MEAP Changes for Michigan School System

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Standardized testing in Michigan is getting a grade of its own.

The Department of Education held a public hearing Wednesday asking for suggestions on a new test to replace the Michigan Education Assessment Program.

The new state budget requires an overhaul of the testing system....and the D.O.E. used Wednesday's hearing to ask for public input.

"This was more about the kinds of characteristics that we'd have that weren't described in the state law," said Joseph Martineau, Deputy Superintendent of Accountability Services.

Martineau said the changes will improve the learning and testing environments for students.

"I think it really will be worth it for the state," Martineau said. "Because it really is about improving what we're asking students to do...what's tested gets taught. When we can move the assessment in that direction we do believe that the instruction will also move in that direction.

It's a two step process. For the 2014-15 school year, there's a new MEAP to measure the state's standards in core subjects.

Then, the department of education will choose a new test to implement starting in the fall of 2015.

Some teachers support the changes, but Martineau doesn't expect the transition to be without it's bumps.

"I think that with everything that's new there will be some angst."

And that angst being voiced in the hearing.

"This learning program is going to be harder for students to understand," said Jane Wilson, retired teacher from Mid Michigan.

The new MEAP will be implemented starting September 1, 2014.