Sibley : Where Do We Stand?Where does Sibley stand in measures of school success?
By: Meital Gewirtz, Sibley Scribe
What makes for a good school? Can Sibley be considered a good school? A key factor in determining if a school is “good” or not is standardized testing scores. The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) is a standardized test taken across Minnesota to measure the achievement of students and their schools. Students and schools are measured in three academic areas: mathematics, reading, and science. As of the 2012 reading and math scores, Sibley had a 74% average in reading, and a 45% average in math. The state average for reading was 77% while the state average for math was a 43%. This means that, when it comes to standardized test scores, Sibley falls very close to the state averages.
But in most cases, standardized testing scores alone do not determine a school’s ranking. In US News and World Report, student-to-teacher ratio and college readiness are also taken into account. It is hard to know where Sibley stands using this more comprehensive method of ranking, since only schools falling in US News and World Report’s top 100 in a state are listed numerically, and to qualify for the top 100, a school has to have received either a gold or silver medal ranking from US News and World Report, as based primarily on the college readiness index. However, this index is based only on the school’s AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) exams. So, the ranking, then, comes essentially (perhaps exclusively) from the “college readiness” factor and leaves all other factors such as student population, diversity, income levels, amount of improvement, etc. out of the discussion.
So is Sibley doing well? One way to answer this question is to compare Sibley with other schools of equivalent size in the Twin Cities. According to this measure, Sibley is not faring so well. For example, Southwest, Central, St. Louis Park, and Edina High Schools are all firmly placed in the top 10 in Minnesota on this ranking. However, when you look at the actual report, Sibley performs “near Minnesota average” on the college readiness part, as well as math and reading proficiency, but above the state average in teacher – student ratio.
State and other rankings do not take into account some of the other ways in which Sibley excels, though, such as school spirit and a rich program of extra-curricular activities including Restaurant Club, Drama, BPA, Math Team, Debate, etc. So while there is still room for improvement on test scores, our students have many of opportunities to develop talents in other areas and a strong sense of identity with the school.