School districts anticipate drop in MEAP and MME scores

BALDWIN - Across the State of Michigan, school districts are bracing for a dramatic decline in MEAP and MME test scores. Schools in Mason, Lake and Oceana Counties are taking a proactive approach to communicating with parents and the community regarding scoring changes to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and Michigan Merit Exam (MME) tests this year.

Each year, students in grades 3-9 are required to take the MEAP and eleventh graders are required to take the MME. If you haven’t already, you will soon begin hearing news reports about new cutoff scores, or “cut scores” that the Michigan State Board of Education recently adopted for these tests.

So, what are cut scores and why has the Michigan State Board of Education changed them?

MEAP and MME cut scores separate test takers into various categories, such as advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient. Michigan’s previous cut scores for these state tests were set at a very basic level. Raising the cut scores will give Michigan parents and students a much better sense of whether they are adequately prepared for the next step in their education and a future career in a global economy.

On some tests, students previously could have answered as few as 40 percent of the questions correctly to be considered proficient. Under the new scoring system, students will have to correctly answer a much higher percentage of questions. Michigan is one of only three states in the nation (along with New York and Tennessee) to move to this top tier level of test scoring.

In school districts all across the state, MEAP and MME proficiency results are expected to decline when publicly released next spring. While we anticipate an initial drop in the number of students reported as “proficient,” we are confident this change will be temporary due to ongoing school improvement efforts and student support.

If a student is reported as “not proficient,” it does not mean that he or she isn’t gaining academic skills or knowledge expected for his or her grade level. It means that on the day of the test, this student was not yet proficient on the material being tested for college and career readiness. Many students may require additional help and/or time to master these

skills.

We will be examining our curriculum to respond to this more challenging level of test scoring. In addition, our staff will focus our professional development efforts on enhancing our abilities to rise to the challenge presented by these recent changes.

Undoubtedly, parents will have many questions about the scoring changes. Our school will continue to provide information through a variety of communication channels such as newsletters, emails, websites, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Please contact us with questions you may have regarding the change in scoring for MEAP and MME assessments.