Cleveland High School showing academic improvement

Aerial photo of Cleveland High School in 2001, courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives.
Cleveland High School on Beacon Hill is one of the schools that showed strong academic growth during the 2010-2011 school year, according to a report by Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield.

Seattle schools are ranked according to absolute performance scores and year‐to‐year growth scores on a 1-5 scale, with Level 1 being low and Level 5 being the highest level. Cleveland, which began a new Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) academy program last year, moved up from Level 2 to Level 3, and achieved a 218 percent increase in students meeting the math standard. Additionally, the school showed a small increase in enrollment in Fall 2010.

Here are further details in the report sent out by the school district:

At Cleveland High School, which moved up from Level 2 to Level 3, students have shown impressive academic growth after their first year of participation in both the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program and the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.

Their success is illustrated by their performance on the statewide reading and math exams taken by students in grades 9 and 10: In reading, the percentage of students meeting standard increased by 6 percent from spring 2010 to 2011, rising from 63 percent to 69 percent; and in math, the school saw a 218 percent increase, as the number of students meeting standard increased from 17 percent to 54 percent.

Since the state changed some parts of the state’s high school math test, it is impossible to fully compare Spring 2010 and Spring 2011 math results until Spring 2012, when the students will have taken the same test for a second year in a row. Even so, Cleveland students have made significant progress in just one year. Cleveland principal Princess Shareef said that faculty are working to increase the level of challenge in the coursework, as well as providing extra math instruction to students who are not yet meeting standards.

Two other measures of successful high schools are enrollment counts and graduation rates. Cleveland’s enrollment had been declining for years, so one of the school’s goals has been to attract more students. Those efforts are paying off: in Fall 2009, Cleveland had 738 students enrolled; by Fall 2010, enrollment had increased to 795 students.

Cleveland’s graduation rates are also showing progress: The school’s overall graduation rate jumped from 55 percent in Spring 2010 to 68% in Spring 2011. Shareef notes that staff focused on closing the gap in graduation rates between Anglo‐American students and students of color.