Student Movement Problematic for Lansing

By: Jeremy Ross
By: Jeremy Ross

Mid-Michigan’s largest school district released its mobility numbers, or sum of students transferring into and out of Lansing schools. Three schools showed the most mobility and teachers say it hurts the district when it comes to the MEAP.

Maple Grove, Walnut and Grand River elementary schools had at least 20-percent of its classrooms showing mobility.

In the case of Walnut about a quarter of its classrooms were in transition from September 2002 to February of 2003.

Teachers say the mobility threatens their ability to have continuous MEAP training and claim the transition is a major factor in the districts lower than average MEAP performance.

School officials say education-pacing guides designed to coordinate teaching across the district will combat this trend.

Boku Hendrickson, Principal of Walnut St. Elementary says the student movement is due in part to parents often moving to avoid increases in rent.

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Facts About the MEAP Test

  • The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests were developed for the purpose of determining what students know and what students are able to do, as compared to these standards, at key checkpoints during their academic career.

  • The MEAP tests have been recognized nationally as sound, reliable and valid measurements of academic achievement.

  • Students who score high on these tests have demonstrated significant achievement in valued knowledge and skill.

  • The tests provide a common denominator to measure how well students are doing, and to assure that all Michigan students are measured on the same skills and knowledge, in the same way, at the same time.

  • Properly Used, the MEAP tests can:
    • Measure academic achievement as compared to expectations, and whether it is improving over time.

    • Determine whether improvement programs and policies are having the desired effect.

    • Target academic help where it’s needed.

  • The MEAP tests and administration of the tests are far from perfect, but our collective effort should be student focused with a clear bias toward accurate analysis, constructive criticism and continual improvement.

  • The MEAP tests were developed to measure what Michigan educators believe all students should know and be able to achieve in five content areas:
    • Mathematics
    • Reading
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Writing

  • The MEAP test is the only common measure given statewide to all students. It serves as a measure of accountability for Michigan schools.

Source: http://www.meritaward.state.mi.us/ (Michigan Merit Award MEAP Report Web Site) contributed to this report.


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