BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Students in Clarkston range from 46%-73% for meeting state benchmarks on standardized tests, such as the M-STEP, but that’s just part of the story, said Elizabeth Egan, Board of Education president.
Student success after high school can be found in a number of fields, Egan said, from construction to dance to engineering.
“We all excel somewhere based on practice and passion. We are bringing a greater commitment to skilled trades, fine and performing arts, and the Whole Child Initiative as well as college readiness in our schools,” she said. “Our board has been and continues to advocate for a greater understanding of individual student growth.”
The M-STEP is designed to measure how well students meet State Education Standards. Clarkston Community Schools prioritize focusing on the individual talents and strengths of each student and the Whole Child Initiative, Egan said.
“We understand fully that each of our students has individual needs, interests, passions, and brilliance,” Superintendent Rod Rock said in an email. “We are working very hard to expand opportunities for our students to learn and grow.”
Rock said several new programs are being implemented throughout the school district, including broadening career and technical education, offering more coding classes, starting a trades program at the junior high and world language at the elementary level and partnering with University of Michigan-Flint for early college, among others.
The state may follow Clarkston’s lead with attention on the social, emotional and physical well-being of students in addition to their academics, he said.
Deputy Superintendent Shawn Ryan said, according to the state, the M-STEP is going to be replaced by a more reliable, user-friendly assessment, which will give educators and parents a better sense of student progress.
Though student population is going down in Clarkston, along with all over the county, these resources give the district a unique quality.
“We are fortunate in Clarkston in that we have a desirable community for families to live and students to learn,” Egan said.
The student data, or Clarkston By the Numbers, reflect test results from the 2015-2016 school year.
Of the 7,511 Clarkston student scores included for the English Language Arts M-STEP, 61 percent scored proficient. For math, 49 percent scored proficient. Clarkston rated ninth in Oakland County for ELA and 13th in math.
For grades 3-8 in ELA, Clarkston is above the county average and saw a two percent increase from the 2014-2015 school year. Three out of five students are considered proficient. In math, Clarkston is just below the county average, though there is a 1 percent gain from the 2014-2015 school year and one of two students are considered proficient.
For the ninth grade PSAT ELA 78 percent of Clarkston students meet the college and career readiness benchmarks, which is 8 percent above the county average and 9 percent below the highest rated district. Four out of five are considered college ready. For math Clarkston is at 58 percent, which is above the county average by 4 percent and three out of five students are considered college ready.
In the 10th grade PSAT ELA, 73 percent of Clarkston students meet the college and career readiness benchmarks, which is above the county average by 4 percent and students dropped more than the county average from ninth grade. Five out of seven students are considered college ready.
In math, Clarkston is at 46 percent, which is 1 percent below the county average and students dropped more from the previous year than the county average. One out of two are considered college ready.
In the 11th grade SAT ELA, 70 percent of Clarkston students meet the college and career readiness benchmarks, which is above the county average by 2 percent. Students dropped 4 percent from the previous year: 7 out of 10 students are considered college ready.
For math, Clarkston is at 49 percent, which is above the county average by 1 percent and students increased 2 percent from the previous year. One out of two students are considered college ready.