrant intellectual and economic landscape. Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will lead that transformation by providing a quality education within the career context of sports and entertainment; ultimately, educating and preparing students to make a substantial contribution to the growth and revitalization of the City of Detroit.

CONTACT:   Kristin Priest
(248) 254-6788


FOX 2 NEWS – WJBK| Jalen Rose Giving Back with New Charter School

Click here to view the Channel 2 News Video Clips:


May 16, 2011 – DETROIT (WJBK) – Don’t misunderstand.  Jalen Rose isn’t launching a basketball skills academy.

“I care way more about their GPA than their points per game,” he said.  “Detroit is in a crisis.”

Therefore, Rose decided to give back to his city by forming a $10-million dollar charter school.

“In Detroit , tuition free,” he said.  “If you’re not educated, what’s next?  You end up being a part of a life of crime, poverty, not giving yourself a chance for success.  So, we really need to help our youth.”

Dr. Charles Muncatchy will act as superintendent of the school, which is currently being cleaned out and spruced up.  He said the chalkboards are giving way to computers.

“All of the kids will receive laptops, 24/7 use,” he told us.

Rose said it’s all about academic excellence and turning out kids that can compete in the global economy.  Also, the ratios from teacher to student will be very good — one teacher for every 20 kids.  In math and science, that ratio will be one teacher for every ten kids.  The students will also being going to class one Saturday a month for a total of nine Saturdays for the school year.

“Kids from India, the Philippines, Canada, China — they go to school 240 days a year.  In a lot of those countries, they go to school seven days a week.  Our expectations have gotten so low to the point where graduating three our of ten students has become acceptable, going 175 days a year, having four months off.  There’s no off time in life.  There’s no summertime.  You don’t get summers off,” Rose said.

Rose’s charter high school is set to open in September, but the application deadline for the first class of freshman is May 31.  They have 120 openings.  If they exceed that number in applications, they’ll go to a lottery system. Learn more by visiting .


ABC 7 ACTION NEWS – Preparations continue for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Click here to view Channel 7 News Video:

May 16, 2011 – Planning and preparation continues for a new high school in Detroit started by former NBA standout Jalen Rose.

Rose talked with Action News inside the former elementary school in northwest Detroit that will become the home of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Rose said. “This is not going to be for everyone but we need to ‘up’ the level of excellence and give our youth a chance for success.”

The public charter high school will be tuition free and have its start in the fall of 2011 with an expected class of 120 ninth grade students. The school plans to add subsequent ninth grade classes the following three years to reach capacity.

Rose grew up in Detroit and attended Southwestern High School, where he enjoyed tremendous success as a star performer in basketball. He was part of the Fab Five at the University of Michigan before entering the NBA in 1994. Rose played 13 seasons in the league before retiring in 2007.

Rose plans to reach out to his friends, former NBA players and former Detroiters for support to make the Academy a school of excellence that will rival the top private schools in Detroit’s suburbs.


Detroit Free Press: Michigan’s Jalen Rose is busy throwing out first pitch, talking sports, raising money for school


May 14, 2011 – Member of Michigan’s Fab Five Jalen Rose was at Comerica Park today as he threw out the first pitch. But it wasn’t all about baseball for the Detroiter.

Rose is raising money for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter school opening this fall on the Northwest side of Detroit. He’s auctioning off one of the last remaining 1969 Dodge Chargers from “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show on eBay Motors starting May 22 and the proceeds will go to the school. The car is part of his private collection.

On Saturday, he talked about the school, Michigan and his fund-raising efforts.

Q: How does it feel to be in Detroit to see the Tigers and have the academy starting up this fall?

A: “I’ve been a huge Tigers fan my entire life. I remember 1984 like it was yesterday. I took a couple of hits in the cage today with Miguel Cabrera. Opening the charter school on Sept. 6 means a lot — it’s something our community really needs, an open public charter school.”

Q: You said Grant Hill agreed to support the school, so obviously you and Grant have had a chance to talk about the comments made in the Fab Five film?

