The recently released 2011-12 Michigan School Report Card is sending a mixed signal when it comes to lakes area public schools: While many individual schools achieved adequate yearly progress (AYP), not one of the four lakes area public school districts achieved overall AYP for the last academic year.
AYP, considered the cornerstone of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, is intended to measure year-to-year student achievement.
To make AYP, a school must test 95 percent of its students in total and in each required student demographic group as defined by the federal law. The school also must attain the target achievement goal in English language arts and mathematics, or reduce the percentage of students in the non-proficient category of achievement by 10 percent (“safe harbor”). In addition, the school must meet or exceed the other academic indicators set by the state.
If even one subgroup of students in a school fails to meet AYP standards, the entire school fails to achieve AYP for the year.
High school students’ scores on the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) are used to determine whether the school meets AYP standards, while Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test scores are used for determining AYP by elementary and middle schools.
Waterford Mott and Waterford Durant High School both failed to make the grade when it comes to AYP, resulting in failure by the district overall to make AYP status.
According to the state’s report card, Waterford Mott and Waterford Durant didn’t make progress on the state’s reading and math assessments when it came to African-American students. Meanwhile, Waterford Durant didn’t make progress in state reading and math assessments taken by all students.
Rhonda Lessel, the Waterford district’s school and community services specialist, said previously that if a subgroup doesn’t make the grade, the entire school fails.
The latest results of the MME showed that the majority of the district’s high school students tested didn’t meet proficiency standards in all five subjects tested — math, reading, science, social studies, and writing.
Waterford students’ best subjects were reading, with 389 students meeting or exceeding standards and 409 falling short; and writing, with 354 students meeting or exceeded standards and 447 not doing so.
In science, 178 students met or exceeded standards, while 617 did not.
In math testing, 159 students met or exceeded standards, while 634 fell short. In social studies, 295 students met or exceeded standards while 499 did not.
Those numbers are sharp declines from the 2011 MME scores in which the majority of the district’s high school students met standards in social studies, reading and science.
Mott received a composite “D” grade while Durant received no grade.
All other schools in the district had their AYP status approved, with Adams Elementary, Schoolcraft Elementary and Haviland Elementary each receiving a “B” grade, the highest grades in the district.
As a result, Mott received designation as a “Focus School” which lists schools with the largest achievement gaps.
WEST BLOOMFIELD SCHOOLS
The Michigan Report Card was a mixed bag for the West Bloomfield School District, as all its schools met AYP standards, but the district overall did not achieve AYP status because of a lack of progress on the state’s reading and math assessments when it came to students with disabilities.
Dr. Robert Martin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said that the district has special education students aged 19 to 26 that can’t go to high school or college, but have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in which they are taught valuable life and working skills at the district’s transition center.
Since they cannot graduate, that counts against the district’s graduation rate of students with disabilities.
The state Report Card also listed six West Bloomfield schools with a “Focus School” designation because of their large achievement gaps, including Abbott and Orchard Lake middle schools, Roosevelt, Scotch and Shieko elementary schools, and West Bloomfield High School.
The 2012 MME results showed that West Bloomfield High School students’ best subjects were reading, with 300 students meeting or exceeding standards and 164 falling short; and writing, with 294 students meeting or exceeding standards and 170 not doing so.
In science, 166 students met or exceeded standards, while 297 did not.
In math testing, 204 students met or exceeded standards, while 258 fell short. In social studies, 241 students met or exceeded standards while 222 did not.
West Bloomfield High School received a “C” grade along with Abbott and Orchard Lake middle schools.
Scotch Elementary was the only school in the district to receive an “A” grade, while Doherty, Ealy, Roosevelt and Shieko elementaries each received a “B” grade.
The Oakland Early College program received no grade on the Michigan Report Card.
Each school in the Huron Valley School District met AYP benchmarks, even though the district itself failed to do so. AYP is a compilation of complex formulas based on self reporting, proficiency, and growth. The state tweaked the process this year to qualify for the federal No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver.
“It’s different in that the target was based on new cut scores so the letter grade went down in certain schools, but it’s not just one thing that calculates it,” said Nancy Coratti, the district’s deputy superintendent of instruction. Given the scores, there is the dichotomy of individual schools making AYP, but the district missing the mark.
“Every building did, but the district didn’t because the determination was changed and the graduation rate was used in lieu of attendance,” Coratti said. “In our case it was due to the graduation rate of our sub-population (special education and the economically disadvantaged).”
Coratti noted that 50 percent of state school districts did not meet AYP because of the sub-population graduation rate, compared to 6.7 percent last year.
“It was determined based on how many students graduated in four years, five years, and six years — it was our sub-population group that impacted the score — sometimes it takes students longer to get 23 credits,” Coratti said.
Though the measurement is helpful for the district to analyze strengths and weaknesses, it’s only one tool in the toolbox.
“AYP is one indicator we use as a measurement,” Coratti said. “The scores were lower across the state this year due to the cut scores being higher. As a district we look at multiple metrics when evaluating success and are always looking to continuously improve.”
WALLED LAKE CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS
As a district, the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools didn’t meet AYP Status overall, nor did they meet the District Reading AYP Status and District Math AYP Status.
All 14 elementary schools and all three middle schools met AYP Status Overall, as well as in Reading AYP Status and Math AYP Status.
The high schools did not fare as well. Walled Lake Central did not meet AYP status for Overall or for Math AYP. However, it did meet AYP status for reading. Walled Lake Central’s students passed all the requirements of attendance/graduation; participation in the English language arts; achievement in English language arts; participation in math; and achievement in math, except for those in one subgroup — students who are economically disadvantaged didn’t meet the AYP standards for achievement in math or for having an adequate percent assessed.
Walled Lake Western met AYP status for math but not Overall or for Reading categories. One student subgroup — limited English proficiency students — did not meet the standards for state objective, safe harbor, or achieving AYP standards in reading.
Walled Lake Northern did not meet AYP status in any of the three categories. While all other subgroups met the requirements in all other categories, one student subgroup classified as economically disadvantaged students failed to meet AYP standards for math and reading, as well as failed to have an adequate percent of that subgroup assessed.
Commerce Elementary, Keith Elementary, Oakley Park Elementary, and Twin Beach Elementary were all named Reward Schools.
Geisler Middle School, Maple Elementary, Hickory Woods Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary, Walnut Creek Middle School, and Walled Lake Western were named Focus Schools.