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NCLB Outrages

Failing test scores prompt Michigan to cancel writing portion of MEAP

Rich Gibson Comments: The Meap is, imho, the most ridiculous of the state exams. Every portion of the MEAP, and the curricula it is based upon, was written by moronic state bureaucrats. For years, it was supervised by the Treasury Department of the state, not the Ed Department. And it was evaluated by a wing of Standard and Poors.

Met by widespread boycotts, the governor offered a bribe to students who would take the test. Then, after about two years of payoffs to teachers and kids, the bribe was withdrawn as the state was out of money.

I think the comments from the superintendent at the end of the article are funny as hell.

Wonder how the merit pay is going for the auto bosses these days? Well, not so well. But the merit pay for the finance bosses is guaranteed by iron clad contracts which are made of, not iron, but dollars and bribes, while auto worker contracts are torn up almost gleefully. Soon, nearly nobody in Michigan will have health insurance, thanks to the auto bosses, their financiers, and the leadership of the UAW who, sitting on a billion dollar strike fund, have done nothing as about one million auto workers lost their jobs. I figure the strike fund is a UAW boss retirement fund, disguised in fake militancy.

What happened in Detroit happened in all of Michigan next. Who is next?


by Shawn D. Lewis / Th

Royal Oak -- Dismal test scores are prompting the state to cancel the writing section of the MEAP test next year for some students.

Only students in grades four and seven will take the test, while a new test is created. Students in grades three, five, six and eight will not take the test.

Scores determine if schools meet goals set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Districts that don't meet the guidelines face sanctions.

The Michigan Department of Education continues to examine why student test scores are flagging.
"We're constantly reviewing the tests, and when we find one that doesn't have kids performing at the top level, we have to find out why that is and make sure we have the most valid results possible," said department spokeswoman Jan Ellis. "When we look at the scores from a statistical standpoint, very few students scored in the top level."

The most recent Michigan Education Assessment Program test scores are scheduled to be released in the coming days.

In a letter to the State Board of Education, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan recommended the change.

"To correct issues with the writing portion of the MEAP," Flanagan wrote, "the Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA) staff has needed to either fix problems or institute changes to avoid future problems. The problems stem mostly from the test being the shortest, and therefore least precise, of MEAP assessments. Limits on the test's length have also limited the ability to achieve broad and consistent coverage of grade level content standards in writing."

Students in grades three to eight are tested in English language arts and math every year. Science is added in grades five and eight and social studies is included in grades six and nine.

Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Thomas Moline disagrees with the recommended change.
"I'm opposed to the changes, because we've been putting in a lot of work and effort to improve the written expression, and we're seeing solid improvement," he said. "The ability to lay pen to paper and to write clearly is difficult because so many kids are involved in writing on a keyboard, on computers and through texting. I think it's a step backward."

The Detroit News
2009-03-30


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