Rochester Students Score Well Above State Average on Merit Exam

Test results improved in writing, math and science from 2010 to 2011.

The percentage of high schoolers scoring at or above a "proficient" level on the Michigan Merit Exam this year was well above the state average in all subjects.

The scores, released Tuesday, show students' strengths in all areas of the test, which 11th-graders took over three days in March.

Districtwide, Rochester students' scores improved over 2010 in writing, math and science; there was a slight decrease in reading and social studies — a finding that, again, mirrors the statewide results.

On the ACT college entrance exam, Rochester students scored an average 22.8; the state average was 19.3.

Parents should be receiving individual students' results soon. Debbi Hartman, communications director for Rochester Community Schools, said the district was pleased with the results.

The following chart shows the percentage of students who scored "proficient" or "advanced" in test subjects, comparing 2010 to 2011.

Michigan Rochester Community Schools

Adams High School

Stoney Creek High Scool

Rochester High School

Alternative  Center for Education
Reading 2010 65 83 87
Reading 2011 63 81 83
Writing 2010 44 67 77
Writing 2011 47 73 83
Math 2010 50 80 87
Math 2011 52 81
Science 2010 58 78 82
Science 2011 61 80 88
Social Studies 2010 79 91 93
Social Studies 2011 78 87 91
ACT Average 2010 19.3 22.4 23.8
ACT Average 2011 19.3 22.8 24.1

Source: Michigan Dept. of Education

The state's public education leader commended teachers for the steady improvement in students' proficiency.

“Students are being challenged with greater rigor and are achieving at higher levels,” said Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of public instruction. “Michigan educators are to be commended for the efforts they put in to help more students learn and succeed.”

Cheryl Junker June 29, 2011 at 01:50 PM
This is wonderful news as it is great for publicitiy. Our students, parents, and educators do a wonderful job. Teachers and parents working together towards a common goal makes it work. Our community needs to stick together and fight for continued success as the next generation will have to endure ever strengthening opposition to quality,objective public education. This opposition saddens me as I see our community and our children fighting an uphill battle against corporate influences at both the state and city level. It was good to see this post today after yesterdays news of budget battles. Thank you for posting Kristen. We needed some good news.
Clara T June 29, 2011 at 03:03 PM
ACT college readiness scores are trending up in Rochester -- a testament to the long overdue, higher bar established by the Michigan Merit Curriculum in 2006. Yet undeniably, much work remains to prepare young people for academic success beyond high school. Percentage of Rochester Class of 2012 deemed college-ready at each high school, per ACT composite scores: Rochester Adams High School - 46 % Rochester High School - 34 % Rochester Stoney Creek High School - 39% http://www.freep.com/article/20110628/NEWS06/110627059/Database-Michigan-high-school-ACT-MME-scores?appSession=299303136019835
Timothy Maurer June 29, 2011 at 04:14 PM
I think it is also a testament to the hard working teachers and active parents in the district. Kudos to them.
Clara T June 29, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Sorry, no offense intended toward sensitive grownups, but with just 34% of Rochester graduates college-ready in a district so rich in resources, adults taking bows doesn’t seem appropriate. Too many students with very long roads ahead of them. Maybe hold the celebration until more than half of the kids at all three high schools make it over the college-ready finish line?
Timothy Maurer June 29, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Hi Clara, 1. Define college ready. 2. Did you attend RCS? LinkedIn is a great resource to see a plethera successful RCS grads/college grads. You're right! RCS is rich in resources.
Clara T June 29, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Hello Timothy, 1. From ACT: http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/benchmarks.pdf "ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks are the minimum ACT test scores required for students to have a high probability of success in credit-bearing college courses—English Composition, social sciences courses, College Algebra, or Biology." "Students who meet a Benchmark on the ACT or COMPASS have approximately a 50 percent chance of earning a B or better and approximately a 75 percent chance of earning a C or better in the corresponding college course or courses." 2. Define attend. 3. Define plethora. Surely you aren't suggesting that 34% college readiness is excessive? While potentially useful for instigating argument, let's be clear that no one is suggesting that RCS graduates aren't successful. The point is that more RCS graduates deserve the opportunity to succeed academically once they leave the school district. Adults are responsible for creating the conditions necessary for success, and while the district's upward tick in student achievement is commendable, plenty of room for improvement exists. RCS can and should do better.
Mike Reno June 30, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Too often people consider the ACT a final destination, rather than a landmark along the way. Rochester as a district compares very well to other Michigan public schools when considering ACT scores, and I'm sure they help our our students get into good Michigan universities. The real question is, "How do they do once they get there?" How many of them require remedial coursework? How many of them need to take a fight year, not because of changes in majors, but because of necessary remedial work? Not only has the district never given any serious consideration to this question, I think they actually avoid looking at the information. Many colleges will provide matriculation data to high schools, providing data on how their graduates perform during their first year. Some automatically send it... other are just waiting for the schools to ask. Now here is the interesting point... I mentioned this to board Candidate Jeremy Nielson, who was intrigued at the concept, and decided to ask the district for information though a FOIA request. The response he received stated that the information was not available. I was shocked at that answer. I saw the reports when I served on the Rochester Board of Ed. I still have copies. They weren't circulated... I had to dig... but it wasn't hard and I saw them. I've talked to other board members from other districts, who see their matriculation reports. What's up with RCS?
Clara T June 30, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Clara T June 30, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Joshua Raymond July 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM
I've created a comparison of Rochester Community Schools to peer districts of similar demographics. Unfortunately, our ACT scores aren't as stellar as our MEAP scores. See the comparison at http://rochestersage.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/2011-act-and-mme-district-comparison/
Cheryl Junker July 08, 2011 at 01:26 AM
How are the demographics determined? Has anyone looked at the link between college educated parents and college ready students? Higher income level does not always correlate to education level as you know. So, was wondering if you have any comparative data. That may be interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Joshua Raymond July 08, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Cheryl, the list of school districts was given to me by Mike Reno. At least some of these districts appear to be ones that RCS compares itself to based on slides I've seen at school board meetings.
Clara T July 08, 2011 at 04:29 AM
Helpful info Joshua. Thank you! Here's a link displaying side-by-side comp's of scores for the middle 50% of students enrolled at Michigan's top colleges and universities: http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theact/a/top-michigan-act.htm


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