Board mulls school scoring system

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Board of Education discussed a new evaluation system Wednesday rolled out by the state, which uses a color coded system to evaluate districts.

“I understand that lime is not a color – it is a fruit – but they went green, lime, yellow, orange, red. I didn’t have any input on the color scheme,” joked Gladstone Superintendent Jay Kulbertis during the board’s regular meeting Wednesday night.

According to a press release issued by the Michigan Department of Education Tuesday, the colors are determined by points accumulated for goals met or by demonstrating improvement.

Green rankings are given to the best performing schools, and red rankings are assigned to schools with the lowest performance.

Despite the inclusion of a lime color code, no schools in Michigan were identified as “lime” schools.

Ninety-two schools were ranked as green, and more than 2,000 schools in the state – including all buildings in the Gladstone Area Schools district – were ranked yellow.

“What happens is if you get red in any subcategories you can’t be green. So when you see our score card and you see this sea of green, on some items you’ll see red, and if you have one red box the best you can go is yellow,” said Kulbertis. “That’s why the vast majority of the school buildings in the state are ranked as yellow on the color system.”

Gladstone Area Schools joined seven other schools in the Delta-Schoolcraft ISD in receiving yellow rankings, according to the ISD score card on the website. Rapid River Public Schools, which shares Kulbertis as a superintendent, received an orange ranking.

In addition to the color coding system, schools in the district were compared to other schools in the state as part of a Top-to-Bottom ranking.

“They took every single school building and ranked it from 100 to one, so they’re percentile ranks. We did exceptionally well as a district compared to the rest of the ISD. The top four Top-to-Bottom scores are associated with Gladstone buildings,” said Kulbertis.

W.C. Cameron Elementary ranked highest in the ISD with a score in the 81 percentile; Gladstone high school ranked in the 77 percentile; James T. Jones Elementary tied with Escanaba High School in the ISD with a 62 percentile rank, and Gladstone Junior High tied with Soo Hill Elementary in the ISD with a 56 percentile rank.

“We don’t celebrate or worship at the altar of the test score. The score card here, the Top-to-Bottom list, takes test scores and a lot of other things into account so this isn’t just a single test score,” said Kulbertis.

A breakdown of the district’s performance was also released in an

Annual Education Report. The complete report is available on the district’s website at on the “Administrative Services” page. Copies of the report are also available for review in the principal’s office of each district building at at the Gladstone School and Public Library.

“We’re very pleased that we did well relative to the rest of the ISD but we’re much more pleased when we see the performance of our kids in the classroom, outside of the classroom; on the streets. We do good things and this is just part of what we’re proud of with our kids,” said Kulbertis.