Schools Can See How They Measure Up Statewide
Michigan school districts can see how their local schools measure up academically with a new feature offered by the Michigan Department of Education. The feature, called "How Does YOUR School Measure Up," allows schools and the public to see how individual districts and schools compare to the statewide averages on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests and high school Michigan Merit Exam (MME).
As schools begin to receive the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, and use those funds to drive reform and innovation as prescribed by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, they first should know where they stand academically, according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan. "Schools need to know with clarity where they stand academically," Flanagan said. "This information will give school administrators, teachers, parents, and community members a clear understanding of how they measure up."
Downloadable data files show each school's student achievement scores compared to statewide averages; each school's academic growth from 2007-2008; and reveal what percentage of each district's high school students are considered "college ready."
"We are testing basic skills here, not what students need to compete at a global level," Flanagan said. "If schools only have low or moderate numbers of students being proficient at the basic skills level, what does that say about those schools and the chances for those students to succeed?"
Flanagan noted that even though Michigan's curriculum standards are among the best and most rigorous in the nation, its state tests are scored at a scale below international standards. He expects those test scoring scales will be increased to reflect the level of proficiency Michigan students need to compete at global levels. Independent studies have concluded that Michigan test scores rate at the national average among all states, while globally, the United States rates lower than many other nations.
"Being an academically average state in an academically below-average nation doesn't offer much hope for the future," Flanagan said. "We need to raise expectations for our schools and our students, and reimagine how we educate all of our children to extraordinary levels so Michigan can lead with brain power as we did in manufacturing."