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Posted: 07/03/13

Romeo MME scores decline
in spring 2013 test

Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo Community Schools saw a drop in all areas of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) for the 2013 testing year.
       Results from the Michigan Department of Education show Romeo as the second highest in Macomb County for proficiency in most subjects, but followed the statewide trend of MME scores slipping.
       Conversely, Romeo had the highest composite score on the American College Testing (ACT) exam in Macomb County.
       Students in 11th grade take the MME in the spring over a three-day period to determine proficiency in mathematics, reading, science, social studies and writing.
       A student is considered proficient in a subject if they pass that subject's "cut score." This is the second year for the state to use increased cut scores.
       "Overall we're pretty happy," said Eric Whitney, Romeo assistant superintendent. "Our kids, comparatively to Macomb County, still do very well."
       Whitney said the district did see a slight decline in most of the MME's subject areas, though he said this could be from the MME being a different test every year.
       "You don't ever want to be going down, but it's not a huge decline and it's very much in line with what we saw across the state," he said.
       He said that districts can compare their scores from one year to the next, but pointed out it is a different group of students taking the MME from year to year.
       "It's a nuance of it that most people don't think about," he said.
       Though it didn't perform as well as in the 2012 year, Romeo was second in the county for writing, science, mathematics and social studies, surpassed by Utica Community Schools in each subject. In reading, Romeo was the fifth highest in the county.
       Similar to last year, Romeo's weakest subject was science, with 27.4 percent of students proficient in the subject. The largest drop in Romeo's scores was seen in reading, which decreased from 65 percent in 2012 to 54 percent in 2013.
       "We'll take a look at those and learn from those to make sure we don't slip," Whitney said. "We want to make sure we shore that up."
       Romeo's best category was writing, with 58.4 percent of students demonstrating proficiency on the 2013 test.
       "I'm really proud that our writing is that strong because writing is challenging to get those scores," Whitney said.
       When compared to state averages, Romeo fared better in all subjects.
       Whitney said staff and administrators will dig into the results in the fall to determine what did and didn't work in each subject.
       None of Macomb County's averages were above the state averages, though it saw slight improvements in mathematics, writing and science.
       Statewide averages didn't see any increases when compared to last year, though this year's science and writing averages matched the 2012 numbers.
       On the ACT, Romeo students performed better in 2013 with a composite score of 20.8, just above the 2012 composite of 20.6. The score is the highest in Macomb County, edging out Utica by a .1 difference.
       "That's important to us because kids take that as their entrance into college and it's a test that is on a national scale," Whitney said. "It lets us know how our kids stack up and how our curriculum and programs stack up with others across the nation."
       Macomb County as a whole saw a .2 improvement on the ACT with a composite score of 19.4, while the state improved by .1 to 19.7.
       The ACT measures the readiness of a student for entering post-graduation education in the categories of writing, science, math and reading.

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Retrieved 7/30/2015 at 7:00:33 PM.
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