98% College-Bound. Only 43% College-Ready.
- Only 43% of EGR students met or exceeded the benchmark in all subject areas, that is, only 43% of students have a 50% chance or better of getting a “B” in all subject areas in first-year college courses. That seems like a pretty low number for a “tradition of excellence”
- EGRPS recovered from its decline in recent years, but there has been no meaningful improvement in the last five years
ACT Benchmarks are scores on the ACT that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of getting a “B” or higher, or about a 75% chance of getting a “C” or higher on corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses. The chart above shows the percentage of students that met or exceeded the benchmarks in English, Math, Reading, and Science.
How Are We Doing vs. Our Neighbors?
- Forest Hills, as an entire district, shows steady improvements and now exceeds the performance of EGR students, despite lower household incomes, higher poverty rates, and a much larger population of special education students
- Forest Hills Central High School has a significantly higher percentage of students meeting all ACT benchmarks than EGR. What’s even more remarkable is that number increased 16 points in one year. Someone over there is doing something right. It shows that significant improvement can be made in a single year. We need some of that!
Mean ACT Scores
While ACT Benchmarks measure the percentage of student above a certain cut-point, benchmark data doesn’t tell us how good the actual ACT scores are. Below is a summary of mean ACT scores.
- Forest Hills District has higher mean ACT scores in 4 out of 5 cases. It is equal to East Grand Rapids Schools in Reading.
- Forest Hills Central High School exceeds EGR High School by significant margins in all areas, in many areas by a full point.
- 43% college-ready is pretty bad, especially when 98% plan on going to college
- Forest Hills shows that a district can make huge strides in as little as a year. We, on the other hand, aren’t doing materially better than we were five years ago.
- Let’s face it, education is a competitive marketplace. If we want people to move to EGR and pay higher taxes, the District better start delivering. There are plenty of other good alternatives nearby.
- A tradition of excellence? Not by these numbers. Perhaps many years ago.
- It’s time to stop being arrogant; it’s time to get to work.
What do you think?
Data Source: MISchoolData.org