GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As kids in West Michigan prepare to head back to school in less than a month, we’re getting a better look at how local schools performed in this year’s annual “Top-to-bottom” list compiled by the Michigan Department of Education.
Think of it as a sort of statewide report card that looks at things like student participation and graduation rates and then grades schools with a color.
Overall this year, Grand Rapids Public Schools scored a RED again, but higher-ups at the district say the scorecard doesn’t accurately represent the progress they’ve been making in recent years.
“I think what’s important about this top-to-bottom list is that, again for the second year in a row, we’ve seen gains, where a good chunk of our schools either maintained or increased their rankings,” said John Helmholdt, GRPS spokesperson.
And that’s what GRPS officials are hoping families in the district will take note of, with four of the district’s schools—Ottawa Hills High School, Campus, Aberdeen, and Kent Hills elementary schools rising out of the state’s bottom five percent list, known as “priority schools.”
“In the last two years under Supt. Neal, our transformation plan is working, we are making good strides and trending in the right direction,” Helmholdt said. “It’s not where we want to be yet, and we know we have more work to do. But it’s trending in the right direction, and no color-code system is going to capture that.”
The controversial color systems scores as follows, with GREEN being the highest performing followed by LIME GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, and RED being the worst.
No West Michigan school district overall achieved top GREEN status, and only four individual schools in West Michigan ranked in the top 99th percentile, all of which are in GRPS. Those schools include City High and Middle schools, Blandford, Zoo, and the Center for Economicology.
Elswehere in West Michigan, Battle Creek Public Schools and Muskegon Public Schools scored RED, while Kalamazoo Public Schools scored in the ORANGE, with 50 percent of the schools within the district scoring YELLOW.
To View the MiDashboard and see how your school performed, click here.