Dowagiac Union High gets high marks on new reportPublished 1:33pm Monday, August 6, 2012
Dowagiac Union High School is performing better than all high schools in Leader Publications readership area, according to a new report card released last month by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Dowagiac Union High School received a “B” grade and ranked 91st out of 585 Michigan High Schools featured in the report.
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.
“We achieved higher than our expectation,” said Dowagiac Supt. Mark Daniel. “To me, that is a very positive thing as we go forward and we try to continue to improve our MME and ACT scores with our students.”
Niles High School ranked 147th with a “B” grade. Edwardsburg High School was 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.
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.
“Do I think it has some merit? Yes. Do I think it is a complete, perfect study? Absolutely not,” Daniel said. “What it told me was as a high school that is ranked 91st out of 585 schools — that as they try to compare apples to apples it tells me our kids are working hard, our teachers are working hard and our administrators are working hard.”