Focus Schools consist of the ten percent of schools on the Top-to-Bottom list with the largest achievement gaps between its top 30 percent of students and its bottom 30 percent, based on average scale score.
Here are the Michigan Merit Scores of two high schools in the state of Michigan. One of them was identified as a Focus School and one of them was not. One of them was flagged as needing state assistance and one of them was not. Can you identify the Focus School, the school that needs state assistance?
|Level 1: Advanced||117||156||143||139||76|
|Level 2: Proficient||201||220||144||192||294|
|Level 3: Partially Proficient||112||85||90||121||113|
|Level 4: Not Proficient||74||50||127||53||29|
|Met or Exceeded||318||376||287||331||370|
|Level 1: Advanced||11||57||26||55||12|
|Level 2: Proficient||87||162||75||110||173|
|Level 3: Partially Proficient||132||73||110||122||124|
|Level 4: Not Proficient||94||32||113||37||16|
|Met or Exceeded||98||219||101||165||185|
The school with the higher number of students meeting or exceeding state standards was the school that was flagged as a Focus School. The other school evidently needs no assistance.
I understand the need to address achievement gaps. In fact, one of our district goals is to ensure that all students achieve at a high level - eliminate achievement gaps. Addressing achievement gaps is important to me and to my district.
However, does a focus exclusively on achievement gaps distort the true performance of schools?