Ann Arbor schools prepare for ‘next steps’ to address higher MEAP, MME standards
It will take a lot of work to reduce the impact of the state’s decision to raise Michigan Merit Exam (MME) and Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) standards, said Deb Mexicotte, Board of Education president for Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Alesia Flye, deputy superintendent of instructional services for AAPS, and Jane Landefeld, co-director of research services, presented a list of “next steps” for addressing the new standards with students, teachers and parents at Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
The steps include realigning the district’s curriculum to the new core standards, evaluating teachers, developing building data teams to shape future classroom programming and comparing the fall 2011 MEAP/MME results to results from other standardized tests that evaluate college readiness.
“It’ll be a challenge when scores get released to parents,” said Trustee Christine Stead, explaining parents may “freak out” when they see their child’s scores drop significantly. “Really, it’ll be a challenge for the whole state. The timing, in some ways, couldn’t be worse, when we are trying to rebuild as a state.”
The core subjects that will be most impacted by the higher standards are math and English/language arts, Flye said. The changes include separate standards for literacy in the English portion of the test and the science and social studies portions for grades 6-12, she said. The test also will put more emphasis on reading for comprehension.
The changes made to the math portion vary based on grade level. Elementary pupils must show a “solid foundation in basic conceptual understandings and procedures;” middle schoolers must build on that foundation through “hands-on” learning, probability and statistics; and high schoolers must apply mathematics to more real-world challenges, Flye said.
Michigan students took the MEAP in October.
A memo explaining the cut-score changes already was issued to parents in the Ann Arbor district.
The state took the new, tougher standards for passing the exam and applied them retroactively to 2010’s test results. To see how Ann Arbor Public Schools stacks up against other districts in the area, visit the Statewide Education Dashboard.