Graphic 5 describes the various components used in the calculation of each state’s report card and discusses choice-based consequences for schools that post low grades.[*] Of the states surveyed, four included academic growth of the lowest-scoring students as a separate and significant part of a school’s overall rank. Michigan does not include such a rank.

Michigan’s achievement gap measurement also stands out among the surveyed states. Recall that the methodology used for the TTB list measures achievement gaps between the top- and bottom-scoring 30 percent of students within each school. In comparison, of the seven other states included in this analysis, only Wisconsin and Maine include similar achievement gaps assessments in their school rankings — and both states measure gaps between specific racial and demographic groups.[31]

Some states have implemented consequences for low-scoring schools that allow parents and students to determine whether a school succeeds or fails. In Wisconsin, for example, parents of students in districts with two or more low-scoring schools become eligible for a state-funded voucher to use to attend the school of their choice, including a private school.[32] Ohio also provides private school vouchers for students attending consistently low-achieving schools.[33] Arizona, interestingly, has a state law that stipulates that if a majority or otherwise five of a district’s schools receive low grades, language disclosing this must appear above school board candidates’ names on local election ballots.[34]

Graphic 5: School Report Card Methodology and Choice-based Consequences for Low Scores

State

Components

Choice-based Consequences

Michigan

50 percent overall achievement, 25 percent test score growth and 25 percent gap between top- and bottom-scoring 30 percent.

 

Florida

50 percent overall achievement, 25 percent test score growth and 25 percent growth of lowest-scoring quartile.

State-supported student transfers to higher rated public schools.

Wisconsin

25 percent overall achievement, 25 percent test score growth and 25 percent demographic achievement gaps. K-8 schools: 20 percent attendance and 5 percent third-grade reading. High schools: 25 percent postsecondary readiness.

State-funded student transfers, including to private schools.

Oklahoma

33 percent overall achievement, 17 percent test score growth, 17 percent growth of lowest-scoring quartile, and 33 percent “whole school performance” (includes graduation rates, college entrance exam scores, etc.).

 

Ohio

Overall achievement, academic growth, early literacy rates, demographic achievement gaps and postsecondary readiness.[†]

State-funded student transfers, including to private schools.

Maine

50 percent overall achievement, 25 percent test score growth, 25 percent growth of lowest-scoring quartile.

 

Indiana

50 percent math achievement and growth, 50 percent English achievement and growth; high schools graded on 30 percent math achievement and growth, 30 percent English achievement and growth plus 30 percent graduation rate and 10 percent postsecondary readiness.

Private school choice for students who would attend low-rated schools.

Arizona

50 percent mix of overall academic outcomes, 25 percent test score growth and 25 percent growth of lowest-scoring quartile of students.

State-funded student transfers and state assistance for remedial tuition.

Source: See “Appendix A: Data Sources: School Report Card Methodology and Choice-Based Consequences for Low Scores


[*]  Not all consequences for low-scoring schools are discussed. Many states, for example, have additional paperwork requirements for low-scoring schools. Consequences that increase choice for students attending identified Priority schools are listed.

[†]  Ohio is in the process of developing a new accountability system which will phase-in these components over the next several years. Previous school ranking report cards put greater emphasis on overall proficiency rates.