MEAP results show some gains; math and science struggles continue

file0001405020673Michigan students are improving in most subjects. That’s according to results released Friday from last fall’s Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test.

Education officials say they are most encouraged by gains in reading.

“Our four-year trend in reading has generally been up,” said Jim Griffiths with the Michigan Department of Education. “Very encouraging. Particularly at fourth grade, where that means that increasing numbers of third grade students are completing their third grade year proficient in reading.”

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would require schools to hold back third graders who fail the state reading test. The MEAP results suggest about 30% of third graders were not proficient in reading at the end of last school year.

The results are not all bright and cheery for state education officials. Michigan students continue to struggle with math, science, and social studies.

Fewer than half of students passed the math test, despite some improvement from last year. About 80% of fifth and eighth graders failed the science test, and this is the fourth year in a row social studies scores have declined.

“We need to look for ways to improve in social studies and in science, where we haven’t seen the type of growth that we’ve achieved in reading, math, and even in writing,” said Griffiths.

He says it is hard to figure out what is really going on with subjects like science and social studies, because the MEAP only tests those areas in a couple of grades.

That is one of the reasons the state is getting rid of the MEAP test after this school year. Education officials hope to replace it with a computer-based test that will better measure student growth.

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