Michigan removes 27 schools from bottom 5% list

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Lansing — Twenty-seven schools have improved enough in student achievement to be removed from Michigan's bottom 5 percent of the lowest-academically performing schools.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced Thursday he informed the schools of his decision to remove them from "priority status" a day earlier.

Among the list of schools were three Detroit Public Schools, two Education Achievement Authority schools, University High School in Ferndale and six Macomb County schools.

The DPS schools taken off the list are Holmes, Hutchinson and Schulze elementary-middle schools.

"We are so pleased that three of DPS' schools have been released from Priority School Status," said Karen Ridgeway, superintendent of academics. "The hard work of the principals, teachers, students, parents and staff at those schools paid off."

The two EAA schools removed from the list are Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts, and Michigan Educational Choice Center's Trix Elementary, a charter school authorized by the state-run district.

"We are enormously proud of Brenda Scott Academy and Trix Elementary's students, parents, teachers and administrators," EAA Chancellor Veronica Conforme said.

In Macomb County, Michael DeVault, superintendent of the Macomb Intermediate School District congratulated those associated with the six schools that came off the list.

"These districts followed their reform plans diligently and, through these focused efforts, were able to show sustained steady academic improvement for all students in all subjects," DeVault said. "The success of these six schools demonstrates the power of the school and its leaders to recognize its challenges, make the necessary changes and provide a positive learning experience for all students."

Under a 2009 law, the lowest-achieving 5 percent of public schools — 138 as of last school year — can be placed into the state's school reform/redesign district if their "redesign" plan is not achieving satisfactory results.

Flanagan commended the schools in a statement.

"Their hard work and focus on data-driven decisions have positively impacted student achievement outcomes," Flanagan said. "The educators in these schools are leading a transformation for the children in their classrooms."

The 27 schools are among the first placed in Priority School status in 2010. Since then, the schools have established and implemented school redesign plans that took them out of the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state's list, met their academic growth objectives in math and reading and met the required 95 percent student participation rate on the state assessments.

"This is evidence that low-achieving schools can, and do, improve," Flanagan said. "Every child wants to learn; and every child can learn. The key is finding the best strategies to help them, and staying focused on them."

The schools now must develop and submit traditional School Improvement Plans.


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The Associated Press contributed.

Which Michigan schools are off state's bottom 5 percent list

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced Thursday 27 schools have been taken off the state's list of the bottom 5 percent of the lowest-academically performing schools. They are:

■Bloomingdale Public School District: Bloomingdale Middle and High School

■Cassopolis Public Schools: Ross Beatty High School

■Clintondale Community Schools: Clintondale High School

■Conner Creek Academy East: Michigan Collegiate High

■Detroit City School District: Holmes Elementary-Middle School, Hutchinson Elementary-Middle School, Schulze Elementary-Middle School

■Detroit Community Schools: Detroit Community High School

■Education Achievement Authority: Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts

■Ferndale Public Schools: University High School

■Fitzgerald Public Schools: Fitzgerald Senior High School

■Godfrey-Lee Public Schools: Lee High School

■Kalamazoo Public Schools: Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts

■Kent City Community Schools: Kent City High School

■Lakeview Community Schools (Montcalm Co.): Lakeview High School

■Lincoln Park School District: Lincoln Park Middle School

■Marion Public Schools: Marion High School

■Michigan Educational Choice Center Trix Elementary

■Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools: E.A. Johnson Memorial High School

■New Haven Community Schools: New Haven High School

■Roseville Community Schools: Eastland Middle School, Roseville Middle School

■Ross-Hill Academy: Ross-Hill Academy Elementary

■Saginaw School District: Thompson Middle School

■Waldron Area Schools: Waldron Middle School

■Waverly Community Schools: Waverly Middle School

■Westwood Heights Schools: Hamady Community High School

Source: Michigan Department of Education