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Rochester Schools Rank in Top Third of Public Schools, Data Shows

The state's 'Top-to-Bottom' rankings are based on student proficiency and performance.

All 20 of Rochester Community Schools elementary, middle and high schools were among the top 35 percent of schools statewide in a "Top-to-Bottom" ranking of public schools released today.

Three elementary schools — Brewster, Musson and North Hill — ranked in the top 25, and several others ranked close behind.

The Michigan Department of Education is required each year to produce a list of persistently lowest achieving schools; last year, the department also published an overall Top-to-Bottom ranking of all schools in the state.

None of the Rochester schools were among those labeled as "persistently lowest achieving."

The Top-to-Bottom ranking includes all public schools and is based on student proficiency and improvement in math, reading, writing, science and social studies, as well as graduation rate and achievement gaps between students within a school.

The department acknowledges the methodology used to rank the schools is complex, but says it is a true apples-to-apples comparison of schools, according to an explanation of the methodology posted on the department's website.

Here's how the individual Rochester schools ranked; a percentile rank of 99, for example, means that 99% of schools statewide scored below that school's result.

 

Rochester Community Schools
Building Name

Statewide
Percentile
Ranking 99 99 99 98 98 98 98 97 97 96 93 93 92 89 88 87 86 85 81 68 N/A N/A

Source: Michigan Department of Education

Steve August 26, 2011 at 03:37 PM
The headline writer didn't do the district any favors. Of the 20 schools, 3 of them are in the top percent, 10 in the top 5 percent, 13 in the top 10 percent, and all but one in the top 20 percent. So to say the district ranks in the "top third" means the headline writer was trying to downplay the districts success, or they don't understand the results. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and say it's the latter.
Joshua Raymond August 26, 2011 at 03:40 PM
I'm glad to see so many of RCS's schools are doing well. I would like to hear from the school administration or board an explanation of the disparity between the various schools and their performance. Do they chalk it up to demographics, parental involvement, teaching methodologies, school leadership, or other issues? What steps are being taken to ensure our lower performing schools move up? I am working on a deeper comparison of the schools so that more information on test scores, performance level change, and achievement gap can be shown for each school in our district.
Joshua Raymond August 26, 2011 at 06:32 PM
I have a comparison of the elementary schools available at http://rochestersage.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/rcs-elementary-schools-performance/ Brewster and Musson still rank at the top - but for different reasons! The results may help you figure out which school would best meet your child's needs.
Joshua Raymond August 26, 2011 at 08:22 PM
The middle school deep dive is available at http://rochestersage.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/rcs-middle-schools-performance/ Our middle schools improved significantly in 2 of the 4 subjects, which is great to see!
Joshua Raymond August 26, 2011 at 09:05 PM
The high school numbers are also now up at http://rochestersage.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/rcs-high-schools-performance/
Kristin Bull (Editor) August 27, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Thanks for sharing your research, Joshua. There should be a slight caution in comparing last year's data with this year's data, however; the criteria/methodology changed slightly from last year to this year. Thanks, Steve, for offering your thoughts on the headline. Point taken: "More Than Half of Rochester Schools Rank in Top 10 Percent of State Schools" would have been a better headline.
Joshua Raymond August 27, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Kristin, while the criteria and methodology changed, the differences are state-standardized (and are computed by the state). Districts that improved more than the state average have positive numbers for the increase. Districts that improved less than the state average or declined have negative numbers. It's the one of the best ways of comparing tests from one year to another.

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