A: “ Anytime you have a critically acclaimed piece like the Fab Five documentary, you are going to have 99% of the people that love it. You have 1% that have to get on the other side of the coin. I talked to Grant and reached out to Coach K and clarified that’s how I felt as a high-school recruit. They understand that.”

Q: What about Michigan sports?

A: “I’m very encouraged we’ve got Brady Hoke in the fray. I think he’s really going to bring back that tradition, that passion and that winning spirit that we’re used to. For the basketball program, it was great for us to make it to the tournament this year. It’s unfortunate that we’re going to lose Darius Morris, just like we lost Manny Harris the year before.

“The key is to continue to turn out those top-notch players, and hopefully we’re going to be able to do that soon so that when we’re watching these top-flight high-school games, and we see the list of schools (the high-school players) are considering, we need to be on that list.”

Q: How hard is it to give up the car?

A: “Being a Detroit native, you know how we can be about our automobiles. Riding up and down the Dream Cruise a couple of days a year means a lot to me that day, but then I’m going to park it for a year. I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years. So you’ve got to be someone who says, ‘I’m not going to be a hoarder. I’m not to talk about it. I’m going to be about it.’ That was the first step in not only promoting the school, but kicking off the fund-raising. It hurt to see her go.”

The auction for the car can be viewed in advance

View Full Article:

Jalen Rose throws out the first pitch prior to the start of the game between the Royals and the Tigers at Comerica Park. / Leon Halip/Getty Images – Fab Five star Jalen Rose’s Detroit charter school gains support as May 14 open house approaches

By Mike Wayland

May 9, 2011 - It appears the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit has a powerful new ally.

Roy Roberts, the new emergency financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools, said he is open to any type of systems that will better educate the city’s schoolchildren.

“I am for any good system, sustainable system, that can educate our kids, give them a first rate education and to prepare them to be college-ready or career-ready when they leave our school system,” Roberts told WJR-AM 760’s Frank Beckmann on Thursday. “So I think for me to turn my back on any system would be a gross injustice to the young people in the Detroit school system.”

Although Roberts wasn’t speaking directly about Detroit native Jalen Rose’s academy, which is currently accepting applications for its inaugural “Fab Freshman Class,” he echoed its mission.

“It’s not just about graduating from high school, it’s about graduating from college and moving on to be a productive member of society and having a career,” Rose told MLive Detroit last week during a phone interview from an ESPN studio in Bristol, Conn.

Rose, a former member of the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five,” said the tuition-free academy — scheduled to open in September — looks to have 100 percent of its students graduate from high school, 95 percent enroll in college, and 90 percent graduate from college.

Informational sessions about the school are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. May 12 and 17 at University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W. McNichols Road, which is a partner of the academy. An open house and information session is also scheduled at the academy from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 14.

Incoming high school freshmen wishing to be a part of the school’s inaugural class” should apply by the end of the month, and the school will choose it’s first class of 120 students through a lottery in June.

However, charter schools haven’t always fared too well in Detroit.

March 13, The Wall Street Journal: “Charter school students score about the same on state tests as Detroit district students, even though charters have fewer special education students (8 percent versus 17 percent in the district) and fewer poor children (65 percent get subsidized lunches versus 82 percent at district schools). It’s hard to know whether children are better off under these ‘reforms’ or they’re just being moved around more.”

But Rose’s academy isn’t just any other charter school. Backed by Rose, a 13-year NBA veteran, the school appears to be gaining support from city officials, along with fellow athletes with big pocketbooks.

Here’s part two of an interview with Rose, an alumnus of Detroit’s Southwestern High School, involving the academy and Detroit.

Q: I saw you thanked Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh for his support of the academy on your Twitter page. Have you received a lot of support from the community?

A: “It starts with my co-founder. I have a great co-founder, Michael Carter; a planning team that spent a lot of time, energy and diligence; a great school leader in Dr. (Charles P.) Muncatchy; great board members full of community leaders, business leaders, who are willing to donate their time and energy to the success of our students.

