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 and elementary schools being singled out as successes, according to 2012 designations made available to the public Thursday. However, a continuing achievement gap at 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.

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.

( 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, and Gatewood. Both the Main Street School of Performing Arts and Ubah Medical Academy are also Title I schools.

( for a full explanation on the new system.)


Achievement gap

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 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 2011 2012 2011 2012
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 Eisenhower 32.88 23.89 50.31 17.07 Continuous Improvement Gatewood 75.78 70.72 71.39 78.34 Celebration eligible Glen Lake 69.87 77.39 69.24 76.75
L.H. Tanglen 54.4 42.29 46.97 30.35
Meadowbrook 79 90.18 75.1 93.2
Main Street School of Performing Arts 84.02
21.63 n/a

Ubah Medical Academy 84.15



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