Last year of MEAP testing shows continued improvement in fourth grade reading scores

Fourth graders improved their reading test scores for the fourth year in a row according to the Michigan Department of Education's release of the Fall 2013 MEAP scores. The scores show the reading levels of students at the end of third grade and are broken down by school districts.

In 2013, 70 percent of fourth graders were proficient in reading, while in 2012, 68.1 percent were proficient. This has been a steady increase since 2010, when 63.5 percent were proficient.

In addition to the four-year trend of increases in fourth grade reading scores, writing scores were up for grades four and seven and math scores remained stable for grades six and seven at a steady increase over the past four years.

Social studies scores, however, reflected a four-year downward trend in grades six and nine.

For students in the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA), scores were still near the bottom.

This will be the last year for the MEAP test in grades three through nine. A new assessment will be used in the spring of 2015, but the Legislature has not yet decided what assessment will be used. MDE has recommended the Smarter Balanced tests.

So far, the MEAP has been the only statewide measure to assess student growth and is need of replacement. It was a one-time, high stakes-test that fell short of assessing what is actually being taught. Its focus was on information retention rather than real learning. Now, that the state has adopted the Common Core State Standards, it's necessary to use an assessment which aligns with them.