Troy School District students’ test scores make the grade

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 12, 2017

 Third-graders Jiya Kalavadia, left, and Ishan Dhilde put sticky notes with their ideas about a story they read on a board.

Third-graders Jiya Kalavadia, left, and Ishan Dhilde put sticky notes with their ideas about a story they read on a board.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

TROY — Troy School District students’ most recent standardized test scores were well above state and county averages, according to results from the Michigan Department of Education. 

Students in all grades in the Troy School District exceeded state and county averages in all subjects tested.

This is the second year that students in the Troy School District have taken the M-STEP test online. 

Students across the state took the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress test for the first time in the 2014-15 school year. The test replaced the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test. Troy School District students took the first M-STEP with paper and pencil before the test was moved online. 

District and building M-STEP results for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 are available at www.mischooldata.org.

Statewide, math scores increased in grades three, five, six, seven and eight. Social studies scores increased in grades five, eight and 11.

“The spring 2017 results show math and social studies scores are continuing to improve, and that is exciting news,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said in a prepared statement. “The English language arts scores are disappointing, however.”

In the Troy School District, students’ English language arts scores dropped for students in grades three, four and eight; stayed flat for grade five; and increased for grades six and seven. Science scores for 11th-graders also dropped. 

Troy School District Superintendent Rich Machesky said the state assessment varies every year. 

“Until the state shares with us how they came up with the scores, I don’t see much validity,” he said. 

However, he noted that, “Troy is still at the top of the county. I’m proud our students do very well on standardized tests. That’s not what we look at to measure student achievement.” 

Machesky said teachers assess students daily and weekly. 

“That is more meaningful when we look at student growth. We believe if we do these things effectively, standardized tests will take care of themselves.

“Assessments focused at the local level by a teacher who knows a student will best inform student growth,” Machesky said. 

“There are a variety of documents on the website that explain the range of scores needed for a student to attain a certain proficiency level and reports that explain how performance level scale ranges are determined. We are the only test in the state that measures student performance against state college and career-ready standards,” said Jan Ellis, a spokesperson for the MDE. “Our test shows how students are learning our standards.” 

She urged parents to visit www.michigan.gov/mstep and click on M-STEP/MME Parent Report Video, which explains how to interpret student scores.