The Top to Bottom methodology gives an overall ranking to schools by using several different achievement-related measures in mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing.
These rankings tell us how a school is doing relative to other schools throughout the state on student achievement, improvement in student achievement, and student achievement gaps. Identifying schools with high achievement gaps is a critical step toward Michigan achieving its overriding goal of closing the achievement gap within schools and reducing the achievement gap statewide. Additionally, identifying schools with low achievement and/or high achievement gaps allows schools to target their resources to areas that need the most improvement.
The Top to Bottom methodology is also used to generate federally required lists of Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools. Priority Schools are schools identified in the lowest five percent of the statewide rankings. Focus Schools consist of the 10 percent of schools on the Top-to-Bottom list with the largest achievement gaps between its top 30 percent of students and its bottom 30 percent, based on average scale score. Reward Schools consist of schools that made AYP and were identified in one of three ways: 1) top five percent of schools on the Top-to-Bottom list, 2) top five percent of schools making the greatest gains in achievement (improvement metric), or 3) "Beating the Odds."
The Top to Bottom report may be used to answer questions such as these:
Each content area has a weighted index calculated from the three components. The weighted index is compared with other similar schools in the same content area and a content area z-score is calculated.
A school-level weighted index is created using all content areas for which a z-score was calculated. The content area weights are divided equally amongst the number of content areas present in a school's ranking calculations.
Finally, the school-level index is standardized with all other calculated school indices. A final z-score is calculated and ranked into an overall percentile rank.
Schools only receive a ranking when they have at least 30 students enrolled for a full academic year (FAY) in at least two content areas.
Components within content areas are weighted 50% achievement, 25% improvement, and 25% gap except where a school’s 2-year achievement average is 90% or greater. In these cases the weighting is 67% achievement and 33% gap. The improvement component is not used in these cases.
Improvement – performance level change (year-over-year) is used for math and reading in grades 4-8. A four year achievement slope is used in content areas other than reading and for all content areas at the high school level.
Gap – achievement gap is calculated by subtracting the top 30% of z-scores from the bottom 30% of z-scores.
Z-score - a standardized measure that helps you compare individual student (or school) data to state average data. A Z-score of 0 means the measure is at the state average. A Z-score of 1 means you are one standard deviation above the state average. Negative Z-scores denote a value below the state average.
Student-level z-score – A z-score calculated using student scores from the same test.
School-level z-score – A z-score calculated using scores from the same content area for similar schools.School Detail Percentile Designations -
Excellent - 66 and above
Above - 34 to 65
Below - 33 and below
School Detail z-score Designations -
Excellent – above 0.5
Above - -0.5 to 0.5
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