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How Would Farmington Students Fare Under New MME, MEAP Standards?

The state Department of Education looks at recent results under next year's 'cut' scores.

The Michigan Department of Education has released what it calls a “retrospective look” at how students would have fared on past MEAP and MME exams if new cut scores were in place.

Overall, the results show a major decline in student test scores across the state in math, reading, science and social science. In third-grade math, for instance, scores in 2010, go from 95 percent proficient to 35 percent when measured against the new cut scores.

In 11 of 23 scores, students either hold their own or drop by fewer than 20 points under the new standard. These scores take drops of more than 30 points:

MME Math: 63 percent to 37.3 percent

MME Social Studies: 83 percent to 33 percent

MEAP Gr. 3 Math: 97.7 percent to 52.8 percent

MEAP Gr. 4 Math: 95.4 percent to 57.6 percent

MEAP Gr. 5 Math: 85.7 percent to 52 percent, Science: 83.9 percent to 25.2 percent

MEAP Gr. 6 Math: 94.5 percent to 62 percent, Social Studies: 88 percent to 41.7 percent

MEAP Gr. 7 Math: 90 percent to 52.3 percent

MEAP Gr. 8 Math: 89.1 percent to 56.1 percent, Science: 86.6 percent to 16.2 percent

MEAP Gr. 9 Social Studies: 83.6 percent to 44.8 percent

Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch will meet with Farmington Schools officials next week to discuss what the numbers mean for the district.

Officials said the MDE released the past four years data as a way to prepare districts for this year’s results. Jan Ellis, a spokeswoman for the department, said schools can use the information to inform instruction and put in supports and interventions to increase future scores.

The cut scores – the passing scores that distinguish between whether a student is advanced, proficient, partially proficient or not proficient in certain subjects - were adopted by the State Board of Education in September. With the more rigorous cut scores, students need to get roughly 65 percent of the answers correct to “pass” the state test, instead of only 39 percent as was the previous benchmark.

Officials said the tougher standards are needed to get Michigan students on par with others who are college and career-ready. The boost in scores is expected now to give students more than basic understanding of concepts.

“These data will provide educators, parents and communities with a more accurate understanding of what student achievement would have been if the new cut scores had been in place during the past four years,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan in a press release. “These retro-scores can serve as a tool to guide instruction, professional development and student support.” 

State officials said the scores released today are for informational purposes only – as a promise kept to administrators to give them an early look at how students would have fared and what areas students

According to the press release: “These retro-scores will not be used to recalculate any school accountability measures such as adequate yearly progress. They provide historical context to prepare for the implementation of new cut scores, beginning with the scores from this fall’s MEAP tests.”

Flanagan explained that the previous standard was based on the very basic knowledge that students needed in the old industrial manufacturing economy – where students could get a high school diploma and go into a factory and get a very good paying job. Those opportunities are mostly gone now, he said, with students needing at least a two-year community college education to compete in the tech-driven, knowledge-based economy of the 21st Century.

“We have to be honest with ourselves about where we are in preparing our kids for the reality of today’s global economy,” Flanagan said. “These updated scores, while they may be difficult to accept, will help lead Michigan forward. Just looking good is not better than being good.”

MME 2011


Subject Actual New Cut Math 63 37.3 Reading 71 61.5 Social Studies 83 33.4 Writing 57 56.9 Science 69 49.6


MEAP 2010


GR 3

Subject Actual New Cut Math 97.7 52.8 Reading 90.4 70.8


GR 4

Subject Actual New Cut Math 95.4 57.6 Reading 90.1 75.1 Writing 60.5 60.5


GR 5

Subject Actual New Cut Math 85.7 52 Reading 91.5 76.8 Science 83.9 25.2


GR 6

Subject Actual New Cut Math 94.5 62 Reading 92 79 Social Studies 88 41.7


GR 7

Subject Actual New Cut Math 90.1 52.3 Reading 87.1 65.6 Writing 59.4 59.4


GR 8

Subject Actual New Cut Math 89.1 56.1 Reading 88.1 68.3 Science 86.6 16.2


GR 9

Subject Actual New Cut Social Studies 83.6 44.8

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch for additional coverage.

David Anderson November 11, 2011 at 04:51 PM
I am not sure with whom I am angrier. Is it with the Michigan Department of Education who initially thought 39% was a reasonable hurdle to be considered "proficient", or is it with our District who has claimed to be pursuing excellence and maintaned the charade of proficiency by not challenging our students, teachers, administrators to do better. I know this will impact all districts, and that all districts will see a decline - but this does not make this deficiency acceptable. 39%!! This standard is lower than the winning percentage at your typical slot machine. We dedicate so many resources to the "MEAP Season" and this is the outcome? I don't want to hear an explanation of why our scores were lowered. I don't want to hear that other districts faced worse declines. And I don't want to read about how we don't agree with a) standardized testing or b) the scoring methodology. What I want to hear is a plan to do better. You want to attract students to the district? Do better. You don't want to continually defend our district? Do better.

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