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MEAP scores up in SL, GH

Jordan Travis • Jul 21, 2015 at 10:51 AM

The MEAP test was given to students in grades three through nine last fall.

Dennis Furton, superintendent of Spring Lake Public Schools, said that the scores reflect the talent of the district’s teachers and students.

“We perform at a very high level year in and year out,” he said. The district has come to expect high MEAP scores, he said, “but we don’t take it for granted.”

While several grades in Grand Haven schools saw a decrease in the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher in one or more subjects, the scores still represent an increase, GHAPS Superintendent Keith Konarska said.

“We are very pleased with our consistent trend of improving achievement levels,” he said. “That trend is one that we can document over the last five years.”

He said evaluating MEAP results will help the district identify areas that need additional focus.

In math, more Spring Lake students met or exceeded the score considered to be proficient in grades three, four and six through eight. The number of fifth-graders meeting this benchmark dropped by nearly two percentage points.

The number of students who met or exceeded reading score expectations dropped slightly among third-graders and in grades five through eight in Spring Lake Schools. More than 90 percent of students in each grade, from third to eighth, scored proficient or better.

More Grand Haven and Spring Lake ninth-graders met or exceeded social studies scores compared last year. This is the only subject reported for this grade level. Sixth-graders from both districts also improved in this subject.

Fewer Spring Lake eighth-graders, and fifth-graders from both districts, met or exceeded the science proficiency score.

A change in the writing portion of the test, both in higher standards as well as grades tested, makes a comparison to last year’s results impossible, Konarska said.

While Furton is pleased with the results, he said that next year’s higher cut scores for what is considered proficient would likely change the appearance of these scores.

“Currently, in order to score proficient or above, the level is lower than it should be,” he said. “When I see 100 percent of our third-graders [met that level], on one hand that’s a very positive number, on the other hand we might see that percent drop.”

Statewide, the percentage of students taking the Michigan Educational Assessment Program who were proficient or better in math increased in grades five through eight from a year earlier. The biggest increase was for eighth-graders, where the percentage scoring proficient or advanced rose from 70 percent in fall 2009 to 78 percent in fall 2010.

The percentage of Michigan’s proficient third-graders remained steady at fall 2009’s 95 percent and fell one point to 91 percent for fourth-graders.

The state Department of Education said that overall MEAP test results show improvements in student performance and a narrowing of achievement gaps since testing began in 2005.

State schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan said he expects to see a drop in the passing rates on the MEAP tests next year — not because of a drop in performance but because of a rise in the grade scale.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To see a summary of  MEAP scores, visit these Michigan Department of Education web sites:

Grand Haven:

Spring Lake:

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