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Business Leaders for Michigan headed a coalition urging the Legislature to support adoption of the Smarter Balanced assessment as a replacement for the Michigan Education Assessment Program.

The groups noted that school districts have already been implementing the Common Core State Standards and that some districts are beginning to try Smarter Balanced next school year.

“The proposed assessment plan was shaped by Michigan experts to reflect Michigan’s priorities and to work for all Michigan kids. It will raise the level of teaching and learning in our state,” a letter to legislators from the groups said.

The coalition, mostly made up of school groups, said the standards and the assessment would help schools improve.

“Taking a step back to the MEAP is not a viable option,” said Detroit Regional Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah. “The Smarter Balanced test is a far better tool to evaluate our students’ performance in an increasingly demanding and competitive 21st Century global marketplace.”