Alice Smith, Gatewood Stand Out in Latest School Performance Results
Eisenhower’s scores were low under the new alternative to the No Child Left Behind System.
Hopkins Public Schools saw strong growth overall in the latest reading and math scores, with Alice Smith and Gatewood elementary schools being singled out as successes, according to 2012 designations made available to the public Thursday. However, a continuing achievement gap at Eisenhower Elementary led to a score in the state’s bottom tier.
Alice Smith and Gatewood both scored in the top 15 to 25 percent of schools statewide, making them two of just 211 schools eligible to apply for Celebration School status.
“The trends look really, really good for the majority of our schools,” said Diane Schimelpfenig, the district’s director of teaching, learning and assessment.
Ubah Medical Academy was also named celebration eligible.
On the other end of the spectrum, Eisenhower was named a Continuous Improvement school—meaning it fell in the bottom 25 percent of schools but has not been named a Priority School or Focus School, the designations for the worst-performing schools.
A new system
The scores are part of a new system allowed after President Barack Obama granted a waiver to the No Child Left Behind system. The system gives schools a “Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR)” based on their performance in four categories: proficiency, student growth, their ability to close the achievement gap and, for high schools, graduation rate.
(Click here for a full breakdown of test scores released last month.)
The aim is to reward schools with students who start at a disadvantage but achieve faster than average growth—even if they don’t hit the intended target.
Schools with the Continuous Improvement designations must come up with plans to show improvement and set aside 20 percent of their federal poverty aid to launch those plans but do not have to have their plans approved by the Minnesota Department of Education like Priority and Focus schools.
The designations only apply to Title I schools, which are schools that have higher concentrations of students receiving free and reduced lunch.
Hopkins Public Schools has four Title I schools: Eisenhower, Alice Smith, Tanglen and Gatewood. Both the Main Street School of Performing Arts and Ubah Medical Academy are also Title I schools.
(Click here for a full explanation on the new system.)
Eisenhower’s low score comes in large part because of the achievement gap between white and minority students. While 85 percent of white students were proficient in math, just 33 percent of black students were.
There was also a gap between English speakers and limited English speakers (68 percent to 17 percent) and between households that aren’t classified as low-income and those that are (85 percent to 39 percent).
“We work daily on improvements to each of our schools, every student, every day,” Schimelpfenig said.
Changes from 2011
Alice Smith’s Celebration School eligibility comes because of a big jump in its MMR score, which leaped nearly 20 points to 62.37. The already strong-performing Meadowbrook Elementary also continued to move forward, with its score growing from 79 to 90.18 between 2011 and 2012.
But others did not do so well. The Main Street School of Performing Arts had one of the biggest falls—seeing its MMR score fall from 84.02 to 21.63, losing its Reward School status in the process.
Hopkins High School did not fall as far but still had a nearly 22-point drop—although that was in part because graduation rates were calculated a new way this year. Even celebration eligible Gatewood was a small step back, since its score dropped five points and it lost its Reward School status.
Averages scores are near the 50-point mark.
Hopkins MMR and Achievement Gap Scores
|Overall MMR Score||Achievement Gap Score||2012 MMR Designation|
|Hopkins High School||73.29
|North Junior High||29.77
|West Junior High||44.51
|Alice Smith||43.1||62.37||58.51||47.58||Celebration eligible|
|Main Street School of Performing Arts||84.02
|Ubah Medical Academy||84.15