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 just over 3 percent; writing saw an average increase of nearly 6 percent.
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.
“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.”
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.
According to the MDE, 53.5 percent of the students statewide were proficient in reading, 49.3 percent in writing, 38.6 percent in social studies, 28.6 percent in math and 25.7 percent in science.
In Warren Consolidated Schools, Spokesperson Robert Freehan said the WCS students scored 47 percent in reading, 48 percent in writing, 30 percent in social studies, 23 percent in math and 16 percent in science. Warren Con officials will now access the scores.
“The district’s School Improvement Team has established goals. This is one of the additional pieces of data that goes into the mix of what the School Improvement Team is working on,” Freehan said. “The focus group is looking at individual scores. They continue to focus on achievement.”
One area school officials look at is the difference in the scores from the students who scored high on the tests against the scores in which students scored the lowest.
“When you look at the scores from the top 20 percent and the lowest 20 percent, the goal is to reduce the gap between the lowest (percentages) per student and the highest (percentages) per student,” Freehan said. “We’re really focusing on the lowest-performing students to bring up the scores of the students that are in the lowest 20 percent. We’ll look at how to bring about improvements and what do we need to do in staff development.
“The School Improvement Team that reported the 2012-2013 MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program test) were able to reduce the gap in 32 out of 56 subtests on the MEAP by at least 8 percent,” Freehan said.
Freehan said a subtest is when you “take the basic test and you break it apart.”
“You look at areas that students might not do well in,” he said. “A subtest, all the major curriculum areas are put into content groupings.”
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