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Michigan High School Students on Track for College Readiness

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Communications (517) 241-4395
Agency: Education

Contact:    Martin Ackley, Director of Communications; or Jan Ellis, Spokesperson, (517) 241-4395

 

Student Test Scores on Michigan Merit Exam and ACT Continue to Climb; More Students are Meeting Career- and College-Ready Benchmark

LANSING - Over the five years the state has given the Michigan Merit Exam (MME), Michigan high school students have improved their scores in nearly all subjects, the Michigan Department of Education reported today.                                                                                      

The MME, which includes the ACT college entrance exam, showed increases in the number of students scoring proficient or advanced in four of the five subject areas tested since 2007, including reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The largest increase occurred in writing, increasing from 40 to 47 percent between 2007 and 2011, followed closely by a math increase from 46 to 52 percent, science from 56 to 61 percent, and reading from 60 to 63 percent.

ACT scores for the more than 109,000 students taking the MME this spring increased for a fourth consecutive year, scoring an average of 19.3 on the ACT Composite, which is up from 18.7 in 2008. The ACT Composite Score is the average of four ACT test scores (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science).

From 2010 to 2011, students meeting all four ACT college-ready benchmarks, a measure on Governor Rick Snyder's Education Dashboard, improved from 16 percent to 17 percent (nearly 7 percent difference) - representing an additional 1,090 students over the previous year.

"Michigan's future in large part will depend upon the readiness of our students to enter a career or college with the educational foundation needed to succeed and have a strong quality of life," Snyder said. "Our steady progress is promising, but we can and must do better. I am confident that with our rigorous high school requirements, high quality teachers and the enactment and implementation of key education reforms, this positive trend will continue."

In addition, in each subject area, the percent of students taking the MME who meet ACT college readiness benchmarks has steadily increased from 2008 to 2011 (2008 was the first year the state calculated the percent meeting college readiness benchmarks).  In English, those meeting the ACT college readiness benchmark increased from 51 to 53 percent from 2008 to 2011.  In reading, the increase was from 37 to 40 percent.  In mathematics, the increase was from 28 to 32 percent.  Finally, in science, the increase was from 21 to 23 percent.

"Students are being challenged with greater rigor and are achieving at higher levels," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mike Flanagan. "Michigan educators are to be commended for the efforts they put in to help more students learn and succeed."

The gap in achievement on the MME between many of the student population groups has narrowed when comparing results from 2007 to 2011. In four of the five subject areas, students with limited English proficiency have made appreciable gains compared to those students who are not limited English proficient. The most striking gains have been made by Hispanic students who have increased proficiency levels by double digits in science and writing.

The high school juniors who took the Michigan Merit Exam this past spring are the second set of students required by law to complete the new high school requirements in order to graduate. The two-credit world language requirement first takes effect for the graduating class of 2016.

MME content area scores fall into one of four performance levels: Advanced, Proficient, Partially Proficient, and Not Proficient. Students who have scores at the level of Advanced or Proficient are considered to be "proficient" in that subject.

The Michigan Merit Examination is given each spring to Michigan 11th grade students. The test is administered to most students over a three-day period. The components of the MME are sequenced so that students take the ACT Plus Writing® college entrance exam on Day 1, three subtests of the WorkKeys® job skills assessment on Day 2, and additional items in mathematics, science, and social studies that complete the measurement of Michigan High School Content Expectations on Day 3.

The information provided by the MME meets state and federal legislative requirements. Individual student reports and several types of aggregate reports are provided to schools in printed form and electronically. The Parent Report provided for each student tested is used by schools to share student progress with parents and guardians. Schools are directed to send the Parent Report home when it is received-therefore parents should soon be receiving their students' MME reports.

The WorkKeys® job skills tests measures the areas of Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. The MME Individual Student Report and Parent Report show the level of the WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) for which the student is eligible - bronze, silver, gold, or platinum and provide a link to the website to apply. Student scores for the WorkKeys® have also been reported directly to high schools for distribution to students and parents.

While the scores of individual students are protected by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), summary data about an entire school or district are available to the public at http://www.michigan.gov/mme . From there, click on "MME Test Results" on the left side of the screen. Reports and documents available online for the spring 2011 MME are Demographic Reports, Frequently Asked Questions, a School and District Data File, School and District Summary Reports, statewide results, and the MME Guide to Reports.
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