“The next step we’re starting to take right now is going after donors. And being a donor is not just your money, its your opportunity to lead, its your ability to be a vessel, to be somebody that gives a helping hand to the students of Detroit because we need it.”

Q: What do you think about the current education system in Detroit?

A: “Detroit school situation is in a crisis. Of course, we have some great private schools, public schools, charter schools that have done a tremendous job educating, that have done a great job of producing leaders, but we have more of the opposite happening.

“It starts with education. Don’t get me wrong, sports and entertainment is a tremendous vehicle, but there are so many jobs that come with being an athlete … as leaders, those with a voice to expose our students to that and show them yes, you can be the next Lebron James, you can be the next Oprah Winfrey, but here are 500 more jobs you could possibly be if that doesn’t work out.”

Q: How do you feel Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has been doing?

A: “I think he’s doing a terrific job. You remove yourself from the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan; if you’re not Barack Obama, a lot of people will probably say he has the second toughest job.

“It’s not an easy task of what he was taking over, just like Obama had to take over for Bush. What he had to clean up from the Kwame Kilpatrick era, that wasn’t something that happens normally, so I think he’s done a tremendous job for a town that once housed two to three times more citizens.” Fab Five star Jalen Rose hopes his charter school helps fix education ‘crisis’ in Detroit

By Michael Wayland |
May 6, 2011 – Detroit native Jalen Rose says Detroit Public Schools is “in a crisis” and he, along with every person in Michigan, should do their part to help the city’s schoolchildren.

“Two-hundred and thirty-eight Michigan schools scored zero on a recent proficiency test! Zero! They’re dropping money per student by the state, but they’re raising money — and the costs stay the same — for building jails,” Rose told Detroit during a phone interview from an ESPN studio in Bristol, Conn. “That doesn’t add up.

“That number has to change and I’m just trying to be one vessel for it.”

Rose, a former member of the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five” and 13-year NBA veteran, is attempting to help with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, 15000 Trojan St., Detroit. 

The academy — scheduled to open in September — is a 9-12 college-prep charter high school on the Northwest side of the city.

Incoming high school freshmen wishing to be a part of the school’s inaugural “Fab Freshman Class” should apply by the end of the month, and the school will choose it’s first class of 120 students through a lottery in June.

The tuition-free academy looks to have 100 percent of its students graduate from high school, 95 percent enroll in college, and 90 percent graduate from college.

“It’s my job, it’s my role, it’s my mission, it’s my dream to have everyone who has Michigan ties — whether you went to college in Michigan, whether you grew up in Michigan, if you’ve ever heard of the state of Michigan — to do what you can to influence the students of the Detroit metropolitan area,” he said.

Here’s part of the Q&A that Rose, an alumnus of Detroit’s Southwestern High School, did with about the school:

Q: Why did you want to start the school? And what are your hopes for the students?

A: To be honest, I realized the importance of education. I was fortunate enough to be an honor roll student in high school at Detroit Southwestern, went to get my degree as a college student, and now, I’m working my major — radio, TV cinema, mass communications — as my career.

I would like to inspire, I would like to help aid, I would like to be a vessel to help a lot of Detroit youth be able to take the same path and be able to do the same things because we’re dealing with a global economy. We’re dealing with having to compete for jobs with technology, and frankly, if you don’t have that criteria, you’re not really giving yourself an opportunity for success.

Q: What was your experience like at Southwestern High School?

A: Well, I loved being a student … I took much pride in representing the city of Detroit and playing sports, but also took a lot of pride in my academics. It was important in my household. It was stressed by my family, and it was something I really took serous. I never wanted to be perceived as a dumb jock in any way, shape or form.

Q: I heard you’re going to have a hands-on approach to the school. What are your plans once the school opens?

A: It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a school of excellence. That’s what were looking for — we’re an open public charter school, which means were tuition-free, kids will be chosen via lottery — but our school day is going to start at 8 a.m., its going to end at 4:30 p.m. DPS on average has their kids come to school 176 days, we’re going 215 days, including nine “Super Saturday” modules, as we call it!

