New Context and Performance Report Card in the News

Study ranks elementary and middle schools with socioeconomic context

The Michigan Public Elementary and Middle School Context and Performance Report Card released by the Mackinac Center last week garnered media attention across the state of Michigan.

Ben DeGrow, education policy director at the Center, explained to The Times Herald that the CAP report card is unlike many other school rankings because it adjusts for student poverty level to provide the most accurate assessment of performance.

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Simply put, our study seeks to show how well schools perform academically, recognizing the significant challenges that tend to come serving more students of a low socioeconomic status. We use multiple years of data to demonstrate more stable and meaningful results.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center Academy — a charter school in Detroit — took the honors this year as Michigan’s highest-rated school, as noted by Moody on the Market. Sister Lakes Elementary School, in Benton Harbor, ranked highest of the state’s rural schools.

Moody on the Market quoted DeGrow’s explanation of why it’s important to consider socioeconomic status when comparing schools.

"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.…

He suggests, "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."

The Midland Daily News noted that one school in Midland County, Eastlawn Elementary School, received an “A” grade in the report, while other schools showed significant progress since the Center’s last elementary and middle school report.

With a ranking of 140, Eastlawn was one of 222 state public schools to receive an “A” for the years 2013-2015. Between the two studies Eastlawn saw its CAP score improve from 103.56 to 110.09, its grade go from “B” to “A,” its percentile improve from 74.5 to 93.8 percent and its ranking rise from 603 to 140.

Two other Midland County schools experienced significant improvement over the 2013 CAP study. Chestnut Hill Elementary improved from “C” to “B” and jumped from 773 to 590 in the rankings. Although Plymouth Elementary maintained a “C” the school improved its ranking from 1037 to 865.

CBS Detroit, The Oakland Press, WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids and The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580 were among the other news outlets to cover the report.

Read the full report by The Times Herald here.

Read the full report by Moody on the Market here.

Read the full report by the Midland Daily News here.

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Mackinac Center Ranks Michigan’s Elementary and Middle Schools

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