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MEAP results 'mixed,' but 'trending up'



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March 05, 2014 - Oxford Schools had "mixed" results on the MEAP test (Michigan Educational Assessment Program), the numbers for which were released Feb. 28, according to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. James Schwarz.

"We have, obviously, areas that need improvement and we have areas where we excelled in and did very well," Schwarz said. "We were above the state average in 17 of 17 areas tested and above the county in 10 areas and below the county in seven areas."

Superintendent Dr. William Skilling was also glad to see the district was above the state in every category.

"However, our goal is to (be) above the Oakland County averages in all 17 areas because Oakland County has the highest test score averages in the State of Michigan," Skilling noted. "I am glad to see overall that our math, reading and writing scores are trending up, especially in the upper grades."

In third grade math, the state average was 40.1 percent and county average 50.9 percent proficiency; Oxford averaged 48.5 percent proficiency ( less than 10 percent advanced and 40.3 percent proficient) compared to last year's 41.5 percent (4.3 percent advanced and 37.2 percent proficient.) In reading, the state average was 61.3 percent and county 68.1 percent. Oxford averaged 68.1 percent (11.6 percent advanced, 56.5 proficient) compared to last year's 76.6 percent (12.8 percent advanced and 63.8 percent proficient.)

In fourth grade math, the state averaged 45.3 percent and the county 57.5 percent. Oxford averaged 62.3 percent proficiency (12.9 percent advanced and 49.4 proficient) compared to last year's 59.1 percent proficiency (10.7 percent advanced and 48.4 proficient). In reading state average was 70 percent and county 78 percent. Oxford averaged 77.2 percent proficiency (less than 10 percent advanced and 70.3 percent proficient) compared to last year's 73.4 percent proficiency (2.7 percent advanced and 70.7 percent proficient). In writing, the state average was 50.5 percent and county 59.8 percent. Oxford averaged 55.2 percent (13.9 percent advanced and 41.3 percent proficient) compared to last years 55.4 percent proficiency (12.5 percent advanced and 42.9 percent proficient).

In fifth grade math, the state averaged 45.2 percent and the county 57.7 percent proficiency. Oxford averaged 66.1 percent proficiency (12.2 percent advanced and 45.6 percent proficient) compared to last year's 62.6 percent proficiency (8.3 percent advanced and 54.4 percent proficient). In reading, the state averaged 71.7 percent and county 78.9 percent proficiency. Oxford averaged 84.2 percent proficiency (21.9 percent advanced and 62.2 percent proficient) compared to last year's 79.1 percent proficient (18.7 percent advanced and 60.3 percent proficient). In science, the state averaged 16.8 percent and county 22.3 percent proficiency. Oxford averaged 21 percent proficient (less than 10 percent advanced and 15.6 percent proficient) compared to last year's 18.5 percent proficiency (7 percent advanced and 11.5 percent proficient).

In sixth grade math, the state average was 41.5 percent proficiency and the county was 55 percent. Oxford averaged 57.5 percent (16.1 percent advanced and 41.4 percent proficient) compared to last year's 55.6 percent proficiency (8.9 percent advanced and 46.6 percent proficient). In reading, the state averaged 71.5 percent proficiency and county 78.4 percent. Oxford averaged 81.5 percent (29.6 percent advanced and 51.9 percent proficient) compared to last year's 78.8 percent proficiency (26.5 advanced and 52.4 proficient). In social studies, the state averaged 26.5 percent proficiency and the county 35 percent. Oxford averaged 40.5 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 36 percent proficient) compared to last year's 43 percent (5.4 percent advanced and 37.6 percent proficient).

In seventh grade math, the state averaged 39.2 percent proficiency and the county 51 percent. Oxford averaged 52.2 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 46.8 percent proficient) compared to last year's 56.1 percent proficiency (10.4 percent advanced and 45.7 percent proficient). In reading, the state average was 60.4 percent proficiency and the county 69.8 percent. Oxford averaged 74.5 percent (26.6 percent advanced and 47.8 percent proficient) compared to last year's 79.2 percent proficiency (25.3 percent advanced and 53.8 percent proficient. In writing, the state average was 53 percent proficiency and the county 60.9 percent. Oxford averaged 59.9 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 51.3 percent proficient) compared to last year's 67.3 percent proficiency (16.4 percent advanced and 50.9 percent proficient).

In eighth grade math, the state averaged 34.5 percent proficiency and the county 47.9 percent. Oxford averaged 52.4 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 43.4 percent proficient) compared to last year's 43 percent proficiency (7.9 advanced and 35.2 proficient). In reading the state average was 72.7 percent proficiency and the county 69.8 percent. Oxford averaged 86.4 percent (41.3 percent advanced and 45.2 percent proficient) compared to last year's 77.1 percent proficiency (16.1 percent advanced and 60.9 percent proficient). In science, the state average was 19.8 percent proficiency and the county 25.9 percent. Oxford averaged 21.1 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 15.2 percent proficient) compared to last year's 22.8 percent proficiency (3.5 percent advanced and 19.2 percent proficient).

In ninth grade social studies, the state average was 25.6 percent proficiency and the county 34.5 percent. Oxford averaged 33.7 percent (less than 10 percent advanced and 29.1 percent proficient) compared to last year's 34.1 percent proficiency (4 percent advanced and 30.1 percent proficient).

"We shudder every time these scores come out because we have high expectations," Schwarz said. "It's not where we want to be and just gives us fuel to continue to look at the way we provide opportunities for students and where we need to shore things up and reevaluate."

He said the district will do an item-by-item analysis to uncover the specific issues students are having in curriculum or within that instruction that they need to evaluate differently. One area of focus for sure said Schwarz is in science, especially at the elementary level.

"We (have) got some issues, I think, primarily related to the way we split out the curriculum to teach with IB Unit Planners. The way the teachers have segmented that curriculum we need to go back and take a look at because I think we've upset some of the scope and sequence of concepts and how they're taught to fit more of the themes that are taught within IB," Schwarz said. "I think some of that now is being reflected in these types of standardized scores."

As for the MEAP overall, next year will be different said Schwarz because math, reading and writing will be apart of the national standard "Common Core" testing known as the "Smarter Balance Assessment," while science and social studies will remain as the MEAP test until the new national standards are created. The test will also be moved next year from the fall to the spring.

"By moving it to the spring you're going to see the current year's benchmarks and standards without a three-month lapse, what we call summer regression," Schwarz added. "It will give us a lot more valuable data because it's based on information from the current year as opposed to the previous year."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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