MEAP Results Revealed

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MEAP results were release Monday throughout the state. Michigan's 3rd through 8th graders show they've made significant improvements in math and reading from last year; Lansing's students are no exception.

"We are happy with math scores because this time last year, that was an area of big concern," says LSD director of research Maria-Carol Nwagwu.

"We're ecstatic," says Mike Flanagan, state superintendent. "This is really a demonstration that when we're clear about what teachers have to teach and students have to learn, it takes care of itself."

But the good news only goes so far. There were areas, especially writing, that declined from 2005. And while Lansing students are faring better than last year, they're still performing well below the state averages.

"It's true. There are gaps between us and the state, but in some areas, those gaps have narrowed across the board," Nwagwu says.

At Post Oak Elementary School in Lansing, Principal Camela Diaz is pleased with her school's MEAP performance. She recalls a time where good scores weren't in their vocabulary.

"Four years ago, we were in corrective action," she says. "So we were on the verge of reconstruction. But for the last three years, we've made AYP, and I think we made it again this year."

AYP is the Adequate Yearly Progress. The incentive behind the MEAP is that if schools don't reach AYP, they'll be in danger of being taken over by the state or federal government. That future seems far away now.

"All groups, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, economically disadvantaged students, special ed students-- all fourth graders made big improvements," says Nwagwu.

"MEAPs are misunderstood," adds Flanagan. "They're diagnostic, like a doctor trying to find out what's wrong before you get the disease."

So this year's MEAPs, though positive overall, are just another jumping off point for next year.