Q: It’s not a simple comparison, but how does opening the school for the students compare to you being a member of the Fab Five at Michigan, being an NBA player, to being an analyst? Where does it rank in your career?

A: This is the anchor. This is the most important thing because I have a degree; my kids go to grade school fortunately; this is not for me, this is for the village, the city, the town that helped raise me, that helped do so much for me; that put me in a possession of success before the Fab Five. I was a product of Detroit, I was a product of DPS, so it means a lot to me.

More of the interview involving the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, DPS, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and even the NBA playoffs will be available next week on

97.1 The Ticket with Stoney

May 5, 2011 - Stoney talked with former Michigan PG Jalen Rose this morning about his Jalen Rose Leadership Academy which is a new charter school scheduled to open in Detroit this fall which is accepting applications for 9th grade students through May 31st. Jalen also talked about why Chris Webber wouldn’t do the Fab Five Documentary along with the current state of the Pistons and what needs to be done to fix them. Take a listen to the podcast here:

WDFN Podcast with Matt Shepard

May 5, 2011 – Jalen joined Matt Shepard of WDFN on a podcast and had the opportunity to discuss JRLA – click here to listen:


Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Now Accepting Applications -
Information Sessions Scheduled April 26 and April 30
on the University of Detroit Mercy campus

DETROIT, MI – Applications for incoming freshman are now being accepted at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) for the 2011-2012 school year during its open enrollment period running through May 31, 2011. A public charter high school for grades 9-12, JRLA is scheduled to open in September 2011. The Academy will enroll 120 ninth grade students for this Fall, followed by a new freshman class each subsequent year with a total enrollment of 480 students at full capacity in four years.

Detroit area students will receive a leadership-focused education based upon real-world, project-based experiences within the career context of sports and entertainment. This high school will ensure students receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy. Immersed in the culture of college, students will complete a minimum of three university courses as upper classmen to ensure a seamless transition for college entry. JRLA is a recipient of a Michigan Future Schools initiative grant, which includes the expectation that 85% of JRLA students will graduate from high school, enroll in college, and earn a college degree. Using a grade 9-16 mentor model, the plan at JRLA is to exceed those standards.

In a small-school setting, students will be engaged through individualized learning, prepared to excel on the ACT, and challenged to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to earn a college degree. JRLA is committed to: a safe learning environment, low student/teacher ratios (20:1), cutting edge curriculum/technology (all students will receive a laptop), a learning-centered three semester calendar with nine “Super Saturday” modules, lifelong mentorship relationships and developing respect for self and others.

Located on the Northwest side of Detroit, JRLA is situated in the middle of Comstock Park at 15000 Trojan Street, near the intersection of the Lodge Freeway and 8 Mile Road. The campus is located in close proximity to JRLA’s partner, the University of Detroit Mercy and near two bus lines and a major bus hub.

Interested families and/or students are encouraged to visit for additional information or to download an application. Applications can be dropped off at the main entrance to the school.

JRLA will meet all state and federal requirements for open admission and is tuition-free. The Academy will be open to any student who wishes to enroll. As required by law, a random selection drawing will occur at the end of the application period if the number of spaces (120) set by the school for the incoming freshmen is exceeded by the number of applications.

Prospective students and/or parents are invited to an information session to meet the staff and learn about JRLA’s break-the-mold plan for educating urban youth:

April 26, 2011
or April 30, 2011
University of Detroit Mercy
Fountain Lounge, Student Center Building
4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221 (Enter on Livernois)

UDM Varsity News – Jalen Rose honored as academy bd. meets on campus

By: Michael Martinez

March 23, 2011 - Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh administered the oath of office to seven members of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy’s board of directors Friday in UDM’s student center.

“I’m ready for this challenge,” said board president Jalen Rose, the former basketball star who is co-founder of the academy. “It’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, and I’m excited to help influence so many children in a positive way.”

UDM will be involved in Rose’s high school academy in a number of ways. For one, students who graduate will automatically be accepted at the university.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to take classes and be involved in activities on UDM’s campus throughout their high school years.

