By Joe Bedford
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
Grand Ledge public schools ranked 500 out of 560 school systems in value added to students’ education, according to a report by Bridge magazine, the mouthpiece for The Center for Michigan.
The report ranked schools by student test scores, but adjusted the rankings by whether students are living up to income levels. The formula attempts to find out how much value schools add to their students’ education by accounting for higher incomes that are shown to correlate to education. A score of 100 means a school system meets expectations. Scores higher than 100 mean they were exceeding expectations. Bridge reported that 272 schools state wide scored less than 100.
Grand Ledge scored a 92.03.
“It was the first time I’ve seen that particular method used for looking at performance,” said Jay Bennett, president of the school board. “I don’t necessarily think it was a valid method.”
The report doesn’t mean that Grand Ledge scores low on standardized tests. Rather it indicates that the school is not hitting the marks that district income levels say it should. While Bennett did not think the method was a valid way of measuring performance, he did see the merit in looking at different methods of evaluation.
“I’m all about looking at things in different ways. Could we do better? Always,” said Bennett.
Grand Ledge schools are aligning their curriculum district wide and improving teaching methods, Bennett said. But lower state funding levels make it hard.
Another recent Bridge magazine report gauged the public opinion on Michigan school performance. The Public’s Agenda for Public Education, report had residents giving Michigan schools a C grade overall.
Some Grand Ledge residents disagreed with the report.
“I think the schools here are doing fine,” said James Miller, a parent of a Grand Ledge student.