is once again feeling the impact of more rigorous state academic standards, with the release today of Michigan Dept. of Education (MDE) school report cards.
The district is among a surprising number across Michigan that did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets set by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. In total, 262 districts (48 percent) statewide did not make AYP, compared to 37 (6.7 percent) last year. At the school building level, 82 percent of schools made AYP across the state, compared to 79 percent last year.
The increase in districts not making AYP is due in part to the now used on the MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program) and MME (Michigan Merit Exam) tests. In addition, the state now factors graduation rates for all students into the calculations and also now includes the achievement of certain student populations who previously may have not been counted.
Also, districts are now required to meet AYP targets at elementary, middle school and high school levels, rather than at just one.
All but three of the district's 17 buildings – , and high schools – met AYP, which includes targets for standardized testing participation, assessment proficiency and attendance or graduation. The same three schools .
Jan Ellis, a spokeswoman for the MDE, said this year's designations put a focus on the achievement gaps between students, , and really tries to highlight the need for all students to achieve success.
"The goal is to have all students proficient, not just some," she said, adding that in the past there was the ability to mask poor student peformance because the focus was on those students who were doing really well.
Waiver leads to 'accountability scorecards'
The changes this year may not matter in the long run. Because of a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver granted from the federal government, the state in 2012-2013 will no longer be measuring districts based on AYP. Instead, school districts will receive accountability scorecards that use five different colors to recognize varying levels of achievement and accountability for each school and district.
In addition, lower performing schools are no longer subject to sanctions. Instead, the state has come up with three new school designations: reward schools (top 5 percent), priority schools (bottom 5 percent) and focus schools (10 percent with the widest achievement gaps).
Eleven of Farmington Public Schools buildings are considered "Focus" schools, including Highmeadow Common Campus, which received the highest score on today's report card.
“We are committed to closing the achievement gaps in all of our schools for all of our students,” state Superintendent Michael Flanagan said. “With this measure of transparency, schools will be identified and held accountable for the achievement of all of their students.”
The MDE will help work on improvement plans for these schools, with the goal of seeing improvement in a year.
Individual schools also received grades for Education YES!, the state's accreditation system. Scores ranged from a "D" for Harrison High, to an "A" for . Because grades reflect student achievement and growth in achievement (along with self-assessment) MDE notes these grades are also lower than in previous years.
Farmington Public Schools Report CardsBuilding Name Statewide Percentile Ranking Priority/ Focus / Reward School? Made AYP? Reason(s) Not Making AYP EdYes! Grade Beechview Elementary School 71 Focus Y
C East Middle School 53 Focus Y
C Farmington High School 70
C Gill Elementary School 38 Focus Y
C Kenbrook Elementary School 75
B J.A. Lanigan Elementary School 43
B Longacre Elementary School 72
B North Farmington High School 60
N Participation, Graduation Rate for Subgroup B O.E. Dunckel Middle School 84 Focus Y
C Power Upper Elementary School 68 Focus Y
B Forest Elementary School 85 Focus Y
B Wood Creek Elementary School 26 Focus Y
B Harrison High School 34 Focus N Graduation Rate for Sub-group D Warner Upper Elementary School 48 Focus Y
B Highmeadow Common Campus School 98 Focus Y
A Hillside Elementary School 59 Focus Y
B Farmington Central High School
N Participation, Proficiency, Graduation Rate
This is a developing story.