November 8, 2011
Recent articles and news reports announced a change in the way that the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) scores will be reported to the public. Specifically, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) raised minimum scores (cut scores) needed for a student to be considered proficient on the MEAP and MME tests.
The MDE feels that this change will better reflect whether students are on-track to being career and college ready when they complete their high school education. Michigan is only the third state in the nation (after New York and Tennessee) to adopt this more rigorous level of assessment scoring. With the more rigorous cut scores, students will need to answer correctly approximately 65% of the questions in order to earn a score of “proficient” on the state test, a substantial increase from approximately 39%, the previous requirement.
Our district provides students with an academically challenging curriculum aligned with state standards and benchmarks. Attendance, classroom participation, and class work contribute to a student’s success in the classroom. MEAP, MME, common assessments, Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), Lexile reading scores, and other assessment tools are used throughout the year to determine whether students are making academic progress.
When gaps are discovered in student learning, appropriate and meaningful interventions are launched to ensure academic success. If a student is exceeding standards and benchmarks in a subject area, interventions are also used to further challenge the student. The district supports teachers with professional development, an essential part in enhancing and improving instruction.
The changes in the cut scores for the MEAP and MME allow schools to identify subject areas where student achievement must improve and subject areas where students are having success. Each school will use the data to help develop their yearly School Improvement Plan. These plans are made using information from a variety of sources and will drive instruction, curriculum, and professional development at each school in our district. This continuous cycle of evaluation and planning will help us to achieve our goals as we strive for student success in all classrooms.
Brian J. Whiston
Superintendent of Schools