When you check your school's report card--you'll notice a color-coded system. The Michigan School Accountability Scorecard is based on a five-color system which is determined by points accumulated for goals met.
The colors are green, lime, yellow, orange and red. Green is the highest color score, indicating that most goals were met. Red is the lowest color score, indicating that it's an area that needs attention.
Each school is also classified as a "Reward School," "Focus School" or "Priority School."
Reward schools are in the top 5 percent of the top-to-bottom state rankings and outperform other schools with similar risk factors.
The schools that will be identified in the fall as "Beating the Odds" schools will also fall under this category.
According to the MDE, reward schools will be highlighted at state conferences and may be allowed increased flexibility in the use of federal grant funds.
A total of 342 schools located in 205 districts have been designated as Reward Schools in 2013.
"Reward schools are shining examples for others on how to lead student achievement," said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan in a press release.
Focus schools have large achievement gaps between the top 30 percent of students and the bottom 30 percent of students. If a school is classified into this category, the MDE will offer support to the school by helping it analyze achievement data, facilitate professional dialogue and customize interventions.
These schools will received a trained and paid-for District Improvement Facilitator to help close the achievement gap. School districts will have one year to self-diagnose issues at its Focus Schools and come up with changes.
In 2013, 349 Focus Schools were identified from 185 different school districts across Michigan.
Priority schools are in the bottom 5 percent of the Top-to-Bottom state rankings. Priority schools will be placed under the authority of the State School Reform Office. These schools will have to implement an intervention model to improve student achievement.
The MDE says if any Priority School does not implement its intervention model and make substantial growth in student learning, it may be placed in the statewide Education Achievement Authority (EAA) school system.
For individual school and district data, visit www.MISchoolData.org and click on Dashboard & School Report Card button located on the left.