By Pat Maurer
Of the three high schools in the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education District, Clare High School ranked best in the just-released State’s Top-to-Bottom list coming in at 315 of the 791 schools listed. They moved up 36 ranks from last year.
Harrison High School also improved their ranking, coming in seven places higher and ranking in the 532nd slot.
Farwell High School dropped down in the State rankings by 17 places, filling this year’s 578th spot out of 797 in the State.
Clare High School ranked in the 68th percentile, Clare Middle School in the 80th percentile and Clare Primary in the 59th percentile. Farwell High School ranked in the 33rd percentile, Farwell Middle School 4anked in the 28th, and Farwell Elementary in the 35th percentile.
Harrison Middle School ranked in the 36th percentile, Hillside Elementary in 16th, and Larson ranked in the 25th percentile.
In the State list, Roscommon High School claimed the 42nd spot, while last year’s best area school on the list, Grayling High School ranked just below Roscommon at 44th place. Of other area schools, Midland High School was placed at 56th in the State ranking.
Of three Osceola schools, McBain Rural Agricultural High Schools topped that list ranking in the top one-third of Michigan high schools at 242, and gaining 107 slots on the list of schools.
Both Marion High School and Evart high School dropped down this year in the State list. Evart dropped 67 slots to a ranking at 616 of the 971 schools and Marion lost 77 places to land in the 580th position this year.
Marion High School placed in the 29th percentile and the Elementary School was in the 61st percentile. McBain High School was at 29 percent, the Middle School at 69 percent and the Elementary at 70 percent. In Evart, the High School ranked in the 10th percentile, the Middle School in the 32nd, and the Elementary at 15 percent.
According to the State website, the Top-to-Bottom list is part of Michigan’s school accountability system which ranks schools on their student performance in mathematics, reading, writing, science and social studies and graduation rate data (for high schools). School performance components include student achievement, improvement and achievement gaps between the highest and lowest scoring 30 percent of students in each school.
This list provides valuable information on the performance of Michigan’s public schools and identifies areas of both strength and challenge. It is also used to determine:
*Reward Schools, based on the top 5% of schools in the ranking as well as the schools with the highest improvement values from this list. Beating the Odds schools, which are those schools either outperforming their expected ranking or outperforming other similarly-situated schools, are also Reward Schools.
*Focus Schools, based on the achievement gap component of this list.
*Priority (formerly Persistently Lowest Achieving), Schools based on the bottom 5% of this list.
Schools that fall in the bottom five percent of the rankings are considered “priority” schools and are placed under the supervision of Michigan’s school reform officer. There are 138 schools identified as “priority” schools. Nearly half of them are on that list for the first time.
In the 2014 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, Michigan schools ranked 6th in the United States for school quality by schooldigger.com. Michigan has 10 schools with gold medals, 50 with silver medals and 131 with bronze medals. Michigan’s highly ranked International Academy is about 80 miles from the state capital of Lansing, in the Bloomfield Hills School District.
The top ten schools this year include:
1. The International Academy of Macomb;
2. International Academy of Bloomfield Hills;
3. Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti;
4. City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids;
5. Ernest W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham;
6. Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy in Saginaw;
7. Okemos High School in Okemos;
8. Community High School in Ann Arbor and Rochester Adams of Rochester Hills tied for eighth; and
10. East Grand Rapids High School in Grand Rapids.
The Worst ten schools included Harper Academy in Harper Woods, Quest High School in Freemont, Turning Point Youth Center of St. Johns, Oak Park Alternative, Beecher Adult Alternative of Mt. Morris, Northwester High School of Detroit, Nova Discipline Academy of Oak Park, Wilson Center of St. Johns, Churchhill Academy of Royal Oak and Comstock Compass of Kalamazoo.
The report ranks schools according to factors like attendance and how well they meet goals set by the state’s education department.