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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

Most Michigan students would fail MEAP, MME under tougher test standards

By Julie Baker

Just a little more than a third of Michigan students in grades 3-7 who took state math exams during the last school year would have earned passing marks if tough new standards had been in place, the Detroit Free Press reported today.

The article is based on data released today by the Michigan Department of Education.

The MDE today released data showing how students would have performed under the news system on the high school Michigan Merit Exam (MME) and the elementary and middle school Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP).

The state took the tough new standards for passing the exam - standards that now will require students to answer far more questions correctly to pass - and applied them retroactively to old test results, the Free Press reported.

These retro-scores will not be used to recalculate any school accountability measures such as Adequate Yearly Progress, according to the MDE. They provide historical context to prepare for the implementation of new cut scores, beginning with the scores from this fall's MEAP tests.

According to the data released by the MDE, third grade reading proficiency in Ann Arbor Public Schools — previously at 94 percent — will be closer to 91 percent when taking the new standards into account. To see how students in your area stack up, visit the Statewide Education Dashboard and select your school or district.

At least one local district — Saline — has warned parents of potentially lower proficiency scores as a result of the new scoring system implemented by the State Board of Education.

Read the full Free Press report.



Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

The students need union representation to make everyone looks like a genius.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

A study I believe just came out of Finland I believe that said if we give up all of these tests and start teaching you will find children are learning more then if we test them all the time and give them no chance to learn. I say we are testing too much and not seeing where these tests are going. I for one see teachers struggle at the beginning of the year because MEAPs start in October when children are at the lowest end of the learning scale. Why? Because you loose a lot during summer break. We suck as a nation in getting our children to learn. Stop labeling and start teaching. No wonder children are stressed out and parents are freaking out because they think their child is stupid. I told mine we don't even bother with MEAPs because they are over rated.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

Don't worry, my kids will continue to bring up the curve for the rest of your kids!

Ron Granger

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

I'm guessing that most Michigan adults would also fail those tests.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

How good are you at algebra? Science? I know I'd do good on reading, but forget the rest.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

How well would students in certain other countries perform with these tests? You know, the countries who take education seriously, those that are kicking our butts in math and sience. Those that are not taking Art Appreciation or General Studies or A History of Football? Let me guess (but I won't say for fear of offending little Tiffany or Rembrandt).

average joe

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : noon

A2anon- MI merit exam shows test results for science & social studies, so one would assume that these subjects are on the tests.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

For your information, the tests don't test science, just mostly reading and math. So the trend has been for our schools to teach less and less science (and social studies). And what on earth are you talking about with history of football??? It's amazing to me that people still don't see the value in a well-rounded curriculum that includes the arts. Such a limited outlook on life.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Maybe if we just keep increasing funding without getting meaningful concessions from the unions or finding a way to get rid of failing teachers, things will get better. Oh, that's what we've been doing? Oops...


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

You can find the per year funding history for the period from '93-'07 here. The numbers go up at what looks like to me to be around the rate of general inflation. They don't go down. Maybe you would like to enlighten me on the easy-as-pie steps the administrator can follow to get rid of a bad teacher. My guess...not so simple. Ever see Waiting for Superman where it discusses the lemon dance? The key word regarding concessions: &quot;meaningful.&quot; I would call getting rid of the pension system meaningful. Teachers, like everyone in the private sector, should have a 401k. Why should taxpayers pay them an annuity income ad perpetuity when most of the taxpayers don't get one in retirement?


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

Not sure where you've been, but the teachers' unions have been giving concessions with pay, benefits, and class size over the last several years. And a teacher can be fired just by an administrator following the steps outlined by the district. And &quot;increasing funding&quot;?! Can you provide some numbers here?

Alan Benard

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:03 a.m.

End high-stakes standardized testing. It is an expensive sham, graft for the test companies, a sop to those who hate any taxes -- and civilization -- and a waste of everyone's time.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

Go Figure, Kick um when their down.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Most of this testing seems like a waste of time. Set a high standard on the curriculum and let the schools do their job.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Just wait until people see the new testing that is coming in the next couple years. It is being reported that students will be tested 3 times a year soon. Start of the year, middle of the year and near the end of the year.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

The NWEA -- it started this year. So now we have a three times a year test, PLUS the MEAP.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Perhaps, the headline should read &quot;Most Michigan Residents...&quot;


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Ugh. It's all so ARTIFICIAL. So you give the kids a test. You arbitrarily raise or lower the &quot;cut off&quot; scores for what &quot;doing well&quot; looks like. You get a bunch of numers. WHAT do the numbers tell you??? There is no evidence that doing well on the MEAP results in anything real.... future success? College graduation? Six figures? Happy home? Anything at all? And now we randomly increase the level of &quot;doing well,&quot; so that lots of students won't. And the ONLY thing that is going to happen is MORE teaching to the test, less recess, less art and music, more stressed out students. Ultimately, higher scores. Great. To what end??? For what purpose? SOMEONE needs to notice that the Emperor is NAKED, these tests are insane.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Ummm, right. You still haven't given me any actual names of any actual studies that correlate high test scores to life success. You just keep insisting they exist. Show me?!