In addition to swearing in the board members, Pugh presented Rose with a Spirit of Detroit award in recognition of his efforts in the city.

“A lot of people are rich, famous and well known, but they keep it all to themselves,” Pugh said. “(Rose) tells kids that the path to all of that is through education, and that spirit is the spirit of Detroit.”

Rose said the award is meaningful.

“That was an ultimate surprise,” he said. “I’m very humbled and honored. I love this city so much, and I’m happy to be able to give back.”

Following the ceremony, the board held its first public meeting in anticipation of the academy’s September opening.

Board members unanimously approved resolutions outlining academy policies to be implemented beginning in September.

The most notable detailed the academy’s plans to draw in students. The academy will accept applications March 18 – May 31 from any student who wishes to enroll.

The inaugural class will consist of 120 incoming high school freshmen from Detroit. If the number of applications exceeds 120, a random selection lottery will be held on UDM’s campus in June.

The board is anticipating a lottery because of the extensive coverage the academy has received, members said.

Board member Timothy Gale will oversee a lease negotiation with public charity Operation Graduation.

The academy will lease a building in the middle of Comstock Park at 15000 Trojan Street, near the intersection of the Lodge and 8 Mile Road.

Owned by Operation Graduation, the JRLA will absorb all building expenses in addition to paying rent.

Board member Diane Manica was approved to oversee the educational service provider agreement and negotiate the leasing of employees to the academy. Manica, who serves in the UDM education department, said the partnership with UDM will be important to the academy’s success.

“This was a very important first step,” she said. “We wanted to have (the first meeting) at UDM to show a clear demonstration of the partnership between UDM and the JRLA.”

She said all three university campuses plan to offer internships with the academy and will work closely with the students.

“We’ll do whatever we can to have activities on campus so that the students and their parents feel comfortable here,” she said.

Manica said her role on the board of directors is special.

“In all of my career I’ve never been in on the ground floor of a school starting up,” she said. “It has reignited my passion for education. This is what I love.”

The next JRLA board meeting will take place Monday, April 25.

CBS Detroit News: Jalen Rose Wants To Give Back Through Education

DETROIT (WWJ) - A former NBA player out of Detroit is reaching out to underprivileged kids in the motor city to offer them a leg-up on the ladder to a good education.

WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting spoke with former UM and NBA basketball star Jalen Rose about giving back to the children in the Detroit area:

“I want to show them that, not only do I care about them, but I am trying to do what I can to be a vessel to help them unlock their future, to put them in a position for success,” says Rose.

“We’ve helped influence 40 kids via scholarship already and I have an endowment at the University of Michigan,” Rose says.

WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting speaks with Jalen Rose about
his new Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit which will eventually enroll 480 students in grades 9-throuth-12. The school will be operated in partnership with University of Detroit-Mercy to offer students a pre-college experience.

Tuition is free. The academy has received a Michigan Future Schools initiative grant which carries with it the expectation of an 85% graduation, college enrollment and college graduation rate.

Rose says his involvement in the school will be hands-on. He’s not just lending his name to the academy. – Jalen Rose Making a Difference in the D

The way Jalen Rose (1992-94) sees it, you either ignore your roots or you do something to make those roots stronger.

Rose — the former Fab Fiver who helped the Wolverines to NCAA championship games in 1992 and 1993 — long ago chose the latter.

Headline, Nov. 18, 2010: “Ex-NBA star builds charter school”

The idea for the school — which will open this fall in a former elementary school, not far from where Rose starred at Detroit Southwestern two decades ago — came from other headlines, all of them describing the recent turmoil in the city’s educational system.

“Any time you talk about your hometown and the stories are all horror stories,” Rose says, “there definitely has to be some change. I’m just trying to be one person to help, influencing in a positive way.”

He’s been doing it a long time, even before his 13-year NBA career ended. His foundation, formed midway through his career, has made more than $1.2 million in donations since 2000, most of them focused on inner city youth.

