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Media clarification
By: Martin Ackley, Director Office of Communications Michigan Department of Education
February 19, 2010

A number of media outlets recently have published what they referred to as schools in the “Bottom 5 percent of failing schools.” Even though we have informed them that this is not the final list of the “Bottom 5 percent,” there still is a mistaken public perception that it is “the” list.
Here is a quick clarification on this issue:
In the past few months, much public discussion about education reform has occurred that has included speculation about which schools would fall within the 5% lowest performing schools. A draft list was required in the federal Race to the Top application. That preliminary list was an attachment to Michigan’s Race to the Top application, and thus made public. This list was created from the best information we had at that time as to what the federal government might use to define the “Bottom 5 percent.” The guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOED) has changed significantly since then and the Michigan Department of Education is working diligently with USDOED to create the criteria that will meet the state legislative requirements and the federal requirements. Once this work is completed and approved by USDOED, a final list will be created and published, along with the criteria used to create the list (as required by state law).
The preliminary draft list referenced by the media which is the focus of this discussion should not be used or considered as the definitive list of affected schools. That list is outdated and inaccurate, based on current stats and guidance from the feds.
Thank you for your cooperation.
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