Michigan Merit Exam is outdated; state leaders must implement new Common Core standards

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 25, 2013 — This week’s release of the Michigan Merit Exam results reinforces the need for lawmakers to scrap the obsolete standardized test and instead fully implement the Common Core State Standards, the president of the Michigan Education Association said today.

The MME results showed a slight decline in student test scores this year, yet a trend of improved scores over the last four years. Proficiency scores in reading, writing, social studies, math and science have swung back and forth each year, making the exam unpredictable and unreliable.

“The Michigan Merit Exam is outdated and doesn’t reflect the curriculum that is being taught in classrooms throughout the state, yet students and educators are unfairly being evaluated based on MME scores,” MEA President Steve Cook said. “It’s time for our state’s leaders to get rid of the Michigan Merit Exam and implement the Common Core State Standards.”

Michigan educators, administrators and policymakers began the process of implementing the Common Core State Standards in 2009. States must adopt the national standards in order to receive federal education funds.

Despite the fact that educators have spent the better part of three years preparing for its launch, the Legislature earlier this month irresponsibly stripped funding for Common Core implementation. Legislators left Lansing last Thursday to begin their summer vacations.

“As a result of the Legislature’s short-sighted action, local school districts will once again have to change learning standards for teachers and students this fall, and they will once again be forced to base teacher evaluations on obsolete exams,” Cook said. “It’s not too late for our elected leaders to come back to Lansing and correct their error by restoring Common Core funding.”