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Juniors improve proficiency on MMEs



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July 16, 2014 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

Lake Orion High School juniors showed overall gains in proficiency in almost every area of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and ACT assessments.

The MME is an annual district wide examination that tests juniors on three components: the ACT Plus Writing college entrance examination, the WorkKeys job skills assessments in reading, mathematics, and "locating information" and Michigan-developed assessments in mathematics, science, and social studies.

The Michigan Education Department released the annual examination results on July 7, and LO juniors showed proficiency gains in reading, science, social studies and writing, and scored the same in mathematics, with 46 percent students proficient, as they did in 2012-13.

Scoring is categorized according to student proficiency in a subject. Four different levels determine a student's proficiency: level 1 equating to advanced proficiency and level 4 depicting students who are not proficient in a subject. Another level of scoring determined an overall percentage of student proficiency for a subject.

"Lake Orion High School scored very well," Assistant Superintendent of Student Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Heidi Mercer said. "Our students scored significantly higher in all subject areas compared to other students in Oakland County and Michigan overall."

Reading scores showed the highest jump in overall student proficiency from the 2012-13 score 69 percent proficient to the 2013-14 score of 78 percent proficient, or a nine percent increase.

Social studies scores also demonstrated leaps in proficiency, with the 2012-13 score of 63 percent increasing to 70 percent proficiency for LO juniors.

Social studies scores gained more than five points statewide from last year's scores, reversing the last several years trend of declining scores.

While LO juniors scored exactly the same for mathematics in 2012-13 and 2013-14—46 percent proficient—they scored higher than the Oakland County and state averages, at 38 percent and 29 percent respectively. Less than 10 percent of LO juniors qualified for advanced proficiency in mathematics, compared to Oakland County juniors on average, where 12 percent of students showed advanced proficiency.

Mathematics scores statewide showed an increase of 0.2 from 2012/13.

"We're looking forward to our scores increasing once we implement the new math program which will start officially this fall at the elementary and middle school level," Mercer said.

High school students just finished up their first year with their updated math textbooks. However, the math program will remain consistent with previous years.

"We're going to focus on instructional practice and our new resources as well as providing professional development for math teachers," Mercer said about next year.

"Our expectation is that we continue to get better every year, and we can't stop until we are at 100 percent, our ultimate target."

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