There are the Jalen Rose college scholarships, which in eight years have helped more than 40 Detroit kids pay for college. There’s his endowed full-ride scholarship, which gives additional kids a full ride to Michigan.

There’s his “Rose Garden” — the seating section Rose sponsors at U-M home games — which has given more than 5,500 youth a chance to see big-time college basketball. There’s AAU Team Michigan, the youth tournament team he sponsors.

And then there’s the school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, one of four new public charter high schools in Detroit supported in part by Michigan Future, Inc.

That’s his dream, and it looks like this: top-notch facilities, including laptops for all students; a college-prep curriculum centered on themes and career opportunities in leadership, sports management and entertainment; an on-site health clinic; a student-operated credit union with financial seminars; legal support and entertainment opportunities for school families.

The expectation is that 100 percent of the academy’s students will graduate, with the vast majority going on to college.

“It’s going to be a break the mold education, man,” he says, his voice rising. “We’re going to go 232 days instead of 171. We’re going to get into life skills, urban issues, etiquette, leadership. We’re going to establish criteria of excellence and motivation. Nowadays these kids are faced with a lot. You gotta have that diploma.

“Detroit Southwestern, they did well by me,” he continues. “But at the same time, there are state-of-the-art schools in Michigan that have the best of everything that help kids enrich their lives, and I want to do that for the inner city kids.”

Asked what could possibly motivate a former athlete to get involved and stay involved with kids when so many others don’t bother, U-M men’s basketball head coach John Beilein says simply, “The word is gratitude.”

“He has a great appreciation of the opportunities that have been provided to him in high school and at U-M and he wants to give those same opportunities to others. To give back is one of the best things anyone can do when they leave the program. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen (as often as you’d like).”

Dr. Charles P. Muncatchy, the former Mount Clemens Community Schools superintendent who was chosen to develop and lead the academy, said Rose’s involvement with the project comes down to unfinished business.

“He had his wonderful career at U-M, a wonderful professional athletic career. And right now he has a wonderful career as an analyst (for ESPN). But in his heart of hearts, he wants to make a difference for kids in the heart of Detroit. He simply wants to do his part. He’s an atypical kind of man. A lot of people say this and say that, but Jalen Rose is a man of action, and he wants something very special to happen. I wish there were thousands of people who have done well in life who want to give back like he has.”

For Rose, the academy, which will begin with 120 students, and add a like number for the next three years, might be just the start.

“My dream is for the school to go to scale — more than one school, with feeder schools and eventually K-8 (kindergarten through eighth grade). We’re trying to influence as many as we can in a positive way. That’s the goal.”

As for the inevitable question about whether a high school named after a star athlete in a hoops-crazy city like Detroit will turn out to be nothing more than a basketball mill, well, there’s this.

“I was pretty shocked when I got it because I didn’t really know who he was,” says Chris Atkins, a 20-year-old University of Michigan computer science sophomore from Detroit who won a scholarship from Rose’s foundation in 2009.

“I got to take a picture with him and I posted it on Facebook and people went nuts. So that’s how I learned he’s kind of a big deal.”

Says Rose, an honor roll student in high school and a dean’s lister at U-M: “I’m more concerned about their GPA than their points per game.”

Jalen Rose, 38, played three seasons with the Wolverines, amassing 1,788 points, 478 rebounds, 401 assists and 119 steals. He was drafted 13th overall in the 1994 NBA draft and played for 13 seasons for six teams. He is currently a studio analyst for ESPN.

The Varsity News: UDM to support ‘Fab Five’ star Jalen Rose’s new charter school

By: Michael Martinez

Jalen Rose was a leader on the basketball court.

As a point guard, he guided the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five” to back-to-back NCAA championship games in the early ’90s and, later, took the Indiana Pacers to the NBA finals.

Now, four years removed from basketball, he’s becoming a leader in a different career-education.

Rose is co-founding the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school that will open in northwest Detroit this fall. Rose hopes the school will give hundreds of at-risk children a chance at an exemplary education.

The first class will consist of 100 ninth-graders. Within four years, the school will have 400 students in grades nine through 12. The students, all from Detroit, will be chosen by lottery.

