High School off Priority School List!

Posted by Patrick Creagan at 9/2/2016

Decatur High School is off the Priority Schools List! 

     Each school in Michigan is required to test students using the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP. The results of these tests, as well as participation on the tests are used to determine whether our school is meeting Michigan School Proficiency Targets and where it ranks in a "Top to Bottom" list of schools and their performance. As a result of this ranking in a "Top to Bottom" list of schools and their performance, a low achieving school may be identified as a Priority or Focus School.  Three years ago, Decatur High School was placed on the priority schools list.  Required improvements to our instructional process were mandated.

     I am happy to announce that Decatur High School has been released from Priority School status! To exit Priority School status, schools must meet three exit criteria – reaching 95 percent state assessment participation, achieving annual measurable objectives in mathematics and reading/ELA, and ranking above the lowest 5 percent of schools statewide.   The leadership and focus of the teachers and administration have positively impacted student achievement and led to rankings of 37 in 2014 and 57 in 2015! 

     The Michigan School Reform Office announced that only seven schools in the state were taken off the Priority School List after meeting exit criteria and showing significant and rapid turnaround in student outcomes. The seven schools released - Decatur, Edsel Ford, Lincoln, Madison and Vestaburg Community high schools, along with Frontier International Academy and Eisenhower School - demonstrated significant and sustained improvement including two cycles ranking above the 15th percentile in the state’s Top-to-Bottom list. Decatur and Frontier are now ranked above the 50th percentile.  “These seven schools provide a great example of how some tough and thoughtful decisions by local leaders can lead to rapid turnaround in academic performance,” said School Reform Officer Natasha Baker. “It is our goal to assist school leaders in their turnaround efforts and reward them when rapid and sustained improvement is achieved. Our research has shown that schools who sustain two years above the 15th percentile are not likely to return to the bottom 5 percent.”

     We are proud of the improvements in student achievement made at Decatur High School these last few years. In order to keep moving in the right direction, the school will continue the hard-work of school improvement to assure that our students are receiving the best education possible!  To discuss this information further, please me at 423-6800.  Thank you.