One third of Priority Schools no longer ranked in the bottom 5 percent

The 2014 School Accountability Scorecard released last week by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) provided good news for the 34 percent of 2013 Priority Schools which were removed from that list of lowest-performing schools. According to the Scorecard, more than 1,000 schools met targets in all areas, such as proficiency, participation, attendance, and graduation rates. 

There are 60 new Priority Schools which by law are placed under the authority of the State School Reform Office. The schools will be required to create and implement an intervention model to improve student achievement. The federally defined intervention models include transformation, turnaround, restart and school closure.

The color-coded Scorecard gives schools, districts, parents and the public a way to identify strengths and weaknesses of a school's performance. Colors are determined by points accumulated for goals met or by demonstrating improvement. Green is the highest level, indicating that most goals were met. The next level is lime, followed by yellow and orange. Red is the lowest level, indicating that few goals were met.

The Scorecard also provides the Top-to-Bottom ranking of schools, along with Priority, Focus and Reward schools listing. You can download data by school districts and individual school buildings

According to the 2014 Scorecard, the number of Focus Schools dropped to 346-down from 349 last year. The 10 percent of schools with the widest achievement gaps between highest and lowest performing students are designated as Focus Schools.

The Scorecard indicates 330 schools are considered Reward Schools. These are the top 5 percent of schools on the annual Top to Bottom Ranking, as well as the top 5 percent of schools making the greatest academic progress over the past four years.