TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools increased focus on mathematics, particularly on the elementary school level, and it’s paid off.
The state Department of Education on Friday released Fall 2013 results of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP. Results show TCAPS students continue to score ahead of their peers across the state in reading, writing, science and social studies.
The district’s math scores trailed in the past, but elementary school scores are inching closer to state proficiency levels with fourth-grade students surpassing the statewide average score.
TCAPS fourth-graders scored 49.7 percent proficient to the statewide 45.3 percent. That’s a jump of 12.4 percent from last year’s fourth grade math scores.
The district improved its math proficiency scores from last year in all grade levels except for fifth and eighth grade. Those scores dropped 1.5 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
TCAPS associate superintendent Jayne Mohr credits the district’s teachers for the marked improvement in math scores.
“We have truly put a laser focus on improving mathematics,” Mohr said. “We have a math leader at every elementary school and they have gone through intensive training.”
She said teachers attended summer math institutes, which is something the district plans to expand into other subjects this year.
“We are trying to provide more opportunities for teachers to receive more training during the summer so they don’t have to be pulled away from their classrooms and students during the year,” Mohr said.
Students throughout the Traverse Bay region exceeded state averages for proficient scores in reading, writing, science and social studies, according to the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Overall math scores did not meet state proficiency levels, but did improve by 1.4 percent from the district’s 2012 scores.
The district’s scores surpassed last year’s numbers in all subjects except social studies, which declined 4.2 percent.
Elk Rapids Schools, Glen Lake Community Schools and Kingsley Area Schools all scored above the statewide proficiency levels in all subjects for all grades measured.
The test is given annually to third through ninth grade students, though it may be replaced next year with the Smarter Balance testing aligned to the Common Core Standards.