Lansing area test results show both improvements, and declines

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By Cameron Vredeveld

Lansing Star Staff Writer

Lansing Schools are below average. The 2012 MEAP tests are proof.

If the faculty can’t create a better plan, they’ll lose the school.

Math scores have increased more than 40 percent from last year for Lansing third graders. They increased nearly 30 percent for seventh graders.

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Those increases are overshadowed by the small percentage of students meeting state requirements.

The Michigan Education Assessment Program test, better known as the MEAP test, is given each fall to students in grades 3 through 9. Students are tested in math, reading, writing, social studies and science. The tests, which were re-written under new standards in 2011, are based on “career- and college-ready standards” as stated on the MEAP website.

While test scores are on the rise, only 17.1 percent of Lansing students met state requirements in math. Reading scores improved for the third straight year with over/more than. Learn this. It is easy. Reporting is hard. So make sure you get the easy stuff right. It’s a blind spot for you. Fix it.45 percent of students meeting state requirements.

“We’re moving in the right direction and that’s a credit to our schools, parents and the students themselves,” said Gvn. Rick Snyder in a release earlier this week. “”But much work remains and achieving further gains will demand our continued commitment.”

Lansing math scores did not impress Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul. “Math needs to be an area that we improve in” she said.

Caamal Canul said that increased efforts in reading and writing have proven to be effective as those two areas showed the most improvement.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of data from the Lansing School District comes from the fourth grade level, where students decreased 4.2 percent in math, 11.3 percent in reading and 9.6 percent in writing. No other grade level decreased as much. However, as a class, their math and reading scores improved from last year.

The state looks mainly into reading and math scores, said Caamal Canul. Areas such as social studies and science aren’t given as much attention.

Social studies continued to plague the district, as ninth grade scores declined 16.2 percent from last year. Scores have decreased every year since 2009.

Multiple schools in the Lansing area scored in the bottom 5 percent of the state, and are considered to be priority schools according to state data. Districts with priority schools stand an increased change of losing state funding.

Joseph Martineau, director of the Bureau of Assessment and Accountability for the Michigan Department of Education, said that schools testing in the bottom 5 percent are required to formulate and implement a reform plan.

“If scores aren’t improving after that, then the state school reform officer has the ability to put them in the Education Achievement Authority,” said Martineau.

Schools placed in the Education Achievement Authority lose control of the school to the state. Caamal Canul said that is not an option. She said she expects the Lansing school district to be competing and eventually passing state averages within the next few years.

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