I.M. schools earn strong state grades

IRON MOUNTAIN – Both North Elementary School and Iron Mountain’s middle school were ranked in top 31 percent in the state based on test scores and other criteria from the 2012-13 school year, according to the data released by Michigan Department of Education.

The two Iron Mountain schools each received 69 percent – the highest percentile rank in the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District.

The two other Iron Mountain Public schools – Central Elementary and Iron Mountain High – were also ranked well – at 53 and 51 percent, respectively.

“For North and the middle school, this means that that we were better than 69 percent of the schools in the state or in the top 31 percent in the state when it comes to academic success,” said Iron Mountain Schools Supt. Tom Jayne.

The Michigan Department of Education released the school accountability reports that included the new score cards for each school as well as the top-to-bottom rankings.

The new system for ranking schools uses a five color-coded system to indicate the performance of schools and districts, said Mike Flannigan, state superintendent of schools.

The codes are determined by points accumulated for goals met or demonstrated improvements.

By receiving a rank between 60-70 percent, North Elementary and the middle school at Iron Mountain received a yellow code, and Central Elementary and IMHS were ranked between 50-60 percent and received an orange ranking.

Only 39 schools out of the 3,397 in the state received a green rating, which required attaining 85 percent or greater.

The next ranking was 70-85 percent with the color code of lime. The lowest ranking was coded red for schools receiving a 50 percent or lower rank.

The MDE reported that 15 percent of the schools in the state received a red code.

Flannigan reported that the new accountability system replaces the goals requiring students to be 100 percent proficient by the next school year, which was previously required under the federal No Child Left Behind act.

Under this new system, rather than expecting all schools to meet the same academic goals, Michigan has set individual goals for each school and district.

The expectation is that they will show incremental growth to reach 85 percent or the green code ranking by the 2021-22 school year.

“The teachers, staff and administration of our district are very pleased by the state rankings for our schools. It says a lot about the standards that have been set and the academic success of our students,” Jayne said.