2014-02-06 / Community

Area schools score high in online magazine’s statewide ranking

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • 810-452-2668 • jbonke@mihomepaper.com

News and analysis from The Center for Michigan News and analysis from The Center for Michigan THE THUMB — Bridge Magazine has released its ranking of Michigan school districts and all eight area schools listed are in the top half, and, all scored above 100 in the Academic Champs scoring section. According to the magazine’s website: “An Academic Champs score of 100 indicates a school’s students are achieving at expected levels for their income level; the higher the score, the better a school’s students are performing on standardized tests.”

Bad Axe fared best overall in statewide rankings at 87th out of 540 school districts. Harbor Beach ranked 92nd and Owendale-Gagetown ranked 105th. The other five also are in the top half: Elkton-Pigeon- Bay Port Laker 130th; Ubly 150th; Caseville 187th; North Huron 213th; and Unionville-Sebewaing Area 261st.

Local academic champs

Locally, all eight listed schools received 100 or better in this scoring. Bad Axe had the highest Academic Champs Score of 105.48. Harbor Beach received a score of 105.07 and Owendale-Gagetown has a 104.49 score. The other five also scored above the 100 mark: Elkton-Pigeon- Bay Port Laker 103.87; Ubly 103.23; Caseville 102.55; North Huron 101.54; and Unionville-Sebewaing Area 100.39.

Three grades, 11th, 8th and 4th, were ranked and all area schools are in the top half statewide.

High school: Caseville tops at 9th out of 540

Caseville’s 11th graders ranked 9th in the state followed by Owendale- Gagetown’s at 80th, North Huron’s at 121st and Unionville-Sebewaing Area’s juniors at 122nd. Cass City Public Schools placed 10th.

Junior high: Harbor Beach 22nd out of 540. For the 8th graders, Harbor Beach’s class was ranked 22nd, Bad Axe’s class was ranked 33rd and Owendale-Gagetown’s class ranked 39th. Brown City Community Schools placed 8th.

Elementary: Laker 75th out of 540

For the 4th graders, the rankings were: Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker 75th, Ubly 80th, Harbor Beach 182nd, Bad Axe 196th and North Huron 206th. Deckerville Community School District placed 8th and Croswell-Lexington Community Schools placed 9th.

Free and reduced lunch: The rankings account for the economic level of area families through Free & Reduced Lunch numbers. Area school numbers were between roughly 70 and 40 percent. Owendale-Gagetown 69.8; Caseville 67.4; North Huron 61.6; Ubly 48.1; Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker 47.3; Harbor Beach 47.3; Bad Axe 43.5; and Unionville-Sebewaing Area 40.2.

Why and how: Bridge magazine’s website explains: “In 2011, Bridge Magazine launched its first Academic State Champs, in an effort to praise fourth-grade reading champs like we do our sports heroes. ( . . . ) To measure the true effectiveness of schools, Bridge Magazine and the Lansingbased research firm of Public Sector Consultants created a ranking system measuring student achievement of schools enrolling students of comparable family income. In essence, it is a ranking not of achievement, but overachievement.”

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