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Most Rochester Schools Score an 'A' on State Report Cards

Data shows 19 of 23 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress last year. Rochester High was one of 219 state high schools not achieving AYP status.

As a district, showed Adequate Yearly Progress in math and reading during the 2010-11 school year, as recorded on the state's school report cards released today.

Nineteen Rochester elementary, middle and high schools received an "A" grade on the report, which looks at schools' progress in several areas, including MEAP scores in math and reading, attendance records and graduation rates.

received a "B" grade and did not attain AYP status. In addition, and the , which do not receive letter grades, were  identified in the AYP report as schools needing to improve.

The full report of schools and grades can be found in the Excel spreadsheet here. Search individual school scores on the state's education dashboard.

AYP scores are what the federal government uses to hold schools accountable. They are calculated for all 3,437 public schools in the state using target achievement goals.

Overall, Michigan schools saw a 7.1 percentage point decrease in students making AYP, dropping from from 86 percent of schools in 2009-10 to 79 percent in 2010-11.

Rochester High

Rochester High was one of 219 high schools in the state that did not make AYP.

Irene Larson, director of assessments and grants for Rochester schools, said one subgroup in the school did not meet the target scores for math.

Subgroups include such categories as ethnicity, students with disabilities and students who speak English as a second language.

"That's the case with many schools," Larson said. "Rochester did not make AYP for one subgroup in one subject.

"For this particular subgroup, we do have interventions in place, and we will look at them and make sure we are doing as much as we can."

Rochester High's score was part of a trend: there was a 21.9 percent decrease in the number of high schools making AYP this year. Alternative schools also had a substantial decrease in the percentage making AYP, from 36.6 percent last year to 17.7 percent this year.

Tougher standards

State school officials attributed the overall drop in scores to the increased rigor: Federal proficiency targets increased this year and schools had to have a higher percentage of students proficient to be considered as having made AYP.

"We are raising the bar on what they need to know, to also raise AYP simultaneously is very, very difficult," said Jan Ellis, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Education, in a statement released along with the data.

Between the 2009-10 and the 2010-11 school year, targets jumped between 8 percent and 10 percent. For instance, in math, 2010-11 represented the first proficiency target increase since 2006-07; the previous three years retained the same targets.

Ellis said every time the state increases the target by 10 or 12 points, especially in math, there tends to be a group of students on the cusp, that when the scores increase, they just don't make it.

Ellis said the state is awaiting word on whether the federal government will give Michigan a waiver on meeting proficiency targets in the next 10 years as it works on boosting overall academic performance.

Larson said in Rochester, leaders weigh AYP scores along with other data to guide curriculum.

"From a national standpoint, AYP is an important factor," Larson said. "But it doesn't really help us with our day-to-day — we look more at the assessments we do on a regular basis, like the ACT and Explore (tests)."

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