Bridge Magazine and Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing-based research firm, developed a formula to rank 540 of the state's public school districts and charter schools based on standardized test scores and socioeconomic status to determine the 2013 Academic State Champions.
Grand Haven Area Public Schools ranked No. 26 and Spring Lake Public Schools is No. 36. Fruitport Community Schools is ranked 412th in the report.
The report ranked schools that exceeded expectations as an Academic State Champ. Both the Grand Haven and Spring Lake districts earned that designation.
To attain Academic State Champ, a school or district needed to achieve a score of at least 100, indicating students are achieving at expected levels for their income levels. The higher the school’s score, the better students are performing on standardized tests.
Grand Haven scored 109.33 and Spring Lake scored 108.74. Fruitport received a 96.49 score.
The report also ranked fourth- and eighth-grade students on Michigan Education Assessment Program scores in 2010 and 2012. For 11th-graders, the report looked at Michigan Merit Exam scores from 2011 and 2013. It also included the ACT story for all subjects.
Grand Haven Area Public Schools’ fourth-graders ranked 37th, eighth-graders were 57th and 11th-graders ranked 47th.
Grand Haven Superintendent Keith Konarska said the ranking is particularly rewarding because it takes into account the challenges of educating children living in poverty. He said the district’s staff is working hard, but they are also under a model focused on interventions to give students extra help.
“Our students are outperforming their peers in other school districts,” Konarska said. “We are extremely proud of this recognition and believe it reflects our ongoing effort to promote every child’s success.”
Spring Lake’s fourth-graders ranked sixth in the state, eighth-graders were ranked No. 188 and 11th-graders were 76th.
Spring Lake Superintendent Dennis Furton said this particular ranking “strongly emphasizes the contribution of teachers to the education of our students." However, Furton said he generally thinks rankings fail to provide an accurate picture of the quality of any school system.
“The only ranking that really speaks to the quality of our system is the one that our community would provide,” he said. “Do our parents, recent graduates and community members rank Spring Lake high? That's the key question, and I think the answer is yes.”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
For the complete report and a searchable database of the schools, CLICK HERE.