Niles makes grade on new report cardPublished 3:54pm Friday, July 27, 2012
Niles High School is performing better than 75 percent of public high schools in the state based on the results of a new school report card released last week by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
What makes this report card unique is it examines the performance of each public high school on the Michigan Merit Exam and ACT, while taking into account family income. Scores were adjusted based on the percentage of students in a high school who qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch.
Niles High School ranked 147th out of 585 schools. It received a “B” grade by the Mackinac Center.
“The way we look at all of our achievement is we have goals, and our goal is that all of our students reach high levels of achievement — and all means all,” said Niles Supt. Richard Weigel. “We want all of our children achieving at high levels.”
Dowagiac Union High School ranked highest of all schools in Leader Publications readership area. It ranked 91st with a “B” grade.
Edwardsburg High School ranked 222nd with a “C” grade. Ross Beatty High School was 343rd with a “C” grade. Buchanan High School was 405th with a “C” grade. Brandywine High School ranked 476th with a “D” grade.
“I’m not happy with our test scores and our performance and how we’ve done on any of the state report cards,” said Brandywine Supt. John Jarpe. “I would like us to definitely improve, and the staff wants that, too.”
The co-author of the report, Michael Van Beek, said research consistently shows socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on standardized test results.
“This is the first-of-its-kind attempt in Michigan to take this reality into account, and it helps us identify outstanding schools that, by most measures, would appear mediocre,” Beek said.
The results were based on tests taken by each school’s juniors from 2008 to 2011.
The top-ranked school in the study was Star International Academy, a charter school, in Dearborn Heights.
Finney High School, in Detroit, was ranked last.
To view the study, visit mackinac.org and search for “Michigan Public High School Context and Performance Report Card.”