In an interview at UDM Tuesday, Rose said the academy was his way of showing thanks to his hometown.

“It takes a community to raise a child,” he said. “This community has done so much for me and I wanted to give back.”

Born and raised in Detroit, Rose looked to his mother, grandmother and countless others as role models.

“I was lucky,” he said. “Now, I’m just trying to be that person for people who are coming after me.”

Among those who influenced Rose was Perry Watson, who before coaching at UDM was a counselor at Rose’s high school and an assistant coach when Rose played at Michigan.

The two formed a bond that lasted even after Watson took over the Titans. (It didn’t, however, keep Rose from helping his Wolverines beat his mentor’s Titans 78-60 when the two schools played in the 1993-94 season.)

“Growing up here, playing (Detroit) meant a lot,” he said. “It’s been a real anchor in this community.”

When Rose decided to start the academy, he looked to UDM for support.

Rose met Tuesday with interim UDM president Michael Joseph.

The university has agreed to automatically admit any students who graduate from the academy, Rose said. In addition, it will work to strengthen retention efforts, so students who begin as freshmen will remain through graduation.

Rose said the collaboration would also benefit academy students by exposing them to the college atmosphere.

“It will help them appreciate what university life is like,” he said. “They’ll be prepared for college and go in with confidence.”

He hopes UDM students will take an active role in supporting the academy.

“You have college kids that understand what it’s like, and they can be mentors for them,” he said. “That’s what giving back really is; it’s an emotional thing.”

At the academy, Rose promised students the best possible learning environment, including an extended school day that will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

Students will go to class five days a week, and will not have a summer vacation.

Despite its potential unpopularity, the year-round approach has advantages, Rose said.

“We’re setting a standard for excellence,” he said. “If you want something in life, you have to work hard. We want to make education fun, but it’s not easy.”

He said the biggest challenge will be creating a culture that’s “second to none.”

“We’re trying to give them the opportunity to win at life,” he said.

The extended school day will give students the opportunity to participate in a number of activities, and Rose said they will be able to choose those for themselves, though he may advocate for one in particular: a basketball team.

But, he added, “I care more about GPAs than points per game.”

Rose, who works as an analyst for ESPN, said he will be present throughout the first week of classes next September. He also plans on making himself available to students on a regular basis.

“If I can play in the NBA and spot a heckler out of 20,000 fans, I should be able to learn the names of 400 kids,” he said. “They want you to care about them, and I’m going to be there.”

Michael Martinez’s full interview with Jalen Rose is available on UDM’s television station. It can also be viewed (in three segments) here:

part 1

part 2

part 3:

UDM to serve as university partner for Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

UDM recently announced that it will serve as university partner for the new Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, co-founded by Jalen Rose, a University of Michigan alumnus and former Fab Five basketball player, and Michael Carter ‘72, ‘78, an entrepreneur who holds a liberal arts degree and an M.B.A. from University of Detroit.

The Academy is one of four new public charter high schools in Detroit supported by Michigan Future, Inc. The school, which is scheduled to open in September 2011, will provide a supportive educational opportunity for Detroit students to help them meet the Michigan Future expectations that: 85 percent of the students will graduate; 85 percent of the graduates will enroll in college; and 85 percent of those students will graduate from college. The Academy will strive for 100 percent high school graduation, 95 percent college enrollment, and 90 percent college graduation.

The school will admit a new ninth grade class of students each of the following three years for a total enrollment of 500 students. Academy students will interact with UDM through campus visits, activities, guest lecturers and college mentoring. Beginning in the 11th grade, students will have the opportunity for dual enrollment at UDM, thus the intention is that many of the students will graduate from UDM, generating additional revenue.

