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Ferndale Schools Addressing State Scores

Ferndale Schools Addressing State Scores:

Michigan Dept. of Education Releases Top-to-Bottom School Rankings

(Ferndale Schools Press Release, Ferndale 115 News, Aug. 2, 2012)

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released the 2012 School Report Cards and Top-to-Bottom Rankings to the public today. The MDE has also established new school status designations including Rewards Schools and Focus Schools, which were assigned to two Ferndale schools.

Rewards Schools (FHS) are the top 10% of schools with highest performance and/or that have made the greatest progress.

Focus Schools (JFK) are the top 10% of schools in the state with the largest achievement gap between their top 30% students and their bottom 30% students.

Priority Schools are the state’s lowest performing schools. None of Ferndale’s schools are on this list.

The percentile rankings for our schools in the Top-to-Bottom ranking are as follows:

79th Percentile Ferndale High School Rewards School Designation

76th Percentile John F. Kennedy School Focus School Designation

50th Percentile University High School

30th Percentile Ferndale Middle School

17th Percentile Roosevelt Primary School

12th Percentile Coolidge Intermediate School FHS and JFK both showed significant growth from last year, with FHS improvement being at a greater and faster rate than 90% of the state’s schools. This improvement has also translated into a significantly higher percentile ranking over last year for FHS (50th Percentile in 2011) and JFK (49th in 2011).

The Top-to-Bottom ranking is a new way of looking at Michigan schools’ performance. The rankings are based on student proficiency, student improvement, and achievement gaps within a school based on student performance on standardized tests

Ferndale High School a Rewards School. Ferndale High School students and teachers will be celebrating the news that FHS has been designated as a Rewards School. Superintendent Gary Meier says, “This is very good news. Our teachers have worked tirelessly to improve student achievement, and this designation is public recognition of their steady improvements over the past four years.”

On the MDE’s Top-to-Bottom Ranking, Ferndale High School was ranked in the 79th Percentile of all Schools in Michigan. Of the 45 high schools in Oakland County, only 12 ranked higher than FHS, with only three other high schools designated as Rewards Schools.

While there is still much work to be done, this designation as a Rewards School is a reassuring indicator of the school’s success.


John F. Kennedy School a Focus School Meier adds, “While designated as a Focus School, we are equally proud of JFK as it demonstrated tremendous overall growth during the past year, ranking in the 76th Percentile of all schools.”

The Focus School designation indicates that Kennedy is among the 10% of schools in the state with the largest gap between their top 30% performing students and their lowest 30% performing students.

County wide, 41 of 163 elementary schools are designated as Focus Schools, some of which are the highest performing schools in the state, including Kennedy. Meier says, “We are fortunate that the school’s improvement plan for 2012 is designed in a way that will support our lower achieving students as well as those at the highest levels. “

While Roosevelt and Ferndale Middle School showed modest growth from last year to this year, including rises in their percentile rankings, there is still much work to be done regarding student achievement and growth trends.

UHS is no longer on the Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools (PLA) list, but they are slightly lower on the rankings this year than last, with teachers actively addressing continued student achievement gains there.

Likewise, while Coolidge made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) this year after not making it last year, their overall ranking declined and Meier and the Instruction Team recognize there is still much work to be done on both achievement and the growth trend at Coolidge.

District AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) Local media also reported today on the Adequate Yearly Progress results of the state’s districts. The Ferndale Schools have appealed a preliminary designation of not making AYP due to reported participation below the required 95% on the MME/ACT among the district’s alternative education students. The district made AYP on all other measures.

Proactive School Improvement Plans Parents, staff and community members will be wondering how districts are responding to these results. Our district is well-positioned with its focus on improving instruction. The Data Teams and School Improvement Plans have been developed to systematically address student achievement following a 3-5 year plan of closing gaps in all our schools. Ferndale’s school improvement plans are rooted in research and designed to empower teachers to focus on deep diagnostics of student performance, engage in professional dialogue, and ensure we demonstrate performance improvement among all students, especially our lowest achieving students. Our goals are driven by consistent strategies that include: creating new instructional leaders, evaluation, high-quality instruction, and intervention.


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