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Studies Show One Birmingham School is 'Beating the Odds'

The Birmingham Covington School is recognized for out-performing other Michigan schools with similar risk factors.

The Michigan Department of Education today released a list of 123 Michigan schools that are "Beating the Odds" by outperforming schools with similar risk factors and demographic composition based on two separate studies.

On the list from the district is the , a 3-8 districtwide school noted for its rigorous academic curriculum.

"We have good things happening in Michigan schools," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said in a recent press release. "These Beating the Odds schools are helping students make progress and finding ways to overcome traditional barriers to academic achievement."

The MDE used two distinct studies to identify the schools. The first study identified 60 schools that are performing above their predicted levels based on risk factors like percent of students who are economically disadvantaged, percent with disabilities, percent English language learners, and percent minority students.

The second study identified 83 schools that perform better than a comparable group of schools with similar demographics. Twenty schools statewide made the list using both studies.

"Beating the Odds schools have found ways to work smarter and harder, not just harder," Flanagan said. "They have good leaders, knowledgeable and prepared teachers who engage students and a commitment to involve and embrace parents and the community."

This year's list differs from last year's list, according to the MDE, because it is based on the 2010-11 school year data and also takes into account school-wide improvement rates, achievement gaps and achievement levels. Last year, only test scores were used.

"I encourage all educators to explore what similar Beating the Odds schools are doing and, when appropriate, replicate what will work in their buildings," Flanagan said.

(Source: the Michigan Department of Education)

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