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Posted on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 10:24 a.m.

Three Washtenaw County high schools on low-achieving list

By Cindy Heflin

Updated story: Lowest-performing school list includes 3 Washtenaw County high schools Three Washtenaw County high schools are on a list of 98 low-achieving schools the state released today.

The schools are Lincoln, Willow Run and Ypsilanti high schools.

Schools placed on the persistently low-achieving list are required to develop and implement redesign plans approved by the State School Reform Office in the Michigan Department of Education. Ypsilanti and Willow Run high schools also were on the list last year.

Both Ypsilanti High School and Willow Run High School have developed school improvement plans that will be implemented this school year.

The state is required to develop the list under federal law. This is the second year the state has released the list.

The state also released top-to-bottom rankings of school performance today and many Ann Arbor-area schools ranked near the top.

Schools are identified under a formula that considers student proficiency levels and academic improvement rates in math and reading only. Also considered is whether a school is in one of three federal school sanctions levels (corrective action, restructuring, or improvement); and whether a secondary school had a graduation rate below 60 percent.

Once on the list, a school is required to develop and implement an approved redesign plan. The school remains under the supervision of the school reform officer until it’s determined that the school has made significant improvement in pupil achievement and the state superintendent of public instruction releases it from the measures that have been imposed under state law.



Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

It is truly unfortunate that the State provided per pupil stipend, the only source of operations funding for all public and charter schools in Michigan, continues to be based upon the wealth of the parents rather than the demonstrated educational needs of the students.

Life in Ypsi

Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

@Eastside Mom you can be Fed up with me all you want. I think it was a valid question. It was not supposed to be derogatory. Apparently, you jumped the gun thinking this. It's no secret WR and Ypsi have low scores and high poverty rates. It's no secret that since Lincoln started school of choice they have many of WR and Ypsi's students. It's no secret that many of Lincoln students come from middle class backgrounds. Perhaps I should have included it's unfair to put Lincoln in this category without saying why they are on the list. It takes time for kids that weren't performing at high levels to catch up. Of course there are high performing students in all 3 districts. Ypsi and WR don't have as many though. That's part of the problem why these schools are failing. People continue to be in denial and get defensive and not acknowledge the issues. Pretending they aren't there isn't going to make them go away.


Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

People pointing fingers at children from low income neighborhoods and people who draw geographical lines (which side of the tracks are you from?) are not acknowledging seems more segragationist to me.


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 10:44 a.m.

As pointed out by many people in the field and to quote a friend..."The scores match up pretty much exactly with poverty level". We are measuring need.


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

It might be time to vote on a millage reduction for the schools. No sense throwing good money after bad.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

It's interesting to see Huron at #65. With more and more students scamming the AAPS attendance boundaries and coming to Huron (supposedly living with "cousins" and "uncles" that no one checks out), I'm not surprised to see this high school in the middle of the pack, rather than closer to the top.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

Does ann arbor still break out their MEAP scores by SES level? I remember when we moved here many years ago we saw a report that did that and all the elementariness in AA were all about the same when you just compared apples to apples. I don't recall seeing a report like that again. Looking at this report, you would think Angell is head and shoulders above, say, Pittsfield but would a rich kid at Pittsfield do just as well on the tests as the rich kids at Angell? And conversely, would a poor kid at Angell do just as bad as a poor kid at Pittsfield? That kind of examination would probably be really helpful in seeing if there really is a difference in our teachers or if kids from a higher SES just come better prepared to succeed. People try really hard to get themselves into certain elementaries and I guess I'm just wondering if it really matters at the end of they day. Will a smart kid be smart no matter where they go within AAPS?


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Achievement is about neighborhoods. Yes, a higher SES kid would test better, relatively, at any school. There is more parental support, better preparation and potentially a more educationally supportive home environment. However, if the better prepared student is in a poorly performing school that is chaotic, etc., then they will do more poorly, but probably higher than the rest in that school. If teachers in lower performing schools have to spend most of their time on maintaining order and calm in the classroom and dealing with behavioral issues rather than teaching, then all students suffer.

average joe

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

Gee, Wasn't it just a few years ago that Lincoln was 'advertised' as one of the "Best Schools in Michigan" through that WXYZ-channel 7 program that cost the district $25,000?

Monica R-W

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

What is amazing to me that each of the Ypsilanti Schools are on "this list" when they are consulting consolidation efforts. Between this and charter schools taking over the area, this is on sure way to MAKE consolidation take place, huh? By the way, are the Charter School statistics on this list?

Cindy Heflin

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

Charter schools are included in the rankings.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

We know Lincoln will soon be paying to advertise that it's the bestest of the low achieving schools. Some company will be glad to give the district a certificate in return for those advertising dollars.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

Typo: " ...supervision of the school reform officer *under* it's determined..." Should be "until"


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

The link to download the top to bottom list is messed up. Also, any chance at the top to bottom list with addresses?

Cindy Heflin

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

That link has been fixed. Thank you.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

and is anyone surprised by this?

Life in Ypsi

Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

I wonder if Lincoln may have poor scores due to the Willow Run and Ypsi students who are there under school of choice.


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Maybe Lincoln should actually start spending their money on education.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

I am fed up with Fed up!


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

This comment is so wrong on every level. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I know and am proud of so very many Ypsilanti High School students.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

I believe they were low before school of choice. I remember when they started being a school of choice... but I don't know how long these metrics have been maintained - but I thought it was longer.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Why wouldn't you post the link to the xls sheet that has the top to bottom rankings as well? Is there one? Saline Patch bragged about Saline schools and yet neglected to post the link to the data . And now here we get the snap shot of the lowest. Nevermind. I found a searchable box on Detroit News that you can search for your own school district on there.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Just last week Lincoln's web site had a section that declared how well they did maintaining a "B". Embarrassing.