Wednesday, February 9, 2011

State Board of Ed Votes to Raise MEAP Cut-off Scores

Wednesday's Detroit News reported that the state Board of Education approved raising the cut scores for MEAP tests at all levels, elementary, middle and high school; as well as the Michigan Merit Exam taken by 11th graders.

The State School Board President, John Austin, was quoted as saying, "We are making improvements, but we need to reach higher."

Robb Bobb, emergency financial manager for Detroit Schools issued a statement saying, "The proposed changes may cause some intial slippage in test scores, but the long-term benefits will be more significant."

Today (2/10/11) Arnie Duncan, the United States Education Secretary announced, "“I applaud Michigan for being honest with students on where they stand,” Duncan said. “Michigan’s education leaders are putting kids first by taking critical steps to help them compete in a global economy.”

According to the article, the new scoring will be determined over the next few months, and is slated to take effect in the 2011-2012 school year.
The change in cut scores also has ramifications for schools under the "No Child Left Behind Act" and whether they can meet "Adequate Yearly Progress". The writer of the Detroit News article claims that the number of schools who fail to meet AYP will jump from 14% to 66%. That seems extreme, but certainly AYP will be more elusive for many schools. Under the No Child Left Behind law, this could mean that schools that fail to meet AYP for two or more years will be subject to sanctions that include replacement of school leadership and staff, offering transportation to other schools, or even re-opening as a charter school.

To read the entire article, Click here: Detroit News MEAP Article
****Information about John D. Austin - the president of the State Board of Education (taken from the Michigan Department of Education website):

John C. Austin, President, D-Ann Arbor, Term Expires 1/1/2017 .

"Mr. Austin was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2008. He is Director of the Great Lakes Economic Initiative with the Brookings Institution. He previously held the position of Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan. He served as policy director for the Lieutenant Governor's Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth. He is also a Lecturer at the University of Michigan. Mr. Austin holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College in Economics and Political Science."