State Releases 2012-13 Accountability Reports including New Color-Coded Accountability Scorecard to Support Educators and Parents

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs | Jan Ellis, Spokesperson (517) 241-4395
Agency: Education

August 20, 2013

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Education released today school accountability reports including the new Michigan School Accountability Scorecards for districts and schools, as well as, its Top to Bottom ranking and the list of Reward, Focus and Priority Schools.

The School Accountability Scorecard is being released for the first time as the result of Michigan receiving flexibility to the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act from the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) no longer will be reported.

"This new color-coded system provides a meaningful diagnostic tool that gives schools, districts, parents, and the public an easy way to identify strengths and weaknesses," said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. "It provides greater transparency and detail on multiple levels of school performance."

The Michigan School Accountability Scorecard uses a five-color coded system to indicate the performance of schools and districts and combine traditional accountability metrics with Top-to-Bottom, Priority and Focus school designations and other state/federal requirements.

Colors are determined by points accumulated for goals met, or by demonstrating improvement. The color green is highest, and indicates most of the goals were met. The color red is lowest and indicates few objectives were achieved, and is an area that requires attention.


Attain 85% or greater of possible points


Attain at least 70% but less than 85% of possible points


Attain at least 60% but less than 70% of possible points


Attain at least 50% but less than 60% of possible points


Attain less than 50% of possible points

The accountability system also replaces goals requiring all students to be 100 percent proficient by next school year, previously required under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Under the new system, rather than expecting all schools to meet the same academic goals, Michigan has set individual goals for each school and district with the expectation that they will show incremental growth to reach 85 percent proficiency by the 2021-22 school year.

A total of 3,397schools and 873 districts received scorecards. Approximately three percent of schools received a green scorecard, 15 percent received red scorecards and 82 percent received yellow, orange or lime green scorecards.

The new system also holds schools accountable for the academic growth of their lowest-performing 30 percent of students.

"This is expected to have schools focusing on every student's academic growth," Flanagan said. "We believe that every school can reach these goals."

In addition to Michigan's School Accountability Scorecard release, 342 schools located in 205 districts have been designated as Reward Schools in 2013. Of these schools, 141 are identified as High Performing and 141 are identified as High Progress schools.

"Reward schools are shining examples for others on how to lead student achievement," Flanagan noted.

Reward Schools include the top five percent of schools on the annual Top-to-Bottom ranking of all Michigan schools, as well as the top five percent of schools making the greatest academic progress over the previous four years. Beating the Odds schools, which are those schools either outperforming their expected ranking or outperforming other similarly-situated schools, also are Reward Schools.

The schools that need to improve their attention on student learning include the 137 Priority Schools (previously known as Persistently Lowest Achieving schools) located in 60 school districts, and the 349 Focus Schools that have wide achievement gaps between the various student populations.

"Many Priority Schools are making progress, but more work needs to be done," Flanagan said. "Other interventions need to be considered for schools that just cannot move the needle forward."

Priority Schools are those in the bottom five percent of the annual Top-to-Bottom ranking, and any high school with a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for three consecutive years. Fifty-two of these schools are on the Priority List for the first time, while 85 of these schools received Priority or PLA designation in past years.

As required under state law, Priority Schools are placed under the authority of the State School Reform Office and the schools will be required to implement an intervention model to improve student achievement.

Under the state's approved federal flexibility waiver, an achievement gap is calculated for all Michigan schools identifying the unique gap between the highest and lowest 30 percent of each school's student achievement.

Focus Schools are the 10 percent of schools with the widest achievement gaps between highest and lowest performing students. This gap may still occur even in schools whose overall performance is relatively high compared to the state average.

This year, 349 Focus Schools were identified from 185 different school districts across Michigan. 164 of these schools are on the Focus List for the first time, while 185 of these schools were also designated Focus in 2012.

To assist both Priority and Focus schools, the Michigan Department of Education provides a wide variety of supports and interventions to increase student achievement and address achievement gaps.

For individual school and district data, visit and click on Dashboard & School Report Card button located on the left.

Accountability Scorecard information can be found at,4615,7-140-7085-310970--,00.html

Reward School information can be found at; Focus School information is available at; Priority School (formerly Persistently Lowest Achieving School) information is at; and Top to Bottom ranking information is at