Review the tests

We have all heard the pros and cons of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test, which is mandated for Michigan's public schools.
Feb 7, 2013

Many — educators included — question if this is really the way to go.

Some private schools have stopped MEAP testing and replaced it with the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test. One of their main arguments for tossing out the MEAP is that it is given once a year and results aren’t returned to the school for months.

The MAP, on the other hand, is a computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child’s academic growth. It is given three times each school year to continually assess student progress and adapt learning as needed. Results are back in a week.

These tests are tailored to an individual's current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do. Because the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions as the test progresses, each student takes a unique test.

One of the cons of the MAP is that it doesn’t measure writing skills.

A Michigan public school teacher recently wrote that he and his wife, also a public school teacher, exempted their children from MEAP testing and had them read a good book instead.  He claims the MEAP was pushed by politicians and business people, not educators.

“No parent or teacher I know of had any input,” he said.

How best to measure education has been debated for years, and we’re not here to hail one test as better than the other. Instead, we recognize the need to constantly review, tweak and, if needed, change the way we test.

It would make a lot of sense to get input from teachers and parents who have a bigger stake in this than politicians in Lansing and Washington.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

NSViews

How about reinstating the Michigan Promise for those students who scored and earned the scholarship by scoring well on the MEAP as well as good grades? When this was revoked in 2009 too many came to understand that a promise really ISN'T a promise. One could argue that good grades are their own reward, yet this is a bit simplistic. Furthermore, I am sure that whoever created the MEAP, scores the MEAP, and perpetuates continued MEAP testing is promised and rewarded quite handsomely. The state should give the kids what was promised to them.

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