Friday, July 20, 2012

Kalamazoo-area's high-poverty schools get high grades in Mackinac Center study

There's not many studies on school quality that give Loy Norrix High School an "A" and Schoolcraft High School a "D."

But that's the results of a statewide analysis by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Midland-based (conservative) think-tank.

The study aims to create an more accurate apples-to-apples comparison of school performance by using a regression analysis that compares test scores to the percentage of students participating in the federal subsidized lunch program.

"Comparing a school's standardized test scores to those of other schools is one approach to measuring effectiveness, but a major objection to this method is that students' test scores tend to be relative to students' socioeconomic status -- family household income, for example, or parents' educational background," said the study. "These factors, however, are outside a school's control.

"... This disparity is a major -- and legitimate -- reason many people resist the idea of comparing schools solely on test scores," the study says. "One school may outperform another simply because its student population has a higher average socioeconomic status, not because the school is better at educating students. With this report card, we adjust the performance of a school's student on standardized tests to recognize the school's socioeconomic disadvantages."

No comments: