“Quality Indicators”

The new “school quality indicators” for Accreditation come in three levels (see Subsection F).  For the English tests, they are defined as:

Level One: Schools with a current year or three-year average rate of at least 75%, or schools that were at Level Two the prior year and decrease the failure rate by 10% or more from the prior year.

Level Two: Schools not meeting Level One performance with a current year or three-year average rate of at least 66%, or schools with a prior year rate of at least 50% that decrease the failure rate by 10% or more from the prior year. A school shall not receive a Level Two performance designation for more than four consecutive years.

Level Three: Schools not meeting Level One or Level Two performance.

Math and science are the same except the Level One benchmark is 70%.

The definitions for dropout rate, absenteeism, and graduation rate are similarly complicated.  The benchmarks, before the complications, are:

  • Dropouts: ≤6%;
  • Absenteeism: ≤15%; and
  • Graduation Index: ≥88%

See the regulation for the complications. 

Given that the entire process is built upon arbitrary criteria, let’s create an arbitrary grading scale for the three academic areas, along with dropouts, absenteeism, and graduation index:

  • L1: 100
  • L2: 50
  • L3: 0

With that we can average the results to calculate an overall Quality Indicator Score.

On that basis, 1,464 of 1,813 schools (80.8%) score 100%.  There are seventeen Richmond schools in that group. 

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That “TS” represents a group too small to evaluate, they say.

The other twenty-six Richmond schools did less well:

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If we turn to the bottom of the state list, as measured by this score, we see MLK in a three way tie for last place, with five other Richmond schools in the 15-way tie for fourth from last:

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But, by golly, they’re all accredited.