Some Bright Spots Shine in Farmington Schools MEAP Results
While overall district proficiency results declined, some schools made gains.
As officials look at measured by state MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program) tests, some bright spots emerge.
Officials have explained that higher cut scores – the passing scores that distinguish between whether a student is advanced, proficient, partially proficient or not proficient in certain subjects – have moved students judged proficient last year to partially proficient this year.
But in every elementary, upper elementary and middle school, at least one class made progress.
The greatest subject area of improvement was reading. Student proficiency improved in reading at Warner Upper Elementary (5th grade); East (7th-8th grades) and Dunckel (7th grade) middle schools; and Beechview (3rd-4th grades), Gill (3rd grade), Kenbrook (4th grade), Lanigan (4th grade), Longacre (3rd-4th grades), Forest (3rd grade), Wood Creek (4th grade) and Highmeadow (3rd-4th grades) elementary schools.
Writing proficiency improved at East (7th grade), Gill (4th grade), Beechview (4th grade) and Lanigan (4th grade). Fourth graders at Kenbrook and Lanigan and 3rd graders at Longacre and improved their math scores.
Science proficiency among East 8th graders jumped from 10.1 percent to 18.1 percent, and 6th graders improved their social studies proficiency from 40.4 percent to 43.8 percent.
Cut scores determined by statistics
Kristin Gekiere, the district's director of assessment and school improvement, said state officials set cut scores based on purely statistical information that links 11th grade Michigan Merit Exam (MME) scores to college grades, and then MEAP scores to the MME scores:
- "Advanced" is now defined as having a 2-in-3 or greater chance of earning an A or B in college, or being proficient on the next grade level test.
- "Proficient" students have a 1-in-2 to 2-in-3 chance of earning an A or B in college, or being proficient on the next grade level test.
- "Partially proficient" students have a 1-in-3 to 1-in-2 chance of earning an A or B in college, or being proficient on the next grade level test.
- "Not proficient" students have less than a 1-in-3 chance of earning an A or B in college, or being proficient on the next grade level test.
Gekiere noted the science proficiency at all levels is particularly low, because of a much higher standard than in the other subject areas. She encouraged anyone interested in learning more about how the new cut scores were set to watch an 11-minute video, linked on the district's website.
She acknowledged this can all be difficult to understand. "The tests haven't changed. The standards haven't changed. But the level of being proficient has changed," she said.
Here's a look, school by school, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in 2011 and previous years:
|N. Farmington||09||S. Studies||45||50.5||58.1||58.5|