Flint’s Northridge Academy ranks high in Michigan's top 100 elementary and middle schools

FLINT, Michigan—The fourth Context and Performance report released in mid-February by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, ranked Northridge Academy on Coldwater Road as 33 out of 2,203 public elementary and middle schools throughout Michigan.


This marks the fifth year that Northridge Academy has ranked in Michigan’s top 100 elementary and middle schools for their CAP score. Their ability to consistently make the high grade cements them as the number one school in the city and second in Genesee County.


“We treat our kids like they’re ours while they’re here,” said Northridge Academy Curriculum Coach, Evelyn Hamlin. “You’re here for six hours a day, you belong to Northridge Academy, so everything we need to do to make you successful, we do it.”


The foundation of the progress report grading was calculated through a focus on the results from the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) taken by third through eighth-graders.


It’s a statewide standardized test taken April of every year that measures students’ success in the subjects of mathematics, English Language Arts, science, and social studies.


According to Ben DeGrow, director of education and policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the report results use theThe Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) is a state-wide standardized test taken by third and eighth-graders that serves as the basis of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy school progress report. M-STEP as the basis of the testing to “create a level-playing field of comparison” while also being able to acknowledge the contextual differences for each school’s results like income levels.


“Statistically, there is a strong relationship between the percentage of kids taking a test who are eligible for free lunch because of low-family income...and the raw test scores on the M-STEP,” said DeGrow.


He further explained that if a school receives a score of 100, that means they are meeting academic expectations for their poverty rate. Anything below that means there’s more academic progress to made and anything above the 100 score means the school is excelling.


Northridge Academy has a score of 118.74 despite the fact it serves a majority low-income population.


“It’s an indicator to recognize schools that are beating the odds,” said DeGrow. “ And as a school that is finishing with a high-grade year after year like Northridge Academy is, then that should be an opportunity for other schools to look at their practices and say, ‘What are they doing that we could emulate?’”


This piece was written as part of an underwriting series with Genesee Intermediate School District to promote an understanding of county-wide educational programming.

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Read more articles by Xandr Brown.