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

A2anon - MEAP test results are closely correlated with other standardized tests, which are quite well correlated with success in life. Please note that &quot;correlation is not causality&quot;. It is because of what they have learned, who they are, and their character traits that people succeed, not because they have been extensively tested. Kids who are barely &quot;proficient&quot; on the MEAP have achieved the equivalent of passing with a D. Kids who score &quot;advanced&quot; on the MEAP are doing at least B work by nation-wide standards. It's time we quit fooling ourselves about how well and how much our students are learning in the public schools.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

AMOC - where are those studies that show high MEAP scores correlate with career and social success? Please. And if you look around, although we all KNOW that art and music and recess and creativity in the classroom and teacher autonomy and project-based learning result in a better education, when testing becomes the holy grail and primary means of judgement, those things get sacrificed. It's happening now, all over the place.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

A2anon - The new cut scores were designed to align MEAP test results with the results from the National Assessment of Education Progress or &quot;the nation's report card&quot;. Michigan's educators have been deluding themselves that the students are doing mucc better than they actually are when compared with students from other states or internationally. The tests are not even vaguely insane, nor should the schools cut recess or art or music in pursuit of higher scores. Those activities are all very highly correlated with higher test scores, and higher test scores are very closely correlated with career and social success.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

Here is the text of the AAPS letter (part I): Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s): Ann Arbor Public Schools is taking this opportunity to communicate with families and the community concerning scoring changes to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) tests this year. Each year, Ann Arbor Public Schools students, along with all other Michigan public school students in grades 3-9, are required to take the MEAP and all eleventh grade students are required to take the MME. These tests are then scored and, depending on the score, a student is assessed as Advanced, Proficient, Partially Proficient and Not Proficient. This year, the Michigan State Board of Education has adopted new standards and has raised the cutoff score or "cut score" that a student must receive in each of the rating categories. The new cut scores represent a significantly higher standard for student achievement and are intended to more accurately reflect a student's progress toward college and career readiness. On some tests, students previously could have answered as few as 40 percent of the questions correctly to be considered "Proficient." Under the new scoring system, students will have to correctly answer a much higher percentage of questions. Michigan is one of only three states in the nation, along with New York and Tennessee, to move into this top tier of test scoring. Like school districts across the state, Ann Arbor Public Schools MEAP and MME proficiency results for fall 2011, are expected to decline when actual scores are publicly released next spring. While we anticipate an initial drop in the number of students reported as "Proficient," we are confident that ongoing school improvement and student support measures will provide an appropriate and significant response to the scoring changes.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Average Joe - Almost everybody else was thinking the same way, that &quot;proficient&quot; meant that the students were 'well advanced in an art, occupation,or branch of knowledge'. But the standards for the MEAP were originally set so that approximately 50% of the students would be judged &quot;proficient&quot;, and were not ever raised substantially due to the draconian penalties for failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind. No one wanted to reorganize or close schools, especially not in Detroit, Flint, Etc. where there would be charges of racism and discrimination by the adults currently making their living in those systems. Other states, like Massachusetts and New York, have raised the bar for their students over the past 10 years, while Michigan's Department of Education has been fooling us and themselves.

average joe

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

So according to the 'old' system, you could score only 39% on any single subject &amp; be considered &quot;proficient&quot; in that subject. According to Mr. Webster- 'Proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice', and, 'well advanced in an art, occupation,or branch of knowledge' For some reason, I thought 'proficient' meant a bottom score of much higher than 39%.

Julie Baker

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

Thanks for posting the information from Ann Arbor schools.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

An illustration of the expected impact on scoring will be provided by the Michigan Department of Education on the MISchoolData portal at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. These examples will apply the new cut scores to the previous four years of test results. This information offers a perspective on the impact these changes will have on future scoring. Actual previous scores have not been changed. When scores are reported later this year, it is very likely that the percentage of students rated as "Proficient" will decline. The scores we project for Ann Arbor Public Schools will still be well above the state results, but we believe more students will be rated as less than "Proficient." In fact, in some cases, students rated as "Advanced" under the old cut scores could be rated as "Not Proficient" or "Partially Proficient" when the new cut scores are applied. The MEAP and MME tests are only two of several measures used in our district throughout the year to ensure that students are making academic progress. We maintain high standards for our students and their test scores are consistently among the highest in the state. We anticipate this trend will continue even with the new cut scores. We have already begun the process of aligning our curriculum to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These revisions will respond to the more challenging level of rigor and expectation that will be reflected in the new scoring changes. Undoubtedly, families will have many questions about the new cut scores. We will continue to provide information through a variety of communication channels such as newsletters, email, the district's website, and parent-teacher conferences, as information becomes available. We look forward to our continued work together in ensuring academic success for each student.