M-STEP scores show some improvement, but English language arts results "disappointing"

Aug 29, 2017
Originally published on August 29, 2017 9:07 pm

Math and social studies scores are up among Michigan’s students, but English and reading scores are lower, according to the state’s spring 2017 M-STEP/MME results.

The Michigan Department of Education released its annual M-STEP (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) results Tuesday.

(Credit: The Education Trust-Midwest)

In a press release, State Superintendent Brian Whiston called the English language arts results “disappointing.”

Fifth-grade students were the only ones to see any improvement on reading scores, rising from 48.8 percent of students proficient in 2015 to 51.1 percent in 2017. Third-grade reading scores fell for the third year in a row, to only 44.1 percent proficient.

(Credit: The Education Trust-Midwest)

The results are disheartening to many, especially with the state’s recent push to improve early literacy.

More from the MDE press release:

Two years ago, Michigan identified early literacy gaps as a focus area for policy and program support for learners, and established a set of initial support mechanisms to address the learning gaps. These programs have since been initiated with educators over the last 18 months. The programs, created and funded by the legislature, support specific recommendations to ensure that all students have strong literacy skills by the end of third grade.

Math scores increased across the board except in fourth grade. Social science, which is only tested in grades 5, 8, and 11, also saw better scores in all grades.  

The Education Trust-Midwest, a non-partisan education policy and research organization, notes that although there was some improvement overall, the M-STEP results still show evidence of economic and racial achievement gaps.

(Credit: The Education Trust-Midwest)

The M-STEP replaced the 44-year-old MEAP standardized test in 2015. It is the only standardized test given to all of Michigan’s general education students.

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