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Superintendent Search: ACT Scores

March 23, 2011

Many in education believe that ACT scores are a better indicator of how well a district educates than MEAP scores.  In the tables below, I have listed the ACT scores for each district for the past three years, the difference between 2010 and 2008, and how the trends in each district compare to the trend for the state.  Higher numbers for ACT scores and positive numbers for differences and trend analysis are better.

Dr. Gary Richards is the Superintendent of Imlay City.
Mrs. Geraldine Moore is the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum for Rochester.
Mr. Fred Clarke is the Superintendent of Albion.

2010 Imlay City Rochester Albion State
Composite 18.4 22.4 16.4 19.3
English 17.7 21.6 15.0 18.3
English+Writing 17.3 20.9 15.0 17.9
Mathematics 18.3 23.1 16.0 19.3
Reading 18.3 22.1 16.6 19.4
Science 18.8 22.5 17.3 19.7
Writing 6.3 7.1 6.1 6.5
2009
Composite 18.0 22 16.2 19.0
English 16.7 21.4 15.0 18.0
English+Writing 16.6 20.9 15.1 17.9
Mathematics 17.8 22.9 16.2 19.2
Reading 18.1 21.5 15.9 19.0
Science 18.8 21.7 17.3 19.4
Writing 6.4 7.2 5.9 6.7
2008
Composite 18.4 21.9 17.2 18.8
English 17.3 21.1 15.8 17.6
English+Writing 17.1 20.6 15.7 17.5
Mathematics 18.2 22.6 16.8 19.0
Reading 18.2 21.7 17.8 18.8
Science 19.3 21.8 18.0 19.5
Writing 6.4 7.3 6.1 6.6
Difference 2010 – 2008
Composite 0.0 0.5 -0.8 0.5
English 0.4 0.5 -0.8 0.7
English+Writing 0.2 0.3 -0.7 0.4
Mathematics 0.1 0.5 -0.8 0.3
Reading 0.1 0.4 -1.2 0.6
Science -0.5 0.7 -0.7 0.2
Writing -0.1 -0.2 0.0 -0.1
Trend Difference Between District and State
Composite -0.5 0.0 -1.3
English -0.3 -0.2 -1.5
English+Writing -0.2 -0.1 -1.1
Mathematics -0.2 0.2 -1.1
Reading -0.5 -0.2 -1.8
Science -0.7 0.5 -0.9
Writing 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Average Trend -0.3 0.0 -1.1

The data clearly shows that Rochester scores above state averages, where Imlay City scores slightly below and Albion scores significantly below.  However, it also shows that while Rochester has kept pace with the state’s improvement, Imlay City and Albion have not.  In fact, Albion’s scores have decreased over the past three years in most areas.

While this data is only over a short period of time and is only one measure of a school district’s success, it is an important measure when considering which candidate would make the best superintendent for a district that wants all their students to be college-ready.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela Korn permalink
    March 25, 2011 12:57 AM

    Thank you for posting this important information Joshua.

    Another way of looking at the data is to examine the percentage of students in each school district who scored at or above the college readiness benchmarks established by ACT.

    In order to be deemed “college ready”, students must score proficiently in all four areas of ACT testing, scoring at least an 18 in English Composition, 22 in Math, 21 in Reading, and 24 in Science.

    Statewide just 10% of Michigan’s graduating class of 2011 posted ACT scores which met or exceeded these college readiness benchmarks.

    This is nothing short of an epic fail.

    In Rochester where the vast majority of students consider themselves college-bound, just 34.7% of students scored “college ready” in all four subject areas. Clearly better than the state’s tragic 10.4%, yet far below where local students could and should be in terms of preparedness.

    It is therefore noteworthy that two of three individuals selected by the board of education to lead Rochester schools as superintendent come from low-performing (per ACT) school districts – Imlay City (7.2%) and Albion (4.9%).

    It is also noteworthy that two of the rejected candidates came from relatively high-performing Birmingham (40.8% college ready) and Grosse Pointe (35.9%).

    In explaining their picks last week the school board president cited one of the candidates for possessing “a style that fit with this board and staff”.

    Let’s hope the commitment and proven know-how to prepare a greater number of Rochester’s students for college success is prized as highly as style by this school board.

  2. March 25, 2011 8:22 AM

    Angela, I had begun an analysis of College Readiness percentages, but Michigan only provides two years of that information. Even their ACT information is rather limited. I do have the College Readiness percentages on my “Superintendent Search: Reviewing the Districts” post.

    I certainly agree that Birmingham’s DeAngelis and Grosse Pointe’s Harwood appeared to be better fits for preparing our students for college readiness due to the background with their districts. I believe that was apparent during Tuesday’s interviews with Imlay City’s Richards where the demographic gap was extremely apparent in his answers.

    While both Richards and Albion’s Clarke have been described as charismatic, I tend to prefer the quiet leadership style of Rochester’s Moore.

    • Angela Korn permalink
      March 25, 2011 11:11 AM

      Mandatory statewide ACT testing was implemented three years ago. Because it is a nationally normed exam, Michigan residents now have a much clearer perspective on where its students stand in relation to the rest of the nation on academic subject matter competency.

      That’s the good news.

      Not so good is Michigan’s ACT college preparedness rank – 35th in the nation.

      Commitment to “the kids” starts with adults determined to prioritize student achievement.

      Again, thank you for bringing this important issue forward in your blog.

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