Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 16, 2012

Proposal would give schools break on tests

Proficiency possible if student showed improvement


---- — LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Department of Education has proposed its accountability system to allow students who fail a key standardized test to be considered proficient on the exam if they show significant improvement.

The change would mean some schools could get a better rating from the state when it introduces a color-coded accountability system next year, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

Joseph Martineau, director of the Bureau of Assessment and Accountability at the Michigan Department of Education, said a change is needed to both acknowledge the difficulty in helping students who are the furthest behind and to give schools more credit for doing that successfully.

"Because we set the bar high, it is even more important now to be able to give credit for students making progress," Martineau said. "A significant amount of them are below the bar at this point."

The change would involve students taking Michigan Educational Assessment Program exams. It would need approval from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students who take the MEAP are classified as advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient, and the first two levels are considered passing scores.