Floden comments on new MEAP and MME “cut scores”

November 4, 2011

On Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, Michigan state education officials raised the bar for student proficiency on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Exam (MME).

The new “cut scores” method results in a staggering decline of the number of students considered “proficient” in a number of subjects. When officials recalculated the results of last year’s MEAP and MME using the new scoring method, they found that the highest-scoring district — that earned a 99.5 percent proficiency rate in math — would drop to 73.4 percent.

Robert Floden, co-chairman of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, said that improvements to proficiency take time — perhaps even five to 10 years. He also added that students’ test scores are likely to increase if schools can help teachers get training in subjects such as science and math.

“Kids have to learn more. That takes longer. It requires the teachers to learn the content and that takes time. … To get there, it will take a while to get better,” he said.

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