State Data: Metro Detroit's Elite School Districts Show Achievement Gaps

Judy Hartnett's picture
Friday, August 3, 2012

Large achievement gaps lurk within some of Metro Detroit's elite school districts, according to data released Thursday by the Michigan Department of Education.

Districts with high-performing and highly ranked schools such as Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Northville, Grosse Pointe and Utica have schools with achievement gaps between students that are so severe the state has given them a new label as a Focus School.

Novi - one of Oakland County's top performing districts with schools that rank in the top 10 percent statewide - seven of its nine schools are on the Focus List. In West Bloomfield Township, six of nine schools are Focus. The state requires these schools to go through training and narrow gaps among their students to be removed from the list.

The new designation - given to 358 schools in 178 different districts across the state - triggers individualized supports to diagnose and correct gaps to ensure all students are on-track to achieve career- and college-readiness, officials with the Michigan Department of Education said.

Focus Schools are the 10 percent of schools with the widest gaps, state education officials said. The list includes some otherwise high-achieving schools that normally would not be expected to have low-achieving students.

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