LANSING — Michigan standardized test results for grades three to eight showed mixed math and reading level changes in 2013, with almost one-third of students failing reading and more than half failing math.
Reading proficiency averaged 67.9 percent across the tested grades, up slightly from 66.8 percent in 2012.
Scores in third grade decreased the most from 2012, dropping 5.2 percentage points to 61.3 percent. Eighth-grade reading scores increased the most, rising 7 percentage points to 72.7 percent.
Math proficiency averaged about 41 percent overall in 2013 and 2012.
“It’s encouraging to see academic improvements in our state, especially in reading,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement.
The Bedford Public Schools were above the Monroe County average in all 18 categories, and exceeded the state average in all categories except third grade math, said Edward Manuszak, the district's assistant superintendent for instruction and student services.
The third grade math score was 0.3 percentage points below the state average and five percentage points above the county average.
“We're very proud of the effort our students and staff have put forth,” Mr. Manuszak said. “Overall, we remain very strong in reading and writing, and math, science, and social studies are areas where we are working hard to improve. We are never satisfied, because we are always trying to improve.”
The scores released by the state Department of Education are from the final round of testing with the Michigan Education Assessment Program, which has been phased out. A new test is scheduled to be used in 2015.
“We know we have more to do, which is why I’ve committed to continue to strategically invest in education so Michigan students are prepared for colleges and careers,” Mr. Snyder said.
Students took the most recent test in October to measure skills learned the previous school year. MEAP tests reading and math in grades 3 through 8; science in grades 5 and 8; social studies in grades 6 and 9; and writing in grades 4 and 7.
Science scores were the state’s lowest overall despite increasing from 2012. Only 16.8 percent of fifth graders and 19.8 percent of eighth graders passed in 2013.
Social studies grades showed 26.5 percent of sixth graders and 25.6 percent of ninth graders passing. Unlike the other subjects’ mixed results over four years, scores in social studies have trended downward since 2010, except for a one-year increase for grade 6 in 2012.
Half of the test-takers passed writing, with 50.5 percent of fourth graders and 53 percent of seventh graders scoring proficient. Both are increases over 2012.