With the 2012 MEAP results released, Hartland Consolidated Schools Superintendent Janet Sifferman says she is “pleased” with the results but knows the district's work is not done.
“We need to continue working on the various areas that are tested,” Sifferman said. “Our staff and our principals have already taken that (MEAP) information and they’ve dissected the data and are looking at the information.”
Sifferman said it was “exciting” to see was results from third-graders at Round Elementary, who scored 98.3 percent proficient in reading, a result she attributes to reading and writing workshops that have been implemented in the elementary schools now for several years.
“The workshop method is an instructional method of teaching, which really flows well with the common core,” Sifferman said. “Because it's how we need to instruct to be successful with the common core. We’re feeling pretty good that our years of experience with that are starting to show results.”
One area of concern, however, for Hartland Schools was science scores for fifth-graders who scored 17 percent proficient and eighth graders at 24.5 percent. Sifferman says teachers and administrators are already discussing ways to “focus” again on the more “informational type of reading skills" necessary for success with the common core standards.
“One of the things we’re talking about is we have focused a lot on reader and writer’s workshop and maybe not so much on the content of the science area,” she said. “We certainly do use science for instructional purposes but one thing we’ll change in that area is that with the common core state standards, it requires more information—text, reading—so we are already beginning to address that.”
While results from tests such as the MEAP, ACT and other common assessments designed by the district are a way to gauge student learning, Sifferman says they are also used to decide where to professionally develop teachers and where to “share” information that is working in a more “structured” way.
“We know our work is never done and we use that information to help drive our instruction,” Sifferman said.