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Dramatic swings in rankings say more about state’s rating system than individual schools

Mar 30, 2017

What’s up is down and what’s down is up when it comes to ranking schools in Michigan.

Dozens of schools found they dropped 50 points in the state rankings while others soared from near the bottom to near top of the list.

Erin Einhorn, a reporter with Chalkbeat, joined Stateside to try to make sense of this rollercoaster ride for Michigan's school rankings. 

"They've changed both the tests that the scores are drawn from to calculate the rankings and they've changed the formula used for the ranking calculation," Einhorn said.

The Board of Education decided that until the dust settles, and until there are a few years of a consistent formula and testing regime, schools shouldn’t face any consequences.

The School Reform Office – which Governor Rick Snyder took out of the Board of Education and put under his authority – originally used these rankings to say 38 of these schools were in danger of closing. Now the state is giving those worst-performing schools 60 days to come up with a turnaround plan.

Listen to the full interview above to hear which schools saw big changes in their rankings and about the methodology behind these rankings.

You can also read Einhorn's Chalkbeat article here. It's titled "How changes to Michigan's school ranking system hurt Cass Tech – and helped the DeVos family charter school."

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