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State: Michigan Reading, Math Test Results Improve

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – State officials say Michigan elementary and middle school students generally improved scores for math and reading in the latest round of standardized test results.

The scores released Wednesday are more difficult to compare to previous years because of a tougher grading scale adopted for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) exams taken in the fall of 2011. The Department of Education recalculated test scores from previous years using the new scoring scale to provide a more meaningful comparison.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke live with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mike Flanagan who said these scores offer a school-by-school analysis.

“I was at the dentist the other day and I was asked by the dentist who’s thinking about moving in an area, what about district X? But it really comes down to the school and, frankly, the teacher and how they’re doing with the kids,” Flanagan said.

“So, the system and the reforms that we have in place are really headed toward, for parents, kind of like a consumer digest. So they can see what teachers in particular are really knocking the socks off this and doing really well with kids,” he said.

Hear our complete interview with Flanagan:

MEAP Tests

It now takes significantly more correct answers for a student to score as “proficient.”

The state said 36.3 percent of third graders statewide were proficient in math, compared to 34.8 percent in 2010 after scores were recalculated. Reading proficiency scores ranged from 59.7 percent to 68.8 percent, depending on the grade level.

This chart shows percentage of students who met or exceeded proficiency standards in 2011, compared to adjusted results for 2010  (Source: Michigan Department of Education):

MATH:

-Third grade: 36.3 percent, up from 34.8 percent in 2010.

-Fourth grade: 39.9 percent, up from 39.6 percent.

-Fifth grade: 39.6 percent, up from 38.5 percent.

-Sixth grade: 37.1 percent, up from 36.2 percent.

-Seventh grade: 37.2 percent, up from 35.9 percent.

-Eighth grade: 29.4 percent, up 28.9 percent.

READING:

-Third grade: 62.4 percent, down from 63.2 percent.

-Fourth grade: 67.7 percent, up from 63.5 percent.

-Fifth grade: 68.8 percent, up from 65.3 percent.

-Sixth grade: 67 percent, up from 63.2 percent.

-Seventh grade: 59.7 percent, up from 55.6 percent.

-Eighth grade: 60.5 percent, up from 56 percent.

WRITING:

-Fourth grade: 44.5 percent, down from 47.2 percent.

-Seventh grade: 47.3 percent, down from 47.8 percent.

SCIENCE:

-Fifth grade: 15.3 percent, down from 17.4 percent.

-Eighth grade: 16.5 percent, up from 14.9 percent.

SOCIAL STUDIES:

-Sixth grade: 27.7 percent, down from 28.1 percent.

-Ninth grade: 28.7 percent, down from 33.2 percent.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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