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Published: Friday, 4/1/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

MICHIGAN PROFICIENCY TESTS

Bedford 3rd through 9th graders keep the bar high

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

TEMPERANCE -- Test scores for third through ninth graders at Bedford Public Schools were again above Michigan averages in all categories, according to standardized test results announced by the state Thursday.

Jonathan Whan, assistant superintendent of instruction and student services at Bedford, said the students also outscored the other nine public school districts in Monroe County.

With the exception of writing at the fourth and seventh grades, they met or exceeded proficiency in the 80s or 90s percentiles. Mr. Whan said the district has consistently been in the highest achieving in the state.

"The staff, parents, and students have been working very hard. Every year we strive to continue to improve instruction and implement the best practices and refining our trade to best serve our community," he said.

The Michigan Department of Education released results from tests given last fall to about 800,000 students in grades three through nine. Ninth-graders were only tested in social studies.

Monroe Public Schools showed improvement in reading at the fifth-grade level, said Barry Martin, the district's director of state and federal programs.

He said the district began a program several years ago to target students who were not doing well in the standardized testing, and developed curriculum to improve areas in which pupils were deficient.

"MEAP is about having another piece of information to adjust our instruction and meet all the needs of our kids," Mr. Martin said.

Across the state, Michigan schoolchildren are getting better at math and social studies but slightly worse in reading as large performance gaps continue along economic and racial lines.

The percentage of students taking the Michigan Educational Assessment Program who were proficient or better in math rose in grades five through eight from a year earlier. The biggest increase was for eighth-graders, where the percentage scoring proficient or advanced rose from 70 percent in fall 2009 to 78 percent in fall 2010.

The percentage of proficient third-graders remained steady at fall 2009's 95 percent and fell one point to 91 percent for fourth-graders.

The state Department of Education said overall MEAP test results show improvements in student performance and a narrowing of achievement gaps since testing began in 2005.



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