MEAP reading scores up

LANSING, Mich. - Reading scores improved in all grades, and math scores in most grades, while science and social studies scores dipped slightly on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests taken in fall of 2009, according to media and state reports.

The results also showed improvement among African-American and Hispanic students as well as students with disabilities, the Detroit Free Press reported.

State education officials said one reason for the improvement is that Michigan introduced clearly defined grade-level content expectations in 2005, the Free Press reported.

Sharif Shakrani, director of the Educational Policy Center at Michigan State University, told the Free Press that another reason is the emphasis on reading and math brought about by the No Child Left Behind law.

The 2009 scores show that the number of students who are considered proficient in reading at various grade levels now ranges from 82 percent (seventh grade) to 90 percent (third grade), while math proficiency ranges from 70 percent (seventh grade) to 95 percent (third grade. Science and social studies proficiency levels dropped by 1 to 2 percentage points across all grades tested, the state report shows.

Detroit Free Press, "Statewide MEAP gains made by minorities, those with disabilities," March 12, 2010

Michigan Department of Education, "Fall 2009 Statewide MEAP Results."

Michigan Education Report, "Into and beyond the MEAP," Nov. 25, 2008