In an effort to meet the Legislature’s requirement to revamp the MEAP test in time for next spring, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) continues to make changes to the MEAP. The latest change requires administering the test online and school districts have until Nov. 14 to file an online waiver request with MDE to offer a paper and pencil test option.
This last requirement has left districts scrambling to prepare teachers to give the test, to ensure that students are prepared to take the tests using an online format, and to have the necessary working technology. Many districts feel they don’t have the time to make the changes required by the new test and are choosing to file a waiver request.
MDE had been counting on using the Smarter Balanced assessments because they aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), but when lawmakers made it a requirement in MDE’S budget to offer the MEAP, it signaled the end to Smarter Balanced and a race to turn the MEAP into an assessment that would measure growth using CCSS.
Last spring, when some school districts piloted the online Smarter Balanced, there were system crashes, computer screens frozen, or students needing to re-log in after they were kicked out of the system. Online testing had to be rescheduled which ultimately cost instructional time and unfairly penalized students for issues out of anyone’s control.
These same concerns still linger with this new MEAP format.
In addition to changing the testing format of the MEAP, MDE has designated third through eighth and eleventh grade students to take the test and moved administration of the new MEAP from the fall to the spring.