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MEAP scores up in many subjects


But test is just one of many, Rock says



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February 20, 2013 - The results are in for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program and Clarkston students showed improvement over last year.

The results showed higher scores compared to 2011 for third grade math and reading; fourth grade reading and writing; fifth grade math; sixth grade math, reading, and social studies; seventh grade reading and writing; and eighth grade reading.

But the MEAP test is just one piece of the puzzle, said Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock.

"We will use these results along with other measures to examine our curriculum, adjust our instruction, and engage our students more deeply as thinkers and not just test takers," Rock said.

The annual assessment test, given in the fall, is used to see where students, grades three through nine, are advanced, proficient, or partially proficient in each subject.

Though the MEAP results are helpful to see where the students are in education, Rock pointed out administrators and teachers use observations, grades, tests, performances, discussions and other assessments daily and adjust to students' needs.

"Continuous improvement is the business of our business. Every day, our teachers use data to inform their decision making," said Rock. "Part of this ongoing process are MEAP test results, which the state provides in February."

Clarkston had a higher percentage of students proficient in grade three and four math and reading and ninth grade social studies compared to the state and Oakland County. They also had more students proficient in sixth grade math than the state.

"We won't use the results as a single picture of the ability of our students, our teachers, our principals, or our schools," said Rock. "We won't compare ourselves to other schools. We won't compare one student to another. We won't compare ourselves to the rest of the state. We will continue instead to use research to inform our practices, to support our students' learning every day, and to continuously enhance our students as thinkers, learners, and positive contributors to a global society."

Rock pointed out Michigan will discontinue using MEAP, and 46 other states in the nation will also discontinue using their standardized tests.

They will begin using the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is based upon the Common Core Curriculum, in the 2015 school year.

"These assessments will ask our students to demonstrate higher order thinking skills," Rock explained.

The new assessment will attempt to measure critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, and curiosity and imagination skills, he said.

"Clarkston Community Schools is focused upon preparing our students for the future, including success on the higher-order-thinking assessments," Rock added. "We are not focused on the past or on the MEAP."

Wendi Reardon

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