Joint statement regarding replacement of M-STEP test for upcoming school year
The advocacy groups below today released the following statement regarding MDE’s decision to move forward with PSAT 8/9 testing for the upcoming school year and urging caution in further changes to education policy during the Lame Duck term:
In support of Michigan students and teachers, our organizations have called for consistency in state testing over the past several years. We recognize the disruption of chronic change and the importance of having reliable and transparent data between multiple years and across state lines. Like most Michigan parents, we also appreciate the value of critical thinking, problem-solving and communications skills. Although prioritized in the M-STEP, the focus on these important skills is lessened by Michigan’s move to the PSAT.
Other states have shown that consensus solutions demonstrate solid outcomes for students, where places with similar challenges that operate in silos are slower to achieve progress. Continually changing the target for educators and students alike when it comes to assessments will not produce better outcomes and in fact, may result in educational achievement declining even further.
Unfortunately, the initial decision to change from the M-STEP to the PSAT in grade 8 was wrong for students and parents, and the decision now to move forward with this change remains short-sighted.
If Michigan is to gain traction in an education transformation, we have to work together, applying best-practice research. Continuing with a fragmented approach will continue the status quo and Michigan’s status as an underperforming state.
We’re using this as an opportunity to reiterate our request to work in tandem with partners at the Department of Education and state lawmakers on any upcoming changes to education policy. Carefully analyzing proposed revisions to assessments and other benchmarking is the only approach that will enable sustainable, measurable progress for our kids and the future of Michigan.
Business Leaders for Michigan
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Regional Chamber