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RCS Elementary Schools Performance

August 26, 2011

Part I: Elementary School Analysis
Part II: Middle School Analysis
Part III: High School Analysis

The state of Michigan recently provided data on most public elementary, middle, and high schools.  When you go to your local newspaper, you can probably find a way to query the data or a list of how the neighborhood schools performed.  I find the data behind the data more interesting.

For Rochester Community Schools, I’ve extracted pertinent data from the 2011 Top to Bottom Individual School Lookup spreadsheet provided by the state.   I’ve used definitions based on the 2011 Top to Bottom Ranking Overview presentation.  All numbers are relative.  For each category, higher numbers are better.  Just remember when looking at negative numbers, -1 is higher than -2, so -1 is considered better than -2.

Data Definitions:

  • % Proficient 2 Year Average -Percent judged proficient in a subject by the state’s standardized tests for the past two years.
  • Relative Achievement Score 2 Year Average – How student achievement compared to state averages for the past two years.  Positive is better than state average.  Negative is worse than state average.
  • Relative Improvement Between Years – Did the school improve and by how much?  Positive is better than state average.  Negative is worse than state average.
  • Achievement Gap 2 Year Average – The difference in achievement between the 30% and the bottom 30% at the school averaged over the past two years.  This will always be a negative number and closer to zero indicates a smaller achievement gap.

Below are the values from the state’s website.  To calculate the scores you’ve seen elsewhere, average achievement counts for 50%, relative improvement counts for 25%, and achievement gap narrowness counts for 25%.  My comments are below the data.

Math
School Name % Proficient
2 Year Avg
Rel. Achievement Score
2 Year Avg
Relative Improvement
Between Years
Achievement Gap
2 Year Avg
.
Baldwin 96.3 1.03 0.83 -2.65
Brewster 98.9 1.15 0.85 -2.43
Brooklands 95.7 1.09 0.83 -2.88
Delta Kelly 98.5 1.11 0.88 -2.44
Hamlin 92.5 0.66 0.60 -2.63
Hampton 94.6 0.94 0.75 -2.91
Hugger 96.9 0.90 0.79 -2.60
Long Meadow 96.8 1.17 0.84 -2.83
McGregor 96.1 0.81 0.79 -2.66
Meadow Brook 96.5 0.86 0.70 -2.65
Musson 97.6 1.38 0.89 -2.56
North Hill 98.2 1.08 0.82 -2.52
University Hills 98.3 1.06 0.79 -2.57
Reading
School Name % Proficient
2 Year Avg
Rel. Achievement Score
2 Year Avg
Relative Improvement
Between Years
Achievement Gap
2 Year Avg
.
Baldwin 94.38 0.61 0.68 -2.24
Brewster 98.50 0.75 0.63 -1.97
Brooklands 94.36 0.51 0.61 -2.13
Delta Kelly 96.76 0.55 0.61 -2.00
Hamlin 91.39 0.36 0.37 -2.51
Hampton 93.21 0.37 0.51 -2.19
Hugger 94.99 0.56 0.62 -2.07
Long Meadow 97.20 0.67 0.65 -2.09
McGregor 90.63 0.32 0.54 -2.36
Meadow Brook 94.74 0.47 0.57 -2.13
Musson 97.38 0.78 0.67 -2.12
North Hill 96.80 0.74 0.67 -2.16
University Hills 97.72 0.62 0.63 -2.03
Science
School Name % Proficient
2 Year Avg
Rel. Achievement Score
2 Year Avg
Relative Improvement
Between Years
Achievement Gap
2 Year Avg
.
Baldwin 96.97 0.96 0.08 -2.24
Brewster 98.12 0.73 -0.02 -1.81
Brooklands 92.57 0.51 0.03 -2.11
Delta Kelly 94.33 0.70 0.06 -2.10
Hamlin 90.91 0.37 0.02 -2.17
Hampton 91.97 0.46 -0.03 -2.08
Hugger 95.76 0.52 0.06 -1.97
Long Meadow 96.84 0.96 0.14 -2.14
McGregor 95.42 0.60 0.09 -2.32
Meadow Brook 90.84 0.45 -0.02 -2.19
Musson 97.63 0.92 0.00 -1.81
North Hill 98.10 0.72 0.06 -1.85
University Hills 96.77 0.88 0.05 -2.13

.
In percent of proficient students, Brewster ranks the highest in math, science, and reading.  It also has the lowest achievement gaps in these areas.  However, it does not rank at the top for average achievement.  Musson ranks highest for average achievement in math and reading, where as Baldwin and Long Meadow rank highest in science.

One possible explanation for this is that Brewster provides a higher level of service to struggling students to help them pass the MEAP or other standardized tests, perhaps at the expense of advanced and gifted students.  Advanced and gifted students will probably pass the MEAP without additional help and focusing on struggling students will reduce the achievement gap.  The achievement gap here is the top 30% – bottom 30%, not differences between demographic groups.  A school with an excellent gifted program may actually see a larger achievement gap and be penalized for this.  However, the higher achievement scores should make up for this penalty.  Looking solely at MEAP scores may not give the true picture of achievement at a school.

Musson’s achievement scores may be higher while its proficiency and achievement gap numbers are worse because of increased differentiation in the classroom.  By paying more individualized attention to all students and not just the struggling students, achievement scores should go up, often for all students.

Based solely on the numbers above, my recommendation would be Musson, Long Meadow, and Baldwin for gifted/advanced students and Brewster, Musson, and North Hill for struggling students.  However, please understand this is only one interpretation of the data and I don’t have access to much of the data that would allow me to increase the confidence in the interpretation.  If you are considering in-district school of choice, I recommend discussing with the principal, teachers, and parents at that school your needs for your children.

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for advanced & gifted students!

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