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MDE Assists Districts in Preparing for M-STEP

Stacy Bogard

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

DashBoard, April 8, 2015

After three years of districts improving their technology infrastructure in preparation for online assessments, teaching and learning, 80 percent of Michigan school buildings are ready to use the new online assessment, Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, starting April 13.

The Michigan Department of Education has been working with districts to ensure that the system will operate smoothly through preliminary testing and technology readiness monitoring. The M-STEP will be given to students in grades 3-8 and 11 to measure current knowledge and understanding of state standards for math, English language arts, science and social studies.

According to a MDE press release, “An online technology readiness diagnostic took place at 12 sites within seven ISDs across the state from March 2 – 10. These planned visits were designed to encompass a broad spectrum of locations, technical environments and configurations, providing a representative sample that schools could follow to configure and prepare for the Spring 2015 online assessments.”

The sites included: Ingham ISD, Waverly Schools, Waterford School District, Waterford Mott High School, Detroit Public Schools, Oakland ISD, Macomb ISD, Dort Elementary School in Flint, Roseville Middle School, Charlevoix-Emmet ISD, Boyne City High School and Boyne City Middle School.

"I would like to thank the schools and districts for opening their doors to allow us to see firsthand how schools are preparing for our new online assessment, and the value of getting the students familiar with testing online," State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said. "These locations served as valuable learning laboratories and allow others to benefit from their experiences."

During the eight-week testing window, April 13 – June 5, MDE has established “Tiger Teams” to quickly respond to and support schools.

"Our teams have worked extraordinarily hard to help schools prepare for this first year of online assessments across the state,” Flanagan said.  “The tools, technical assistance and support have been available to schools for months to ensure software and systems are working and provide students with an opportunity to take an online practice test, prior to the real testing.”

The schools that are not yet tech-ready will use a paper-and-pencil option that will be available through the Spring 2017 M-STEP administration.

For more information, read the full MDE press release here.

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