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Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/13/13
RCS sees improvements
in 2012 MEAP scores
by CHRIS GRAYRomeo Community Schools has outpaced Macomb County and state averages in standardized testing, but hopes to pick up the pace in math and science.
Observer Staff Writer
Romeo students have shown improvements on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) when compared to last year's scores as well as the rest of the county and state averages.
The MEAP test challenges students in the areas of math, science, social studies, reading and writing. Each area has a "cut score" to reach to determine their proficiency. Students can be considered advanced proficient, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient depending on how well they score.
Eric Whitney, assistant superintendent, said Romeo has performed better than county and state averages on the MEAP for the fall 2012 testing period.
Of the 18 assessments given, he said Romeo saw increases in 15 of them when compared to last year's averages. When compared to other county districts, the district was among the top six in 14 of 18 assessments.
"We are doing well and we are continuing to work on those curriculum and instructional pieces that will allow our kids to keep achieving and see those scores keep going," he said.
Whitney said this is the second year for Michigan schools using tougher cut scores that reflect an advanced level of achievement.
"Our students before were not necessarily at a college or career readiness level had they passed the MEAP, so they felt that that was really an important step," he said.
He said this year, though, marks an overall improvement in state proficiency, as shown by an increase in every state average except fifth grade science and fourth grade reading.
"We give 18 assessments . . . and in Romeo we increased on 15 of those tests so we're pretty happy about that," he said.
Fifth grade science remained stagnant while fifth grade reading and ninth grade social studies saw decreases.
The most noticeable increases were seen in writing. Fourth grade averages increased by 10 percent, while seventh grade averages jumped by 18 percent. These averages also jumped above state and county averages, where last year the district was below.
"We've made some very nice gains there," he said.
Though the district fared better in mathematics
Whitney said science is a concern across the state. Romeo averaged a 15 for sixth grade students and 21 for eighth grade. They seem low, but are above the county and state averages.
"Our students do not perform at high levels in science in Michigan," Whitney said. "Science was the area when they changed the cut scores that was affected the most."
He said new science standards are going to be released, but said regardless of whether Michigan adopts them the district plans on re-working its curriculum.
"I think that our new science standard will help us, but I will also say they are very different than any science standards than we have ever seen," he said.
Most improvements in reading scores were in the single digits, with the largest gains in eighth grade. The overall averages for Romeo were in the mid 70s.
For top scores in the county, Romeo had the first or second highest scores in sixth grade reading, seventh grade reading, fifth grade science, seventh grade science, eighth grade reading, eighth grade math and eighth grade science.
Whitney said it's important for the district to compare its numbers to those of the county and state to determine whether any gains were simply from changes in the assessment or not.