Press Release

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (Oct. 27, 2015) – New results from the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) show the continuing need for Michigan focus on improving student learning through research-based policy improvements, thoughtful implementation, and strategic investments. A deep commitment from everyone – from state leaders to district leaders to parents –is needed to accelerate progress for our students and transform Michigan into a top ten education state for all students.

“This is one of the most important opportunities to improve teaching and learning that Michigan has had in decades,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest. “Leading education states such as Massachusetts started their educational turnarounds by raising their standards for teaching and learning. Michigan’s leaders should be applauded for making this change here, but they should not stop there. Now our leaders must ensure all the state’s teachers and principals are trained to educate at these new higher levels, starting with Governor Rick Snyder’s top priority for improvement: third-grade literacy.”

As expected, the results from the new M-STEP assessment are lower than scores were on the old MEAP test. Student scores are likely to improve over the next few years as they have in other states, especially where state leaders have invested in capacity-building and supports for educators’ transition to higher expectations and standards.

According to M-STEP released data:

  • Half of Michigan third grade students are proficient in English language arts,
  • Just 28 percent of Michigan eleventh grade students are proficient in math,
  • Only 48 percent of eighth grade students are proficient in English language arts.

The M-STEP was administered to students for the first time in spring 2015. The assessment measures Michigan’s career- and college-ready standards in English language arts and math for students in grade 3-8, and 11, and focuses on real world skills, including problem solving, critical thinking and deep comprehension. Changes to the test will significantly reduce test times, beginning this spring.

Earlier this year, The Education Trust-Midwest highlighted Michigan’s troubling academic trajectory and our immediate need for change in our 2015 State of Michigan Education Report, Michigan Achieves: Becoming a Top Ten Education State. We also launched a new initiative, Michigan Achieves, to make Michigan a top ten education state.

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