The Best Elementary and Middle Schools in Michigan

New Context and Performance Report Card released

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016
Contact:

Chantal Lovell
Media Relations Manager
989-698-1914

or

Ben DeGrow
Education Policy Director
989-698-1941
degrow@mackinac.org

MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center for Public Policy released today a new report card ranking 2,246 elementary and middle schools across the state.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy, a charter school in Detroit, was ranked highest among the schools in the report, and was one of 15 charter schools to make the top 100 list of schools. Sister Lakes Elementary School in Southwest Michigan topped the rankings of rural schools.

“This report card provides parents, educators and lawmakers with a better apples-to-apples comparison of schools across the state,” said Mackinac Center Education Policy Director Ben DeGrow, who co-authored the report with Audrey Spalding, an education policy fellow with the Center. “It helps find schools that are outperforming their peers and many of these schools are ones that are not typically considered to be high-performing. But it also identifies schools that may look like they’re doing just fine, but are actually underperforming when their student population is taken into account.”

Unlike many other school rankings — including ones provided by the Michigan Department of Education — the Context and Performance (CAP) Report Card takes into account student poverty levels and relies on several years of state test scores to provide the most accurate picture of school performance.

The full report card and a searchable database is available at: www.mackinac.org/CAP2015

“These results show that a school’s success is not limited to the family backgrounds of its students,” DeGrow said. “Schools like Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy and Sister Lakes Elementary deserve recognition for beating the odds in helping students that come through their doors.”

Three years’ worth of Michigan Educational Assessment Program scores in several subjects were adjusted based on the percentage of students who qualified for a free lunch. A school’s “CAP Score” indicates how far above or below projections a school performed, given its student population’s socioeconomic status, with 100 set as the average.

This is the second such report by the Mackinac Center for elementary and middle schools. The first was published in 2013.

“We are now able to analyze the progress of schools over time,” DeGrow said. “For example, the 2015 report card shows Moore Elementary in Genesee is one of the most improved schools, moving from the 85th percentile in 2013 up more than 200 spots into the top 100 this year.”

Other noteworthy points in the study were:

  • Six of the 16 schools in the Troy School District made the top 100 list.
  • The Dearborn area had 10 schools ranked in the top 65 of all schools, including seven district-run schools and three charter schools.
  • The 15 worst-performing schools all operate in Detroit.

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