MDE: We See M-STEP as a “Triple Success”

During a House Education Committee meeting last week, Deputy Superintendent for Educator, Student, and School Supports, Venessa Keesler, presented on the success of the 2016 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP).

Importantly, Keesler characterized the M-STEP as a “triple success,” highlighting improved student proficiency in many grades and subjects, shorter tests in most grades and the prompt turnaround of student results.

Keesler also acknowledged that proficiency rates are not yet where we want them to be. “We do have rigorous standards and it’s a rigorous test, so at least we have honest information about where Michigan students are performing,” Keesler said. “We’ll see improvements over time.”

All of this success leaves many asking, why start over with a new test now?

To view video of the MDE’s presentation to the House Education Committee, click here. 

Detroit News: Stick with M-STEP

For full text of this Detroit News editorial, published on August 31, click here. 

The test results released this week by the Michigan Department of Education put into focus how much work is needed to improve student learning in the state. But there is an upside. The test, in its second year, is starting to give a consistent—and honest—record of how public schools are doing.

That is data the state didn’t have for a long time. The Michigan Student Test for Educational Progress (M-STEP) replaced the four-decade-old Michigan Educational Assessment Program last spring.

The new test is better designed to chart student growth and it’s a more rigorous measure of student knowledge. That brings the M-STEP more in line with national standardized tests.

Now that the M-STEP is in place, and most of the kinks have been worked out, the state should keep it for a while. State Superintendent Brian Whiston, along with some GOP lawmakers, have indicated they aren’t completely satisfied with the revamped test and are open to changing it.

No test is going to be perfect. For now, the state should stick with the M-STEP and use it as the benchmark to help schools improve.

For full text of this Detroit News editorial, click here. 

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Capital Update

State Board of Education. Wednesday, September 14 at 9:30 am, in the Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room on the Fourth Floor of the John A. Hannah Building in Lansing.

The agenda includes presentations on: 2016 M-STEP results; proposed guidelines for prevention of suspension and expulsion in early education; building a better child care system; and draft guidance for school districts regarding LGBTQ students.

The full agenda is available here. The meeting will also be streamed online.

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