The Michigan Educational Assessment Program
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program originated in 1969 as one of the first statewide assessment programs in the US. The first MEAP tests were given in 1970, measuring the reading and math skills of 4th and 7th graders on a simple, multiple-choice test. In the years since, statewide assessments of student learning have grown in number, content areas, grades measured, and the importance of the data. Today all 50 states have some kind of statewide educational assessment program, and the new requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) will necessitate their expansion.
During the 2010-11 school year, the MEAP testing program included:
- 3rd grade Mathematics and Reading
- 4th grade Mathematics, Reading and Writing
- 5th grade Mathematics, Reading and Science
- 6th grade Mathematics, Reading and Social Studies
- 7th grade Mathematics, Reading and Writing
- 8th grade Mathematics, Reading and Science
- 9th grade Social Studies
- 11th grade Michigan Merit Exam (MME) ACT Plus Writing
The Michigan Merit Exam
The Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is the State high school assessment administered to grade 11 and grade 12 students. It replaced the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) high school assessment in Spring 2007. The MME is now administered each year during the month of March. The MME is compromised of the Act Plus Writing college entrance exam, portions of the WorkKeys work skills assessment and several Michigan components developed to assess Michigan high school content standards. The MME assesses students in English Language Arts (reading and writing), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The assessment items are aligned to Michigan high school content standards.
Dates for MEAP test administration in the 2010-2011 school year are as follows:
- October 12 to 29, 2010 – MEAP grades 3–9
- March 3, 2011 – MME grade 11
In recent years, MEAP assessments have been supplemented by MI-Access assessments for some special education students.
It should be remembered that MEAP results are but one piece of the picture of student achievement in our schools. They report evidence collected on one or two days, in some grades, on some parts of the curriculum, and using a very limited variety of item types. A complete, balanced assessment program consisting of multiple and varied measures is needed to tell the whole story. Classroom assessments conducted by teachers, student portfolios and other work, districtwide tests, high school exit surveys, national tests (e.g. ACT), and a host of other measures beyond MEAP are important parts of the story as well.
When the Superintendents of our local districts requested a new way to describe our schools' progress toward meeting a variety of learning goals for all students, the Assessment Work Group (AWG) began work on a template for reporting data from multiple measures beyond the MEAP. Drawing on its multiple data sources, a district will be able to tell a far richer and more complete story of its progress than can be inferred from any single MEAP score or school grade.
Building on the work already done to identify a variety of measures for each of the eight Common High Expectations, the AWG mocked-up a draft template for local district use in this kind of reporting. The draft template included only a few pieces of data as samples. Local districts are now working to identify what format will best tell their story and to develop their own progress report along these lines. WISD's Assessment Services is prepared to work with districts as they develop their own version.