Source: Sherman Publications

Lake Orion schools continue to out pace neighboring districts

July 27, 2011

By Katelyn Crain

Intern for The Review

Scores for the ACT and Michigan Merit Exams have been released and Lake Orion juniors continue to achieve high standards.

There are four levels students can place on the MME: level one is advanced, level two is proficient, level three is partially proficient and level four is not proficient.

Students that score in level one and two have met or exceeded expectations. That group of students can be defined as the mastery level. Those in levels three and four scored below the average, therefore did not meet expectations.

This year, Lake Orion had scores above those from 2010 in math, science and writing. Scores in reading and social studies, while below last year’s results, still were above average.

The highest percent of students scoring in mastery level was in social studies with 88 percent. This means 522 out of 592 students scored above average.

In reading, 453 out of 592 students scored in the mastery level (76 percent). In math, 426 out of 592 students scored in mastery level (71 percent), which increased from the previous year by three percent. The number of mastery students in writing this year was 387 out of 592 (65 percent), a four percent increase and in science 464 out of 592 students (78 percent), also a four percent increase.

Lake Orion’s scores were also much higher than the averages from the 11 other districts in Oakland County, as well as the averages from the state. In social studies, the average for the Oakland County districts was 80 percent and 78 for the state. In reading, 68 percent was the average for Oakland County, 63 for the state; in math, the average for Oakland County was 60 percent, while the average for the state was 52. In writing, the average was 56 percent for Oakland County and 47 for the state; in science, 66 percent for Oakland County and 61 for the state.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Heidi Kast explained why the increase of scores from previous years is so important, and also what the district is striving for in the future.

“Our district has spent a great deal of time in analyzing our student data and modifying our instructional strategies to meet the needs of our students. It’s an on-going process that we’ve initiated from kindergarten through high school,” Kast said. “We do hope that our efforts in the

classroom will show improvement on state assessments.

“Of course we’re glad that our trend in the past few years is showing progress, however ACT and MME are just two factors in providing a snapshot of our students’ achievement,” said Kast. “We’ve implemented many innovative instructional practices like all-day kindergarten, online courses, and summer programs that not only identify student deficiencies early, but continue to provide instruction that meet these deficiencies. If we’re successful, then

our scores should continue to increase.”

Although the average scores of the LO juniors were relatively high, there are still a percentage of students that are not meeting the set expectations and the district is well aware of these subgroups, Kast said.

She said although they may see academic growth with these students, it may not be enough to meet the targets the state has identified for proficiency.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight. We are constantly assessing students in a variety of

ways to ensure that our instructional approaches are working,” said Kast.

Also released with the MME scores, were the composite ACT scores also from the previous junior class, which were taken in the spring.

Lake Orion had an average score of 21.7, which increased by .3 from 2010. In math, the score was 21.8, an increase of .3 from 2010. In English the score was 20.9, an increase of .2 from 2010. In reading, LO scored 21.3, an increase of .1 from 2010, and in science the score was 22.2, an increase of .7 from 2010.

Lake Orion’s average ACT score was higher than the districts of Clarkston (21.5), Brandon (20.4), Oxford (19.9) and Lapeer (19.2).

Information was found at the Michigan Department of Education’s website.