Report card ranks schoolsPublished 1:12pm Monday, July 30, 2012
Edwardsburg High School is the 222nd ranked public high school in the state according to a new school report card released last week by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
The report examined the performance of each public high school on the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) 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.
Edwardsburg ranked 222nd out of 585 schools and received a “C” grade.
Myra Munroe, Edwardsburg assistant superintendent, said the results were surprising.
“When we took a look at our scores for MME and ACT of 10-12 southwest Michigan Schools we were at the top three to five of our scores and yet the way that they ranked it we were down,” she said.
Dowagiac Union High School ranked highest of all schools in Leader Publications readership area. It ranked 91st with a “B” grade.
Niles High School ranked 147th with a “B” 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.
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 authors of the report dubbed it an apples-to-apples comparison of state high schools.
Munroe isn’t so sure.
“I don’t believe it is a true apples to apples comparison,” she said. “The research they were talking about … was related to achievement and aptitude tests and that is not the MME. The MME is a criteria-referenced test.”
Cassopolis Supt. Tracy Hertsel couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.