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This is the Mackinac Center’s fourth school report card and covers elementary and middle schools. A similar report card was published in 2013, and this edition includes two years’ worth of new data. A unique characteristic of this report card is that takes into consideration the “context” of a school when assessing its performance. Specifically, it controls for differences in the socioeconomic status of students each school serves. Including this factor provides a more accurate assessment of a school’s performance, since research has shown that student backgrounds can have a large impact on academic performance. Report cards that do not consider these differences among schools can understate the performance of schools serving high-poverty students and overstate the performance of schools serving relatively affluent students.

This report card averages several years of student achievement data to create a “Context and Performance” score, or CAP Score. This helps ensure that a school’s grade is not unduly influenced by a single year’s performance. At least six subject test scores from at least two different years of testing were used to calculate a school’s overall CAP Score.

Click here for a PDF of the study.