Most Michigan school districts’ test scores improved in spring 2022

Classroom Generic
Classroom Generic(WAFB)
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 12:04 PM EDT
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MICHIGAN (WNEM) - A majority of school districts across Michigan showed improvements in their spring 2022 statewide test results over last year.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) said for schools to continue improving, unfinished learning from the pandemic needs to be addressed.

During the third year affected by the pandemic and a teacher shortage, students started to rebound but there’s still a need for more support and learning time for children and educators, the MDE said.

On average, from third to seventh grade, 54.5 percent of school districts increased their achievement scores in English language arts, and 4 percent of districts maintained their achievement levels compared to last year, according to the MDE.

School districts, on average from third to seventh grades, saw a 55.9 percent increase in their mathematics scores, and 7.4 percent of districts maintained their levels, the MDE said.

“Last year was a stronger year for our children, given the courageous work of our students and staff, but we continue to have a lot of room for improvement,” State Superintendent Michael Rice said. “Supported by an extraordinary fiscal year 2023 budget recently negotiated by Gov. Whitmer and the state legislature, this school year will be critical to the growth and achievement of our students.”

Students’ participation rate for taking the M-STEP in 2022 was more than 95 percent compared to about 70 percent of students taking the M-STEP in 2021.

The 2021 M-STEP was required to be administered by school districts but was optional for students to take depending on parents’ beliefs about the safety of going into school to take the assessment, MDE said.

The MDE is looking for critical investments in this year’s budget which includes:

· A per pupil foundation allowance increase of $450 per student (5.2% increase)

· An increase of $246 million for students with disabilities (15.6% increase)

· An increase of $223 million for economically disadvantaged students (42.5% increase)

· An increase of $10 million for career and technical education programming (26.6% increase)

· An increase of $1.3 million for English language learners (5.2% increase)

· An additional $38,000 for students in rural and isolated districts (5.2% increase)

· An increase of $245 million for children’s mental health in schools

· An increase of $210 million for school safety

· Additional funding to continue the expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program for four-year-old children

· A first-time investment of $575 million for teacher recruitment efforts

“In spite of the great efforts of students, educators, and community members, our schools have not yet returned to pre-pandemic achievement levels, in Michigan or in states across the country. We are still wrestling with profound staffing shortages that existed prior to, and were exacerbated by, the pandemic–shortages that were largely borne of inadequate pre-pandemic funding,” Rice said. “The extraordinary fiscal year 2023 school aid budget negotiated by Governor Whitmer and the state legislature will help Michigan students and schools improve at this challenging time. This budget begins to help us substantially address the academic, safety, and mental health challenges of our students.”