Hartland Students See Increases in Several MEAP Areas; Social Studies Down

The state is using more rigorous 'cut score' standards to prepare students for careers, college, Michigan Department of Education announces.

The Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) report cards are in, and has improved in several subject areas of the test, despite more rigorous state standards. Fifth- through eighth-grade students in Hartland made gains on the 2011 MEAP reading test, compared to the previous year. Fifth- and eighth-graders improved on the math and science MEAPs, but sixth- and ninth-graders lost ground in social studies.

Michigan students in grades 3-9 were tested in fall 2011. All students in grades 3-8 were tested on reading and math skills, grades 4 and 7 were assessed on writing ability, while grades 5 and 8 were tested on science. Sixth- and ninth-graders had MEAP tests in social studies.

Hartland Consolidated Schools (HCS) Superintendent Janet Sifferman said the district's MEAP results are as administrators expected. "We are pleased we are making growth," she said.

The school building administrators have known the MEAP scores for about a month, and HCS administrators are analyzing the data.

"We will adjust our instruction accordingly," Sifferman said.

Meanwhile, statewide reading and mathematics scores, tested each year in grades 3-8, saw positive gains compared to the previous year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) reported. Statewide, reading saw an average 3-percent increase in the percentage of students being proficient; and mathematics saw an average 1-percent increase. All grades saw an increase in mathematics, and all saw an increase in reading except grade three, which had a nominal decrease (less than 1 percent).

More rigorous "cut scores" applied to the fall 2011 MEAP tests. In the past year, Michigan adopted improved cut scores for the MEAP that represent career- and college-ready achievement standards. Cut scores are essential in defining the level of performance (i.e., Advanced, Proficient, Partially Proficient, and Not Proficient) a student has achieved on a given test, the Michigan Department of Education announced. The career- and college-ready MEAP cut scores better reflect how well schools are preparing students for success at the next grade level and whether all Michigan students are progressing at a level sufficient for them to be career- and college-ready when they complete their high school education (www.michigan.gov). The career- and college-ready cut scores also have been retroactively applied to MEAP results from prior years to facilitate meaningful comparisons of the percentage of students proficient in each content area across years.

Hartland students show gains in reading
HCS fifth through eighth grade students increased their reading scores from last year's MEAP (see chart), while third and fourth graders fell a bit in reading.

In state reading scores, 62 percent of Michigan third grade students, 68 percent of fourth grade students, and 69 percent of fifth grade students attained "proficiency," meaning the students achieved a performance level of Advanced or Proficient. Reading proficiency was 67 percent for sixth grade students, 60 percent for seventh grade students, and 61 percent for eighth grade students. It was a gain of 3.2 percent from last year for third graders.

HCS fifth- and eighth-graders improve in math, science

Hartland fifth and eighth grade students went from 26.2 percent proficient in science a year ago, to 31.5 percent. Meanwhile, eighth-graders went from 23.4 percent profient to 29.4 percent proficient.

State science MEAPs, tested in grades five and eight, saw the percentage of students proficient decrease in grade five, while student proficiency in eighth grade increased compared to last year. Fifteen percent of fifth graders attained proficiency in science compared to 17 percent in 2010. Seventeen percent of eighth grade students attained science proficiency compared to 15 percent in 2010.

In math, Hartland fifth-graders improved from 47.4 percent proficient in math in 2010, to 56 percent. And eighth-graders went from 37.8 percent to 42.6 percent. Hartland fourth-, sixth- and seventh-graders, however, saw decreases in math proficiency on the 2011 test (see chart).

In state mathematics scores, 36 percent of third grade students and 40 percent of fourth and fifth grade students attained proficiency. Mathematics proficiency was 37 percent for sixth and seventh grade students and 29 percent for eighth grade students.

Social studies scores fall; writing split

HCS sixth-graders lost ground on the social studies MEAP. And freshmen (ninth grade) saw a decrease as well.

Hartland seventh-graders improved in writing, while fourth-graders in HCS fell in writing.

State social studies tests, for grades six and nine, saw scores remain consistent in sixth grade and decline in ninth grade. Sixth grade students remained at 28 percent proficient; however, 29 percent of ninth grade students attained proficiency, compared to 33 percent the previous year. Sixth grade social studies saw gains of greater than one percent in the Asian, Two or More Races, and Limited English Proficient student demographic groups compared to 2010.

Writing, tested statewide in grades four and seven, saw a decrease in both grades. Forty-five percent of fourth grade students were proficient in 2011 compared to 47 percent the previous year. Seventh grade proficiency scores decreased slightly from 48 in 2010 to 47 percent in 2011.  Despite the decline overall, the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student demographic group saw significant gains across grades four and seven in writing compared to last year.

What is the MEAP?

The MEAP test is based on state education standards and is the only common measure given statewide to students, said Jan Ellis, spokesperson for the Office of the Superintendent, of the Michigan Department of Education.The MEAP measures what Michigan educators, employers, and parents believe all students should know and be able to do in the five subject areas of mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing. Michigan students are tested each October on skills they learned through the end of the previous year.


Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in the math portion of the test.

% point change 3rd Grade



-0.3 4th Grade 56.7 68.5 -11.8 5th Grade
56 47.4 +8.6 6th Grade
63.2 69.5 -6.3 7th Grade
54 60.9 -6.9 8th Grade
42.6 37.8 +4.8



Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in the reading portion of the test.

2010 % point change 3rd Grade
77.7 78.9 -1.2 4th Grade
80.4 85.7 -5.3 5th Grade
86.3 80.9 +5.4 6th Grade 83.8 81.6 +2.2 7th Grade
77.4 76.6 +0.8 8th Grade
74.9 67.1 +7.8



Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in the writing portion of the test.

2010 % point change 4th Grade
54.1 61.3 -7.2 7th Grade
56.8 53.7 +3.1



Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in the science portion of the test.

2010 % point change 5th Grade
31.5 26.2 +5.3 8th Grade
29.4 23.4 +6



Here's a look, grade by grade, at the percentage of students testing proficient or advanced in the social studies portion of the test.

2010 % point change 6th Grade
48.6 52.5 -3.9 9th Grade
42.1 49.8 -7.7
jamesporterz February 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM
To address the concern as to weather or not online students get proper instruction the answer is, YES! I am confident that I will be more than ready to teach once I earn my degree from High Speed Universities.
hartland eagle February 17, 2012 at 01:29 AM
It's absolutely disturbing how poorly our students are doing. These results are not OK. Nearly 60% of our 8th graders aren't proficient at math. Nearly a quarter of them aren't proficient at reading. More than 40% of our 7th graders aren't procient at writing. The schools are failing us and our children. There's no other way to interpret these results. That's what the story should be. Not that there was a couple of percentage point improvement here or there. Look at the big picture.
Laura Bickel February 11, 2013 at 06:35 PM
I agree hartland eagle. People are not looking at the big picture, the standards we set for what is proficient is unacceptable. Setting the "cut score" higher is a start but how that "cut score" is established is important for people to understand. On a grading scale of A - F at the percentage ranges within that scale clearly shows a failure rate within the MEAP standards. We need to provide those we empower to educate our children with the tools they need to provide the quality of education our children need in order to provide a stable economic future for generations. As long as government continues to cut finances toward K-12 education our country's future will continue to be in decline. There is not one simple solution but all the affected parties need to be part of the conversation toward solution.
Laura Bickel February 11, 2013 at 06:39 PM
A nice start would be to have textbooks for all students even if that is in the form of an electronic textbook.


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