2012-03-22 / Community

Area superintendents comment on MEAP scores

With the recent public release of the latest Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test results, and the state changes in cut scores, tightening the criteria for students to be deemed “proficient,” the Pioneer-Tribune asked Manistique Area Schools Superintendent Kathy McDonough and Big Bay de Noc Superintendent Bill Pistulka to discuss their view of the data.

McDonough said “The MEAP test is one snapshot taken on one day, and much can be going on for any given child on that one test day.”

McDonough said they can point to substantial progress, especially in reading, with weekly, bimonthly and quarterly DIBELS and AIMS Web data.

When you mix in the new cut scores, which raise the achievement bar, McDonough said the district is down, but going up even with that comparison. In addition, MAS was still either above or even in most areas, when compared to the results for the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District and the statewide numbers.

“We know where the weaknesses are and have begun to address those areas during our Wednesday morning professional development delayed starts and curriculum changes,” Mc- Donough said. “Public education continues to be subjected to legislated flat or lower funding; and, in some cases, unfunded mandates. In spite of all that the state throws at us, our teachers and support staff always has the academic needs and best interest of all children at heart.”

Pistulka said while there is always room for improvement, their MEAP scores have been consistent from year to year.

With the No Child Left Behind, Michigan started at a higher level trying to reach 100 percent proficiency by 2014.

They (the state) now recognize that is not going to happen so they came back with the new cut scores, which is intended to set us up nationally not just in Michigan, its like we are starting over again.

While he said reading has improved, math and science scores are not where they would like.

“We knew prior to the MEAP results coming out that we needed to concentrate on improving math and science scores. It’s the area we are weakest in; plans are in place to deal with it. It is part of an ongoing effort here at Big Bay,” Pistulka commented.

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