For Immediate Release
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Media Relations Manager
MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center for Public Policy today released its second “Michigan Public High School Context and Performance Report Card,” evaluating and grading every standard public high school in Michigan. The CAP Report Card examines public high school performance while taking into account family income, producing an “apples-to-apples” comparison for parents and policymakers.
“We were the first research group in the state to attempt this type of analysis on such a large scale,” said Audrey Spalding, education policy director and author of the study. “We now have two four-year periods of data, with two overlapping years, and it’s even more obvious that socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on standardized test results.”
Four years’ worth of Michigan Merit Exam and ACT test scores were adjusted based on the percentage of students in a high school who qualified for a free lunch. A high school’s “CAP Score” indicates how far above or below projections a high school performed given its student population’s socioeconomic status, with 100 set as the standard.
Just as in 2012, Star International Academy, a public charter school in Dearborn Heights, ranked as the top high school in the state. It received a CAP score of 136.31.
“Though Star International’s raw test scores are close to the state average, almost 90 percent of the school’s students are from low-income households,” Spalding said. “Adjusting for socioeconomic status shows that Star International is exceeding its projected performance better than any other school in the state with a similar student population, and has again received the highest mark on the Center’s report card.”
The top 10 high schools in the state, five of which are charter public schools, along with their CAP scores, were:
- Star International Academy, Dearborn Heights (136.31)
- International Academy, Bloomfield Hills (129.63)
- City Middle/High School, Grand Rapids (126.50)
- Cesar Chavez High School, Detroit (124.09)
- Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy, Saginaw (119.29)
- Central Academy, Ann Arbor (116.78)
- Covert High School, Covert (115.88)
- Genesee Early College, Burton (115.58)
- Riverside Academy-West Campus, Dearborn (115.32)
- Universal Academy, Detroit (114.61)
“The CAP Report Card is helpful for parents, school officials and policymakers,” said Spalding. “This report card is a different tool parents can use to make informed decisions when comparing schools; it provides school officials with a better understanding of how their school compares to others statewide; and it will help policymakers truly identify high-performing schools. Assessing school performance by using raw test scores alone ignores the tremendous impact a child’s circumstances can have on his or her educational performance.”
The full report card is available online at: https://www.mackinac.org/archives/2014/s2014-08.pdf.