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MME, ACT results down for Oxford Schools



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July 06, 2011 - The Michigan Merit Exam and ACT results have once again declined for juniors in Oxford Community Schools.

Compared to last year's MME test results, all five testing subjects – math, reading, science, social studies and writing – were down anywhere from less than one percent to nearly 11 percent for students who met mastery level requirements.

The MME has four levels students are placed in– level one is advanced, level two is proficient, level three is partially proficient and level four is not proficient.

Mastery level is a combination of students who score in level one or level two.

District results consisted of test scores from juniors at Oxford High School, Crossing Bridges Alternative High School and Crossroads for Youth.

According to the MME results, the two biggest areas the district fell in are math and reading. This year, Oxford only had 183 out of 372 (49.2 percent) students score at a mastery level in math, which is down 10.8 percent from last year's 60 percent.

A total 237 out of 374 (63.4 percent) students were considered at a mastery level in reading, down 10.6 percent from the previous year's mastery percentage of 74 percent.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Dr. James Schwarz, who was in China setting up the high school programming for the district's sister school in Shenyang when the MME scores were released, said he viewed the scores, but was not able to fully review the data.

His initial response was one of disappointment in math and reading scores.

"It appears that our at-risk population is in need of further interventions in these subjects," he wrote in an email.

The other test areas – science, social studies and writing – did not see the dramatic decrease in the percentage of mastery level students from last year to this year.

In science, 240 out of 373 (64.3 percent) students scored at a mastery level, down 0.7 percent from last year's score of 65 percent.

Social studies saw 307 out of 375 (81.9 percent) students score at a mastery level, a 4.1 percent decrease from a year ago when 86 percent of students scored at a mastery level.

In writing, 179 out of 376 (47.6 percent) students scored at a mastery level, down 2.4 percent from last year's 50 percent mastery level.

According to the Michigan Department of Education website, four out of the five Oxford MME scores have decreased since 2007.

Math scores have dropped 11.3 percent, reading 5.7 percent, social studies 4.7 percent and writing 9.1 percent since 2007.

The only score to increase was science, which has risen only 1.6 percent.

Schwarz noted he was working with Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Denise Sweat and Oxford High School Principal Todd Dunckley to create more intervention programs for the upcoming school year.

"We have been working to increase interventions and this fall we will be putting in place AARI, an intense reading program for at-risk high school readers as well as a math module program designed to boost achievement in at-risk math students," Schwarz wrote.

Compared with the four major school districts in the area – Brandon, Clarkston, Lapeer and Lake Orion – Oxford continually rankes fifth out of the five in all areas except social studies, where it ranked third.

Clarkston had 68.7 percent mastery levels in math; 75.6 in reading; 74 percent in science; 81.3 in social studies and 61.8 percent in writing.

Lake Orion had 71.9 percent mastery level in math; 76.5 in reading; 78.3 percent in science; 88.1 in social studies and 65.3 percent in writing.

Brandon had 58.3 percent mastery level in math; 68.8 percent in reading; 69.6 percent in science; 80.3 percent in social studies and 49.6 percent in writing.

Lapeer had 53.1 percent mastery level in math; 66.4 percent in reading; 66.4 percent in science; 83.5 in social studies and 46.4 percent in writing.

Also released this week were the composite ACT scores from the class of 2012, which were taken in the spring.

Oxford's average composite was 19.4, down 0.2 percent from last year's average.

Schwarz said he was disappointed with the results and more corrective measures would be put in place to bring the scores up.

ACT composites for the four district's mentioned above were 20.3 for Brandon, 21 for Clarkston, 21.7 for Lake Orion and 19.2 for Lapeer.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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