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State test scores up

Results to go into 'report card' in August

July 31, 2013 - Clarkston High School students' proficiency scores are up slightly compared to last year in math, social studies, and writing. They remain the same in reading and science.

"We are pleased to see our students' achievement increase," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock. "Our administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students work very hard to achieve at high levels. We expect our students to perform at the highest levels in the county, state, and nation."

Clarkston students who took the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) last spring as juniors scored better in all categories than Oakland County and state averages, by double digits compared to the state.

Michigan Department of Education will use MME and other state test results when calculating school and district report card scores, to be released in August.

Last year, Clarkston High School received a score of "C," and placed in the top 58th percent in the state's 2011-12 Top to Bottom Ranking List.

Also, Andersonville Elementary, Pine Knob Elementary and Sashabaw Middle were named "Focus Schools" in the 2012 state reports, based on test-result gaps between the top 30 percent and bottom 30 percent of students.

The MME, as well as Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), is due to be replaced by the national Common Core program in 2015. New testing will be more focused on problem solving instead of multiple choice currently used, Rock said.

"Teachers working with students, knowing students individually, knowing the curriculum, and adjusting curriculum and practices according to students' needs will improve students' learning," he said. "We want the absolute best for every single one of our students."

However, Common Core implementation hit a snag last month when the state legislature removed its funding. Michigan Education Association sent a letter to the state urging it be reinstated. The state has until Oct. 1 to do so.

Rock supports the Common Core effort.

"It seems logical to have a national curriculum," he said. "This allows for consistency across our country. It seems illogical to use a unique assessment system in the United States and then compare our students' progress to students in other countries."

Clarkston juniors scored a 21.1 composite score in the ACT test, also taken in the spring. The 2012 ACT score was 20.7. The ACT scores measure high school students' general educational development and their capability to complete college-level courses covering four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science.

MME scores determine high school juniors' proficiency in math, science, reading, writing and social studies across the state.

The next meeting of the Clarkston Board of Education is Monday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m., at the district Administration Building, 6389 Clarkston Road. Call 248-623-5400.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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