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UCS MEAP Scores Show Greatest Gains in Math; Decline in Science

Utica Community Schools outpaced statewide MEAP averages in all subjects in 2011. However, the scores show a decline in social studies and science scores from last year.

Utica Community Schools MEAP scores remain above state and county average, with a slight dip in social studies and science and an increase in math and reading.

At first glance, the 2011 state MEAP scores released today for Michigan schools appear to have taken a nosedive from those of previous years. However, this apparent decline is actually a reflection of the state’s newly adopted cut scores.

In September 2011, the State Board of Education adopted new cut scores, or performance measures, for the MEAP test that would better reflect how well schools are preparing students for each grade level and whether all Michigan students are progressing at the rate necessary for them to be career- and college-ready by high school graduation.

UCS released a video that describes the new cut scores.

"This year, with the change in the cut scores, we have raised the benchmark again. We continue to expect all students to be career-and college-ready," said UCS Superintendent Christine Johns.

These more rigorous cut scores were applied for the first time to the 2011 MEAP results released today, and retroactively applied to previous year’s results for comparison.

Each fall, third through eighth grade students across the state are tested in five subject areas, and their performance defined as advanced, proficient, partially proficient, or not proficient. Students who achieve advanced, or proficient ratings “pass” the test.

On a state level, upwards of 60 percent of students in each tested grade achieved an advanced or proficient rating on the reading portion of the test, while less than 40 percent of students achieved proficiency in mathematics.

In UCS, every grade's math scores improved in 2011 from 2010.

"As a district, our math scores continue to show growth. We have been focused for a very long time in reading and mathematics," said Johns.

In science, tested in grades five and eight, the percentage of students proficient statewide was less than 20 percent and actually decreased from 2010 to 2011 in fifth grade.

The UCS science scores decreased in 2011, and as much as five percentage points for ninth graders.

"This is an area in the curriculum we need to pick up the pace,” Johns said. “ This is not an excuse. They’re just not tested every year. “

Writing, tested in grades four and seven, also saw a decrease statewide, while social studies scores stayed fairly constant.

"We have a lot of room to grow, but this is a positive step," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan, in a prepared statement. "I am very confident that we have professionals in our classrooms who will continue to step up to the challenge of preparing our students to achieve at higher levels."

MEAP math Scores

Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students proficient in the math portion of the test.

Math scores in every grade at UCS increased from last year and exceeded state averages.

Grade 2011 2010 Change UCS 3 44 43.2 Michigan 3 36.3 34.9 UCS 4 51.6 47.9 Michigan 4 39.9 39.6 UCS 5 47.8 46.4 Michigan 5 39.6 38.5 UCS 6 53.1 49.2 Michigan 6 37.1 36.2
UCS 7 53.5 49.9 Michigan 7 37.2 35.9 UCS 8 42.8 38.2 Michigan 8 29.4 28.9

MEAP writing scores

Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students proficient in the writing portion of the test. All writing scores in UCS increased over last year and outpaced state results by than 20 points.

Grade 2011 2010 Change UCS 5 75.5 71.5 Michigan 5 44.5 47.2 UCS 8 72.2 62 Michigan 8 47.3 47.8

MEAP science Scores

Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students proficient in the science portion of the test. Fifth grade science scores for UCS dropped from last year, but scores in eighth grade increased.

Grade 2011 2010 Grade UCS 5  15.3 18.1 Michigan 5 15.3 17.4 UCS 8 21 17.9 Michigan 8 17.4 14.9

MEAP social studies scores

Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students proficient in the social studies portion of the test. UCS social studies scores dropped in 2011 from 2010, but still outpaced state scores.

Grade 2011 2010 Change UCS 6 37 38.8 Michigan 6 27.7 28.1 UCS 9 38.7 43.5 Michigan 9 28.7 33.2
Lorenzo Santavicca February 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Personally, I think there is an issue when these tests are performed in October - nearly a month later when students return from summer recess. Perhaps there may be better results in March or April, when all of the standards, if not more, are covered extravagantly in depth over the course of the months that lead up to March or April.
Theresa March 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM
That is logical. Theresa Rodriguez

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