The Academy’s planning team is currently selecting a Detroit location for the school. Until it is determined, the new school leader, Charles Muncatchy, will use temporary office space in Briggs Building Room 345 from November 2010 through April 2011. Muncatchy most recently served as superintendent of schools in Mt. Clemens and will assume his new role as the Academy’s Educational Entrepreneur, Nov. 1. – Good News Now: Ex-NBA Star Builds Charter School

(Nov. 18) — Former NBA star Jalen Rose has a lot to be proud of: He was a player on two University of Michigan basketball teams that went to the Final Four; he had a 13-year career in the NBA and he is currently a highly regarded hoop analyst for ESPN.

But his greatest honor won’t be ready until next year: his own school.

Rose is building a charter school in his hometown of Detroit that will help give students the education and life skills they need to succeed.

When the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy opens in September 2011, it will provide a free education to 500 high school students.

Even though Rose is reportedly one of only three athletes who have had a school named for him, he’s more thrilled about the prospect of making a difference.

“I am very excited to do what I can,” he told AOL News. “The people who are working on it are doing a tremendous job helping kids to learn.”

Kids have always needed a helping hand up the ladder of success, but Rose feels this generation needs a boost more than others.

“Kids today are exposed to so many things, whether it’s TV, radio, the Internet,” he said. “They’ve lost their innocence, and that can get them sidetracked. We are going to work on having a 100 percent graduation rate and give the students lessons in life and the skills to be successful.”

Since the word leadership is right up there in the title next to Rose’s name, he wants to stress the social skills that help shape young people who can take charge in the future.

“We will teach about dealing with peer pressure, insecurity, and we will work on things like illiteracy and etiquette,” Rose said, before adding for emphasis: “But the focus needs to be on learning.”

Rose says he realizes that he has reached a pinnacle few people do, and credits his family for helping him. However, he says the point of the academy is that the responsibility of raising a child doesn’t just rest with a mom or a dad.

“I was the beneficiary of a village,” he said. “Besides my parents, there were teachers and coaches. Growing up, we had our struggles, but we did the best we can. This is about planting seeds for a good harvest.”

Of course, Rose also wants the students to know they have some say in how they turn out as well.

“We’re going to stress the importance of getting good grades and making responsible choices,” Rose said.

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy: MFS Press Conference

Detroit, MI
~ A charter high school at the forefront of an entire urban educational transformation

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will be a charter school designed to provide a rigorous, nurturing college-prep experience for Detroit students who will have real-world, project-based experiences organized around themes and career opportunities in leadership, sports management, and entertainment industries. This 9-12 college-prep high school will ensure students receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). The Academy is committed to ensuring 100% of its students graduate from high school, 95% enroll in college, and 90% of those enrollees will graduate from college. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will soon finalize plans for acquisition and remodeling of an existing school site in the City of Detroit with plans to open in Fall 2011.

The unique brand identity of Jalen Rose is designed to attract students who may otherwise be lost in the shuffle of a large traditional school. Every adult in the school and its support community will be focused on supporting student success. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is committed to creating a culture devoted to school, life, and college success, not only for students, but for their families as well. The school is being designed as a family-friendly location with a health clinic, a student-operated credit union branch with financial seminars, legal support and entertainment opportunities for school families.

Detroit native Jalen Rose is an ESPN/ABC studio analyst and 13-year NBA veteran who has assembled a team of community leaders, educational experts, and organizations on a national scale to establish this Academy to ensure the achievement of underserved young people in Detroit. A partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy will provide Academy students with college-going exposure and mentoring beginning in the Ninth Grade modeled after the UDM STAR student mentoring and college success program. In addition, students will be able to take dual enrollment courses at UDM as juniors and seniors.

The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy curriculum is being developed in alignment with Michigan Merit Curriculum standards and benchmarks with a strong focus on project-based data-driven learning with leadership strategies incorporated throughout the curriculum. Multi-layered staffing of the administrative leadership team includes an Educational Entrepreneur/Superintendent who will develop and implement an innovative instructional program; plus a School Leader of Academics and a School Leader of Operations, all experts in instructional leadership with experience in high-performing urban high schools.

Michigan Future, Inc. has awarded Jalen Rose Leadership Academy a planning and technical assistance grant in the amount of $800,000, funding the planning year and first three years of operation.


(800) 975-0001