Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 8, 2014

Local students outperform state on Michigan Merit Exam

TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan Merit Exam results are in, and many schools in the Grand Traverse region outperformed state averages and improved across the five subject areas tested.

Eleventh-grade students take the exam in March to assess their performance in mathematics, reading, science, social studies and writing. The 2014 average scores statewide are 29 percent proficient in math, 59 percent in reading, 28 percent in science, 44 percent in social studies and 51 percent in writing.

Students in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District scored 32 percent proficient in math, 65 percent in reading, 36 percent in science, 50 percent in social studies and 59 percent in writing. All represented increases from last year's scores.

"We're happy that scores have increased in each of the five areas," said Jason Jeffrey, assistant superintendent for general and career and technical education for TBAISD. "We try to temper that excitement with the understanding that this is a snapshot of one moment in time, one particular assessment."

TBAISD officials continue to be concerned about math and science scores and hope implementing research-based instructional practices, such as Next Generation Science Standards and Balanced Math, will help increase student achievement, Jeffrey said.

"The profession is changing a little bit because of the increased focus on assessment and student performance, so we are attempting to change with it," he said. "It's our hope that we will continue to make progress."

Traverse City Area Public Schools students scored the same level of proficiency in math compared to last year's exam and improved in the other four areas. TCAPS exceeded state averages in all subjects.

Students scored 34 percent proficient in math, 68 percent in reading, 40 percent in science, 52 percent in social studies and 61 percent in writing.

TCAPS Associate Superintendent Sander Scott said it's nice to see students outperform state averages, but he puts more stock in how TCAPS students measure up to others in the region.

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