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Posted: 08/28/13

RCS given a 'yellow' score
in new state report

Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo Community Schools (RCS) joins 27 other school districts in Macomb County as a "yellow" district.
       According to a new scorecard released by the state, RCS was given a yellow score of 68.2 percent for earning 60 points out of a possible 88 in the Michigan School Accountability Report.
       The silver lining, though, is that Indian Hills Elementary is one of 17 schools considered among the best in the state.
       The state replaced the federal No Child Left Behind's Adequate Yearly Progress measurement, which wanted all students to be 100 percent proficient in math and reading by next year. Instead, each school and district should now be on track to achieving 85 percent proficiency by 2021-22 in the subjects of math, reading, science, social studies and writing.
       "This new color-coded system provides a meaningful diagnostic tool that gives schools, districts, parents, and the public an easy way to identify strengths and weaknesses," said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan.
       Each color represents the percentage of how many points a school or district earns by meeting academic goals or demonstrating improvement. They are:
       - Green, 85 percent or more.
       - Lime, 70 to 85 percent.
       - Yellow, 60 to 70 percent.
       - Orange, 50 to 60 percent.
       - Red, less than 50 percent.
       Although schools in RCS earned a green score for improving performance in every subject, all but Romeo High School received a yellow score. The high school was labeled as orange. Romeo Superintendent Nancy Campbell said even with the yellow scores she believes Romeo is showing signs of achievement.
       "The fact that we were all green cells for all students . . . is a source of pride," Campbell said.
       The majority of the 873 school districts (65.9 percent) received a yellow score. Most of the individual schools (76.7 percent) were labeled yellow, 2.8 percent were green and 15 percent were red. No schools or districts were lime.
       Campbell said schools received a yellow score despite doing well due to subgroups, which the state classifies as groups of 30 or more that share a common trait like ethnicity or gender. For Romeo, Campbell said the district needs to concentrate on subgroups like the bottom 30 percent, whose scores are the lowest, as well as those with disabilities.
       "Romeo needs to be scrutinizing the instruction that we're giving to the bottom 30 percent of our students in every building," she said.

       In addition to the accountability report, the state released information regarding the Top-to-Bottom ranking system. This ranks schools using achievement-related measures with the five subjects similar to the accountability report.
       When compared to last year, five Romeo schools saw a reduction in their ranks, while three saw an increase. The most noticeable change was Romeo High School, dropping from 75 percent to 61 percent.
       Campbell said all the buildings will examine the data before the district can come together and solve any issues, such as addressing subgroup difficulties.
       "The Top-to-Bottom rank list is troubling to me because I consider these scores to not be indicative to the success I feel we have in our students and the achievement gains we have," she said.
       The state also recognizes schools in three categories: Reward, priority and focus. Reward schools are those that show high levels of progress and are in the top 5 percentage of schools. A total of 342 schools earned the title this year, including Indian Hills Elementary as one of 17 in Macomb County.
       Priority schools are those that need to improve student learning, and are in the bottom 5 percent. The state recognized 137 schools as priority buildings.
       Focus schools are the 10 percent of schools with the widest gaps between highest and lowest student performances when internally compared. A total of 349 schools were identified by this label.
       None of the buildings in RCS were considered priority or focus. A total of nine schools are priority in Macomb County, while 29 were designated as focus.

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Retrieved 7/27/2015 at 9:25:41 PM.
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