Educators Speak Out on Possible MEAP Changes

By: Jeremy Ross
By: Jeremy Ross

The State Department of Education is considering changing the dates when elementary and middle school students take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP.

State officials say they may change the spring tests to ones held in the fall.

Educators say the state would have to adjust more than the dates, because MEAP benchmarks and curriculum are geared to the current timeline.

A change would mean a major change in how schools teach or what is on the MEAP.

The Michigan Education Association has no official comment on the issue, but said any change to the timeline that MEAP is on should be due to educational factors and not just a scheduling or logistical change.

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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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