MDE releases annual “Top to Bottom” ranking, and two-thirds of the worst performing schools are on the list for a second, third or fourth time
Lansing, MI (August 22, 2013) – The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) today called for chronically failing public schools in the state to be closed.
On Tuesday the Michigan Department of Education released a new and complex accountability grading system, the state’s annual “Top to Bottom” ranking, and new lists of Priority, Focus and Reward schools.
“Less than one in twenty of our public schools are earning the highest available designation, which is not acceptable for our state’s future,” said Jim Barrett, GLEP Chairman. “Further, of the 137 schools that are ranked in the bottom 5%, 85 of these schools have been on this list at least twice in the past four years. In fact, 20 schools have been identified as failing schools for each of the past 4 years. Absent extenuating circumstances or significant improvements, we believe these 20 ‘worst-of-the-worst’ schools should be closed as they are not adequately serving students and parents,” Barrett continued.
GLEP believes students in these 20 failing schools would be better served by seeking other educational options from the array of traditional public, charter public or cyber schools available in the state. If there aren’t readily available educational choices, Barrett urged the creation of new public schools to educate students trapped in the worst performing schools.
Barrett commented that 10 public schools included in the bottom 5% list have been closed since 2010. “The authorizers and the district here are to be commended for making the tough, but necessary, decision to pull the plug on schools that simply aren’t making the grade,” said Barrett.
Barrett added that in addition to closing chronically failing schools, GLEP supports maintaining high expectations and rigorous academic standards, continued implementation of the Common Core State Standards, utilizing next-generation testing assessments that measure individual student growth, developing an effective teacher evaluation system, and adopting a simple A-F letter grading system to measure school performance.
The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) is a non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan children. For more information, please visit www.glep.org
Persistently Lowest Achieving/Priority Schools for 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
Persistently Lowest Achieving /Priority and Bottom 5% Schools closed since 2010