Lower MEAP scores explained

FLINT TWP. — After MEAP scores were released in mid-February, Carman-Ainsworth school officials sent out a letter to explain to parents why scores are lower this year. “As a result of the increased “cut scores” this year, you may find that your child is not at the same proficiency level as they have been in past years,’’ stated assistant superintendent Steve Tunnicliff in the letter intended to help parents interpret the latest MEAP scores compared to previous ones.

Similar decreases were seen statewide, he said.

The letter explains the state Board of Education voted last year to raise the “cut score’’ students must meet to be considered proficient.

“A lower proficiency score may not reflect a lesser degree of learning for your child, but instead is likely a reflection of a new higher standard of proficiency,’’ the letter cautioned.

“At Carman-Ainsworth, we embrace the concept of increased rigor and ‘raising the bar,” Tunnicliff wrote.

The letter asserted that comparative MEAP scores need to be looked at over time as the transition is made to the h higher standard. Charts were provided showing MEAP scores for elementary and middle school students since 2005. The overall trends shows that students have improved in both reading and math over the long term, the letter said.

Parents also received copies of their child’s STAR nationally-normed assessment, another test the school administers three times a year to measure learning growth. At five months into the school year, results should indicate growth of 0.5 or better.

When calculating growth form last year to this year, 81 percent of C-A students demonstrated a ‘years’ worth of growth’ on the STAR math and reading and/or MEAP assessments, the letter stated in one example. Rhonda Sanders

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