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Both Improvements and Disappointments in Latest M-STEP Results

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, Aug. 30, 2017

Students are gradually improving their scores in mathematics and social studies based on the latest Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress results that were released yesterday by the Michigan Department of Education. But there was also disappointment in the English language arts scores, which declined in all except for one of the grades tested.

According to a MDE release, mathematics scores increased in grades 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (all except 4, which did increase 2.6% in 2016); social studies scores increased in grades 5, 8 and 11. English language arts scores decreased between .8 in grade 8 and 2.3 points in grade 7.

“It’s important to take the time to celebrate our successes—especially in schools and districts whose work is resulting in higher student achievement,” noted State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “Yet, we know we have work to do when it comes to improving reading skills statewide, particularly with our youngest learners. I am confident that investments into Early Childhood education and literacy supports will bring improvement and growth.

"To make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years, we need to provide the focused supports and resources for schools and teachers, to help every child learn to read at grade level by the third grade and beyond.”

The M-STEP tests students in English language arts and math in grades three through eight, in science in grades four and seven, and in social studies in grades five and eight.

According to MDE, state assessments help to provide a snapshot of student achievement; valuable information for parents on their child’s academic achievement; and important data for teachers, school and districts to use in guiding instruction. 2017 marks the third year that the M-STEP has been given.

Nearly 98% of all Michigan schools took the assessment online this year, compared to 80% in 2015. MDE is looking to modify (not replace) the exam to shorten the time and better gauge student growth throughout the year by giving mandatory exams in the fall and spring, with an optional offering in the winter.

“There has been some volatility in statewide assessments recently,” said Superintendent Whiston, noting several proposed and implemented legislative changes. “We want to be responsive to educators; develop a solid and informative testing system; then let it stand for at least 10 years.”

To see your district and building M-STEP results, visit www.mischooldata.org.

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