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Published: Tuesday, 2/12/2013

Michigan students improving in state testing

Michigan students score higher in reading, math, writing on state's annual standardized tests


DETROIT — Michigan students scored higher in math, reading, and writing last year on the state’s annual standardized tests, officials said Monday.

Students statewide — particularly third and eighth-graders — scored higher in reading proficiency, according to the fall 2012 Michigan Education Assessment Program results released by the state Department of Education.

Students also scored higher in math at all grade levels, but particularly in grades 3, 4, and 5. Fourth and seventh-graders improved their writing proficiency scores.

“We’re moving in the right direction and that’s a credit to our schools, parents, and the students themselves,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “But much work remains and achieving further gains will demand our continued commitment. Michigan’s future depends on the quality of education and preparation our students receive.

“It is critical to ensure our children are ready when they first enter school and are on track to be career and college-ready by the time they graduate.”

The annual MEAP tests are based on career and college-ready standards. Reading and mathematics are tested each year in grades 3 through 8. Students are tested on writing, science, and social studies in alternating grades from fourth to ninth.

In Detroit, where many students have struggled on MEAP tests, only fifth-grade science scores decreased. The percentage of proficient and advanced scores in 17 of 18 assessments was up from 2011.

The largest Detroit Public Schools increase was 11.3 percent on the eighth-grade reading test. The lowest increase was 0.1 percent by sixth-graders on the social studies test.

Only 2.3 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the science test, compared to 2.9 percent the previous year.

Detroit officials said the district had a higher percentage increase than the state average on 13 assessments.

“These test results are great news, but we know we have more work to do as a district and in every school,” said Roy Roberts, the district’s state-appointed emergency manager. “Detroit Public Schools’ goal is to ensure that every child is successful, and we are doing everything in our power to make that happen.”

Detroit has struggled with declining enrollment for years and fewer students took the reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science tests last fall than in 2011. The scores also do not include results from schools that moved last fall from the Detroit district to the new Education Achievement System.

The system was announced by Mr. Snyder in 2011 and is run by a public-private authority. It is a separate district for low-performing schools. It took over the bottom 5 percent of Detroit public schools beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. It will expand statewide beginning next fall.

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