FRASER — In March 2013, high school juniors across the state took the Michigan Merit Exam, and on June 24 the Michigan Department of Education released the scores.
According to the MDE, the results statewide show a four-year “upward trend” in student proficiency on both the 2013 MME and ACT college entrance exam, but the MME student proficiency scores declined “slightly” from last year to this year.
Looking at four-year trends, the largest gains on the MME occurred in mathematics and writing, according to the MDE. Mathematics saw an average increase in percent proficient of slightly more than three percent; writing saw an average increase in percent proficient of nearly six percent.
“Over the past four years, more high school students are being taught challenging content and are becoming career- and college-ready. This upward trend is good news for students, educators and our state,” state Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in a prepared statement. “While assessment score fluctuations are not unusual when comparing different classes of students, results show the need to continue the state’s strong commitment to high standards.”
Science and social studies also showed four-year positive gains, with science increasing an average of 1.5 percent and social studies increasing 1.1 percent statewide. Reading experienced yearly fluctuations, ending with a slight decline over the same four-year period; however, it still has the highest student performance across the five MME subject areas, with 53.5 percent of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced,” according to the MDE.
The MME is administered over three days with students taking the ACT Plus Writing college exam on day one, WorkKeys job skills assessment on day two and the Michigan components of math, science and social studies on the third day.
Local educators already have been accessing the scores.
“Overall, the percent of students in the advanced category has improved,” said Karen Hessler, Parker Elementary School principal in Clintondale Community Schools. “When we access our scores, we look for continued growth over the years. We then key in on our strengths and weaknesses. We then construct our school improvement plan, which focuses on maintaining our areas of success and improving our weaknesses.”
According to the MDE, Clintondale students were 8.7 percent proficient in math, 37.5 percent proficient in reading, 8.7 percent proficient in science, 18.8 percent proficient in social studies and 26.3 percent proficient in writing. The list included students attending the International Academy of Macomb and the Early College of Macomb program.
Fraser Public Schools administrators also are analyzing the results.
“Although Fraser’s results have been steady, we believe we can do better,” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Carrie Wozniak said. “As such, we are actively working to improve our scores, and we will be developing strategies for implementation as we begin next school year.”
According to Fraser officials, the MME results for the district are at or above the county level in reading, social studies and writing. Fraser exceeded the state average in social studies.
According to the MDE results, Fraser students were 23.9 percent proficient in math, 50.4 percent proficient in reading, 19.4 percent proficient in science, 39.6 percent proficient in social studies and 48.8 percent proficient in writing. The list included students attending the IAM and ECM scores.
“Fraser remains committed to academic excellence,” Wozniak said. “As we continue to redesign classrooms for 21st century students, this data will help us better understand where we need to focus instruction to continue to improve student achievement.”
The MDE also included scores of the Arts Academy in the Woods students. The school, located in Fraser, is a free public high school chartered by the Macomb Intermediate School District. It offers all Michigan students the opportunity to focus in the fine and performing arts while completing the Michigan Merit Curriculum.
According to the MDE results, AAIW students were 12 percent proficient in math, 50 percent proficient in reading, 2.7 percent proficient in science, 20 percent proficient in social studies and 41.6 percent proficient in writing.
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