Students in Utica Community Schools continue to outperform their peers across the state in all subject areas, according to the recently-released results of the 2012 Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP test.
During the MEAP exam, taken during fall 2012, public school students in grades 3-9 were tested in math, reading, writing, social studies and/or science depending on the grade level.
Across Michigan, students showed improvement in reading, math and writing in 2012, with the improvement seen in all grades and most demographic groups.
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Utica saw its greatest gains in third and fifth-grade math, where the number of proficient students climbed more than 10 percentage points and far outpaced the state average. However, science scores continued to be the district's weak spot, with fifth and eighth-grade scores dropping slightly from 2011, although they remained significantly above state averages.
New scores demonstrate students, teachers 'rising to the challenge' of new standards
Across Michigan, students made the biggest jump on the 2012 MEAP in reading proficiency for third and eighth graders — with a 4.1 and 5.2 percent gain, respectively. Proficiency in math and writing also grew, with a 6.1 percent gain in fifth-grade math.
Meanwhile, science scores dropped across the state in 2012, particularly in fifth and eighth grade.
"These gains demonstrate (that) Michigan's teachers and students are rising to the challenge of the rigorous standards established last year," said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan in a statement. "I am encouraged by the progress we are making in Michigan and look forward to the continued efforts to help all students achieve at a higher level in all subjects."
Scores across Michigan took a hit in 2011 after the state implemented a new set of cut scores — scores that define the cut-off point for the various levels of proficiency on the MEAP: advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient.
While Utica's proficiency scores did drop under the new standards, the decline was minimal, with eight-grade writing proving the only subject in which proficiency levels dropped more than 4 percentage points.
Utica scores show improvement in math, slight drop in science
Overall, Utica students showed marked improvement in nearly all subject areas on the 2012 MEAP.
Proficiency levels in third-grade math climbed 10 percent, while fifth-grade math saw a 12 percent increase. There were slighy drops in reading and science from fourth to eighth grade, but in no subject did proficiency levels drop more than 3 percent from 2011 to 2012.
For instance, while eighth-grade science proficiency levels declined from 21 percent in 2011 to 18.7 percent in 2012, Utica still outperformed the state average by 3 percent.
Fall 2012 MEAP results
Percentage of all Utica students who met or exceeded state standards, as compared with those same percentages in 2011.
Grade 3Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 44 54.1 40.9 Reading 67.7 74.8 66.5
Grade 4Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 51.6 56.9 44.9 Reading 76.6 75.1 68.1 Writing 57.7 57.9 46.7
Grade 5Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 47.8 60.9 45.7 Reading 75.5 78 70.4 Science 15.3 15 13.1
Grade 6Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 53.1 59.3 40.2 Reading 78.9 77.8 68.2 Social Studies 37 40.3 29.7
Grade 7Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 53.5 54.5 38.4 Reading 67.6 71.7 62 Writing 60.9 64 51.7
Grade 8Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Math 42.8 44.7 32.5 Reading 72.2 72.3 65.7 Science 21 18.7 15.9
Grade 9Utica 2011 Utica 2012 State 2012 Social Studies 38.7 42.5 28.6
Source: Michigan Department of Education
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