The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Brian A. Jacob quoted in Detroit News, "Educators say recalculated MEAP, merit test scores show challenges ahead"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Brian A. Jacob was quoted in a Detroit News article about new "cut scores" for the state's MEAP and Michigan Merit Exam (MME). The new minimum standards were adopted by the State Board of Education in September, and are expected to reveal a decline in the proficiency of students across the state.

In order to prepare teachers and parents for a drop in scores, state education officials retroactively applied the new standards to old test scores (from the last four years of MEAP and MME scores) with often dramatic changes. For example, under the old standards, 87.1 percent of third graders in Pontiac were proficient in math; under the new standards, that number drops to 11.7 percent.

Though the number of proficient students will drop, at least initially, Jacob told the Detroit News that these new standards are more realistic and in line with national tests. "People should appreciate that the public officials are finally telling them the truth. That should provide even more motivation and emphasis for education reform efforts," Jacob said.

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