Welcome to Bridge Magazine’s first-ever Academic State Champs awards for individual schools across Michigan. More than 3,200 schools (traditional public schools and charters) were judged on state and national test scores over three years, with student income levels factored in for each school.
Last week, Bridge and our media partners at MLive.com published our fourth annual State Champs awards for school districts across the state. This, however, is the first year Bridge has been able to gather enough school-level test score trends and poverty data to rank individual elementary, middle and high schools in Michigan, bestowing State Champs status on more than 100 schools.
These school-level winners ‒ comprising the top 5 percent of more than 3,200 schools across Michigan ‒ represent every region of the state, from villages to urban areas, communities with large immigrant populations, wealthy suburbs and stretches of rural poverty. It also includes schools with nontraditional student populations and more innovative approaches to education, including charter schools, arts schools, schools offering International Baccalaureate degrees, and a more focused path to college-level credit.
At the other end of the spectrum, our 2014 analysis also uncovers schools that are not getting good results for their students, including a number of charter schools as well as way too many schools from Detroit.
Bridge’s analysis this year is made possible by underwriting from Herman Miller Cares (Donors and underwriters to Bridge and its parent, the nonprofit Center for Michigan, have no control over editorial content).
As with our district rankings, the methodology and data analysis for school-level rankings were independently developed by Public Sector Consultants, a public policy research firm in Lansing, and take into account the impact of poverty by analyzing how schools across Michigan perform compared with schools of similar socioeconomic levels, an acknowledgement of the debilitating impact that poverty typically has on student achievement.
This means that some poorer schools are State Champs even though they have lower raw test scores than more affluent schools that are not being honored this year. That’s because students at these State Champs schools more significantly outperformed students at peer schools when income is considered.
Enjoy our schools database, see how your school compares with schools across town and around the state. And congratulations to Bridge’s inaugural class of Academic State Champs schools.
CORRECTION: Bridge republished revised individual elementary school rankings on February 11, one day after publishing the original rankings. Bridge’s data provider, Public Sector Consultants, Inc., discovered a computer programming error after publication which required re-scoring and re-ranking elementary schools. As a result, two additional schools received Academic State Champs awards and many schools’ individual rank order changed. The computer programming error did not impact or change our originally published rankings of school districts, high schools or middle schools. Bridge and Public Sector Consultants regret the error. Click here for further explanation of how Public Sector Consultants corrected the error and re-verified that all other computer programming and rankings are accurate.