DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan students scored higher in math, reading and writing last year on the state’s annual standardized tests, officials said Monday.

Students statewide – particularly third- and eighth-graders – scored higher in reading proficiency, according to the fall 2012 Michigan Education Assessment Program results released by the state Department of Education. Students also scored higher in math at all grade levels, but particularly in grades 3, 4 and 5. Fourth- and seventh-graders improved their writing proficiency scores.

“We’re moving in the right direction and that’s a credit to our schools, parents and the students themselves,” Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said in a release. “But much work remains and achieving further gains will demand our continued commitment. Michigan’s future depends on the quality of education and preparation our students receive.

“It is critical to ensure our children are ready when they first enter school and are on track to be career- and college-ready by the time they graduate.”

The annual MEAP tests are based on career- and college-ready standards. Reading and mathematics are tested each year in grades 3 through 8. Students are tested on writing, science and social studies in alternating grades from fourth to ninth.
In Detroit, where many students have struggled on MEAP tests, only fifth-grade science scores decreased. The percentage of proficient and advanced scores in 17 of 18 assessments was higher than in 2011.

The largest Detroit Public Schools increase was 11.3 percent on the eighth-grade reading test. The lowest increase was 0.1 percent by sixth-graders on the social studies test.

Only 2.3 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the science test, compared to 2.9 percent the previous year.

Detroit officials said the district had a higher percentage increase than the state average on 13 assessments.

“These test results are great news, but we know we have more work to do as a district and in every school,” said Roy Roberts, the district’s state-appointed emergency manager. “Detroit Public Schools’ goal is to ensure that every child is successful, and we are doing everything in our power to make that happen.”

Roberts spoke at Dixon Educational Learning Academy — one of two Detroit schools which made gains in all 18 MEAP categories. He said successes like Dixon Academy’s greatly influence state funding.

“I think we need to tell the good story about Detroit Public Schools,” said Roberts. “So much has been written that’s negative. I think
it’s unfair because it’s not balanced. And if we can show parents who are so critical of this process that we can educate their children, they will bring their kids to Detroit Public Schools.”

Detroit has struggled with declining enrollment for years and fewer students took the reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science tests last fall than in 2011. The scores also do not include results from schools that moved last fall from the Detroit district to the new Education Achievement System.

The system was announced by Snyder in 2011 and is run by a public-private authority. It is a separate district for low-performing schools. It took over the bottom 5 percent of Detroit public schools beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. It will expand statewide beginning next fall.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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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