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Bridge Magazine Report Ranks Dearborn Schools 15th in the State

Bridge Magazine’s top-to-bottom list of Michigan schools rated districts on their test scores, with economic adjustments made based on family income.

A new report issued by Bridge Magazine shows 52 Michigan public school districts and charter schools were named Academic State Champions for the 2011-12 school year.

Dearborn Public Schools ranked 15th in the state out of 560 charter schools and public school districts, according to Bridge's unique system of measurement. Districts were ranked based on schools' test scores adjusted for family income, showing where students are not only achieving but overachieving.

According to the analysis, a Value-Added Matrix score of 100 indicates students are achieving at expected levels for their income level. The higher a school's score, the better their students are performing on standardized tests.

Dearborn Public Schools received a score of 111.37. The highest ranking school—Star International Academy of Dearborn Heights—received a score of 120.48.

While the district is not a stand-out in terms of standardized testing scores, 14,000 of the district's 19,000 students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Additionally, the 2011 American Community Survey released in December 2012 showed that 32.4 percent of Dearborn families with children under the age of 18 is living in poverty.

Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston said that while the ranking isn't the only one to measure success by, it was a good indicator that the district is succeeding despite socioeconomic obstacles.

"There are a lot of different ways to look at rankings," Whiston said. "This tells us that we are going above and beyond and students are doing well. It's one way to look at things."

To view a complete searchable database of schools, visit the Bridge Magazine website.

The Truth Hurts January 17, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Don't agree with the poverty numbers. For a city with such a high poverty ranking we sure have alot of residence driving BMW'S, MERCEDES, and CADILLAC'S.
Charles L Walls January 17, 2013 at 02:00 PM
The problem of statistically declining performance of Dearborn students may not be due to the affluence of the population, or to the school district administration, or to the amount of money per student that it spends. Has anyone studied the importance placed on education by the students' families in a community undergoing a cultural shift. The attitude of the families toward education makes a big difference in what the students consider important. There may be subjects being taught (and covered in standard tests) that are not important to families of particular ethnic heritages.
laplateau January 17, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Wow Charles...you really hit the nail on the head. You are absolutely correct in your statements. Yes, we have some under-performing and unmotivated teachers protected by union contracts. We have swollen administrative ranks, and regardless of how much money we have been throwing at education both statewide and from federal dollars, we are still not improving student academic performance. The point you make in your second paragraph is right-on, but with our over-sensitivity and heavy use of political correctness, we cannot address the real problems here in Dearborn for fear of being labeled racists or culturally biased. Education in many (perhaps most) of the middle-eastern families as well as many other American born and raised families does not seem to be a top priority and there is little parental involvement. Just take a look at the extremely low parental turn-out in schools on parent-teachers conference nights. This is not the only cause for sure, but the lack of parental support is a major contributing factor in all schools in this area. We will now probably be the target for others to blast us for these views, but sometimes the truth hurts. So be it.
B. Dub January 17, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Ironic, in a comments section about education scores, "residents" is misspelled.
B. Dub January 17, 2013 at 06:34 PM
...and "CADILLACS" should have no apostrophe
B. Dub January 17, 2013 at 09:41 PM
...and "alot" should be two words
Tom B January 17, 2013 at 10:49 PM
My "pet peave" as an English teacher (no period-not a sentence) B. Dub is very good.
laplateau January 18, 2013 at 01:09 AM
B and Tom...thanks so much for you substantive contribution to this discussion. So very helpful.
serendipity January 18, 2013 at 06:09 PM
It is astonishing how ill informed people can be. Apparently you are unaware that we a significant segment of our population in Dearborn who are college educated (check your stats.) Additionally, many "ethnic" people including those who have emigrated here from the middle east DO value education. FYI: some of the world's first universities and libraries were established by people from the middle east before Columbus sailed to America.
Skeptic January 19, 2013 at 04:21 AM
"While the district is not a stand-out in terms of standardized testing scores, 14,000 of the district's 19,000 students are eligible for free or reduced lunch." I believe that 14,000 out of 19,000 students RECEIVE free or reduced lunch, but QUALIFIED? No way. Just another example of the entitlement scam so prevalent in our society.
Kamal Makki January 20, 2013 at 03:24 PM
What an ignorant grammatically erroneous comment
Kamal Makki January 20, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Charles, you are correct, I am an education major and this is just one of many issues
Daniel R. Hawkins January 20, 2013 at 03:34 PM
No , socioeconomic measuring is for true something that communities need to work on. There are some schools despite the poor economic standing of the children's family and many individuals out there who have succeeded despite their economically depressed up bringing. We water down the SAT s and we we find any excuse not to blame the over priced, wasteful union ridden public school system. We are routinely told that our teachers are the 'educational experts many with advanced degrees but still this push to blame anything or anyone else. It is disgusting and our over priced public school system has been nothing but an educating and financial failure. Wake up America.
bitsy08 January 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
...and a period used when asking a question.
Dearborn Taxpayer January 20, 2013 at 03:48 PM
It's a sad commentary on our educational systems that we now seem to have to adjust student academic performance measures for "socioeconomic factors." Do we really think kids from more affluent families will necessarily do better than those from less well-off families? Are we sending the message to less affluent students and families that we have lower expectations for their academic success and therefore we need to measure academic achievement on a curve for family income? It's a shame that such "class" distinctions have become an accepted part of how we now measure academic and educational success. From my perspective, we should expect all children to achieve high academic and educational success without having to factor in their family's income in our measures of that success!
Marc January 20, 2013 at 05:26 PM
The relationship of SES to academic achievement is well established. You might want to think of it this way - think of a "100 yard dash" where some kids start 80 yards from the finish line, some start 100 yards from the finish line, and some 120 yards from the finish line. It is absolutely fair to expect all three kids to finish, but don't blame the coach when the kid who has to run an extra 40 yards finishes last all the time.

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