LANSING (AP) – Michigan’s high school juniors showed slight gains on ACT college-entrance exam scores but declines on parts of the Michigan Merit Exam, according to results released Monday by the state.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of the state’s incoming high school seniors are not considered college-ready, despite modest gains made during the past four years.
State education officials reported the average composite score on the ACT rose from 19.6 last year to 19.7 – increasing for the fourth year in a row. The MME passing rates saw overall declines, though the rates were unchanged in a couple of subjects.
A notable drop was seen in reading proficiency, falling from its four-year high of 55.9 percent in 2012 to 53.5 percent this year. Social studies proficiency also fell by two percentage points.
ACT scores saw small, year-over-year increases in all subjects except for math, which dropped one-tenth of a percentage point.
The Michigan Department of Education said the results “show a four-year upward trend in student proficiency,” with the largest gains during that period in writing and math. Officials can’t explain the dip but state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says in a statement that such variations happen.
“While assessment score fluctuations are not unusual when comparing different classes of students, results show the need to continue the state’s strong commitment to high standards,” he said.
The education department also said the percentage of Michigan juniors who are considered college-ready has steadily risen during the past four years and increased from 17.7 percent in 2012 to 18.1 percent. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he wants to use college-readiness data to gauge improvement in student achievement.
The MME is administered over three days in the spring and incorporates the college-entrance exam and a job skills assessment.
This was the fourth year high school juniors were required to complete more rigorous Michigan high school graduation requirements known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum.
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