Higher standards lead to lower MEAP scoresPublished 9:49pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Buchanan Supt. Andrea van der Laan said parents shouldn’t panic when they see the results of the 2011 fall Michigan Education Assessment Program, or MEAP, released Wednesday by the state.
The state raised the cut scores for this year’s test, meaning far fewer students are scoring at what is considered a proficient level than in years past.
“Because of the new cut scores they may be seeing drops in our overall test scores, but that is state wide,” she said. “That is not just a Buchanan issue.”
Other area superintendents offered similar takes on this year’s MEAP scores.
In mathematics, just 36 percent of third grade students and 40 percent of fourth and fifth grade students attained proficiency statewide. Scores in reading were better statewide, with more than 60 percent of students in grades 3-8 obtaining proficiency.
When comparing local school district scores to statewide averages, the results are a mixed bag.
Buchanan students beat state averages in reading in all grades except the sixth grade, while exceeding state averages in fifth and eighth grade science. Buchanan was below the state average in math scores in all grades except fourth and eighth.
Niles students did best in math, beating state averages in all but the sixth and seventh grades. Niles lagged behind state averages in science, writing and social studies.
“We know there are areas we need to improve and one of those is writing,” said Niles Supt. Richard Weigel. “But we’ve been making some major inroads there.”
Brandywine students overall recorded lower scores when compared to statewide averages. Brandywine was strongest in fourth and sixth grade reading and seventh grade math.
“We knew there would be fewer students reaching proficiency due to the change in cut scores,” said Brandywine Supt. John Jarpe. “Regardless of that it is disappointing knowing you don’t have a higher number of students in the proficient range.”
The state raised the cut scores to better reflect college and career readiness. Scores are broken down into four levels: advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient. To be considered proficient on the MEAP, a student has to score in the “advanced” or “proficient” levels.
The MEAP is given each year to students in grades 3-9.