MDE considering redefining 'proficient' on standardized tests

With MEAP testing winding down, the Michigan Department of Education is considering giving a break to schools that succeed in helping poor-performing students improve academically by redefining proficiency on state standardized tests.

Students who fail the MEAP, but whose scores show significant improvement, could be considered proficient. Now, a student who is on track for becoming proficient within three years is counted as proficient. Next year, the state will be using a color-coded accountability system. With the Department's proposed change, some schools could get a better state rating.

The Department is considering the change since raising the academic goals for individual schools. Students will have to answer more questions correctly on state tests--like the MEAP--to be considered proficient. According to the Department, "It is even more important to be able to give credit for students making progress towards that new standard."