Madison and Hazel Park high schools
make list of best high schools in Oakland County
Two high schools that were once among the state’s lowest performing schools are now on a list of the top 10 high schools in Oakland County,
Hazel Park High School came in eighth and Madison High School in Madison Heights was ninth in a ranking from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent institution that has been studying educational issues for 30 years.
The Mackinac Center’s ranking considers both student test scores and socioeconomic status. The state’s ranking does not take into account the percentage of students in a district who are living in poverty, according to a statement from the Mackinac Center. Numerous studies have established a link between low income and academic performance.
The Mackinac Center ranked Oakland County public high schools as follows:
1. International Academy
2. Oxford Early College
3. Troy High School
4. Rochester Adams High School
5. Novi High School
6. Troy Athens High school
7. Birmingham Seaholm High School
8. Hazel Park High School
9. Madison High School
10. Birmingham Groves High School
Ben Harwood, assistant principal at Madison High, in the Madison District Public Schools, said 100 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.
“I’m not surprised that we’re on the list,” he said of the school, which has about 340 students. “We’ve got a young and energetic teaching staff. They work their tails off.”
Harwood said the school raised the percentage of students who start senior year and graduate at year’s end from 78.8 percent in 2012-2013 to 98.6 percent last year.
He said the school worked to “humanize the relationship between teachers and students” by reducing class sizes and encouraging test retakes before and after school. That required a greater time commitment on the part of students and teachers, but enabled students to believe they still had a chance if they performed poorly on a few tests early in the year and determined they could not pass the class.
“We aren’t Birmingham. We aren’t Troy. We aren’t Novi. Those are all good schools, but we need to remember that curiosity isn’t limited by a zip code,” Harwood said.
Both Madison and Hazel Park had been on the state’s priority list, which means they performed in the bottom 5 percent of schools in Michigan. Both schools improved scores and were removed from the list.
Content from The Oakland Press - Read Article Here!