Merit Hopefuls Have New Requirements

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In her most recent State of the State Address, Gov. Granholm requested Michigan students put in 40 hours of community service in order to qualify for the $2,500 Merit Award. Traditionally, the award was based solely on MEAP test scores.

Monday, the Merit Award Board approved the proposal. The class of 2006 will be the first class subject to the rule change.

About 40 hours over a four year high school career breaks down to little more than one hour of community service per month.

Extracurricular activities such as choir and band will not qualify as community service. Extended Web Coverage

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: (Michigan Merit Award MEAP Report Web Site) contributed to this report.