Parents Concerned about M-STEP

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It's called Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress or M-STEP for short.

"This is the first year we'll be doing the MSTEP assessment," said Andrew Middlestead, the Director of Office of Standards and Assessment at the Michigan Department of Education. "We're replacing the MEAP that was the assessment for the last 44 years.

And most schools will be taking them online.

"Moving to online assessment allows us to use a lot of technology resources in the online assessment system that gives students a more interactive," said Middlestead.

But taking tests can be stressful, for students and parents.

"I guess you gotta know if what you're teaching is being absorbed, but I just wish they had a better way to do it," said Virginia Crump who's a parent.

"When it comes time for that test to happen, she's going to start struggling and worrying about her math skills cause she knows they're not up to par for her grade," said Penelope Hines-Conrad who's also a parent.

Even if the results won't affect the students.

'Their success on these tests do not impact whether they move on in school or what grades they get in their classes," said Middlestead.

The Michigan State Department of Education says since it's the first year for M-STEP, they're in a transitional period. There aren't any high stakes, but these tests help measure accountability.

"It's just part of our accountability system, and what we have to do is look at how schools are doing in Michigan," said Middlestead.

And the Lansing School District says teachers have been preparing for it all year.

"Teachers have been working really hard to make sure we have a coherent curriculum across all grades, so this curriculum that has been learned by students and hopefully the test will reflect that," said Mark Coscarella, Lansing School District's Associate Superintendent.

And give the department of education a better idea of how kids are doing.

Parents can opt their students out of the test if they want, but school's cant.
They need to test at least 95 percent of their students.