Local schools outpace state MEAP scores

On Wednesday both Brandon and Goodrich elementary and middle schools were cheering after the Michigan Educational Assesment Program test scores were released’boasting scores that, like other years, outpaced state averages.
The only blemish on some pretty decent scores was fourth grade writing, which trailed the state by 7 percent in the Brandon school disrtict and 16 percent in Goodrich.
‘We’re really happy with the scores,? said Sue May, Brandon School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructional services. Although the test format has stayed the same from last year’we look at how we compared to the state MEAP averages.?
‘We’re consistently ahead of the state (scores) except for fourth grade writing which is below the state average.?
May said she will investigate the low fourth grade writing scores in several ways including to assure test scores are reported correctly and the way writing was taught to the students.
Kim Hart, principal at Oaktree Elementary, is concerned about the low writing scores.
‘When there’s a huge difference like that you have to wonder why; our scores in reading are very high. A lot of the social studies is based on writing, and the scores were decent for the county.?
Although the state has established a rubric’or rule guide’for grading the writing test, it’s difficult to standardize.
‘It’s 100 percent subjective,? said Hart, ‘scored by people in a large room with volumes and volumes of pages to score.?
Oaktree already has a writing proficiency program in place, in which students will begin spring and summer writing work.
In addition, Oaktree staff will work with Reid to address writing proficiency with younger elementary students.
Hart plans to talk to other school district, to glean information regarding what graders are looking for.
Despite the mystery of how to ‘teach to the MEAP?, Hart feels the addition of the writing test has been beneficial.
‘They’re moving away from letting students write just to be creative, there’s more focus,? she said.