Students at Utica Community Schools scored much the same in 2010 as they did in 2009 on the Michigan Department of Education’s MEAP test, according to state test results.
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) is a standardized test given annually to students in grades three through nine to measure the level of student learning.
“We (UCS) remain consistent. If we look at the trend data in the past five years, we remain stable,” said UCS Superintendent Dr. Christine M. Johns.
The overall figures show that between 80 and 90 percent of students meet or exceed the standard test scores for most subjects, which are math, reading and, for some grades, social studies and science.
The greatest strides in UCS and in the state were made in math.
Statewide, 95 percent of Michigan third-graders attained basic proficiency, while 92 percent of fourth-graders, 85 percent of sixth- and seventh-graders and nearly 80 percent of fifth- and eighth-graders attained basic proficiency.
In UCS, most of the math numbers were slightly higher: 98 percent of third-graders attained basic proficiency, while 89 percent of fourth- and fifth-graders, 91 percent of sixth-graders, 84 percent of seventh-graders and 86 percent of eighth-graders attained basic proficiency.
“We continue to outpace the state and country in academic achievement,” Johns said. “We have seen significant growth in the past five years and that makes sense because we have stressed mathematics.”
Dr. Mary Johnston, executive director of Innovation, Federal and State Programs and Curriculum, said UCS actually had four schools that received 100 percent proficiency in reading and nine schools that received 100 percent proficiency in math.
Proficient refers to students who are advanced and proficient.
UCS reading scores show overall growth since 2005 but dipped this year for grades three, six and eight.
Following pilot testing in the fall of 2009, Michigan administered a new writing test for grades four and seven, replacing the former writing assessment that tested students in grades three through eight.
In the new writing test, which also sets a higher standard of proficiency, 43% of UCS fourth-graders and 46% of eighth-graders scored in the proficient or advanced levels. Because the test is new, comparison scores from previous years are not feasible.
Only grades five and eight were tested in science. Eighty-three percent of UCS fifth-graders and 84 percent of eighth-graders met or exceeded proficiency
UCS, which is the second-largest district in the state, tested more than 2,000 students at each grade level.
“Overall, we are pleased with the test results and we accept responsibility and recognize opportunities for improvement,” Johns said.
Paper copies of MEAP Parent Reports containing individual student results began shipping to schools this week and should be available in all schools within the next couple of weeks.
Tables showing the percentage of students in each grade that met or exceeded the test in the list subjects are available on the MDE website.