Saline schools expecting lower proficiency scores on MEAP and MME due to new state standards
Saline third-ninth graders finish taking their Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests on Wednesday, and school officials want to warn parents that when the results are announced in a few months, officials are expecting significant drops in proficiency scores.
“The purpose of the MEAP is to measure proficiency across the state in the core content areas (such as math, reading and science),” said Steve Laatsch, assistant superintendent.
The changes are expected because of a new scoring system implemented by the State Board of Education that is reflective of students’ achievements in relation to career and college readiness.
“The cut scores is the score that separates test takers into various categories, such as a passing score and a failing score, or a selected score and a rejected score,” according to Information from the Michigan State Board of Education.
For example if the cut score on an exam is 70 percent, anything below that is considered a failing score, while anything about 70 percent is considered a passing grade, the information states.
Previously, the "cut score" was based on “whether students showed a basic understanding of the material,” now the scores will be “consistent with the skills students need for college and careers,” state information states.
In Saline, Laatsch said, he expects to see "significant dips" -- the biggest drops in math and science proficiency percentages.
If, for example, 85 percent of fifth-graders were considered proficient in science previously, 30 percent are expected this year. In math, if 98 percent of the third-grade students were considered proficient, he’s expecting just 46 percent with the tougher standards. For fourth-graders, if 97 percent were proficient under the old system, he expects 55 percent would be considered proficient with the new cut scores.
In reading, he doesn’t expect as large a decrease. If 89 percent of third-graders were proficient previously, 71 percent are now expected; while if 90 percent of fourth-graders were considered proficient in reading under the old system; Laatsch expects 74 percent with the tougher standards.
“The new scores will determine if students are on track,” he said, adding that state assessment scores will do down across the state. “We won’t be alone.”
He said he didn’t want parents to be surprised if their child was proficient last year and this year that’s not the case.
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Saline stories, visit our Saline page.