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2013 Michigan Merit Exam Results Continues to Show Four-Year Upward Trend in Student Proficiency

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs or Jan Ellis, Spokesperson (517) 241-4395
Agency: Education

June 24, 2013

LANSING - High school assessment results released today by the Michigan Department of Education continue to show a four-year upward trend in student proficiency on both the 2013 Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and ACT college entrance exam; however, MME student proficiency scores declined slightly from last year to this year.  The MME is administered annually in the spring to high school juniors.

State Superintendent, Mike Flanagan said, “Over the past four years, more high school students are being taught challenging content and are becoming career-and college-ready. This upward trend is good news for students, educators and our state.”

Looking at four-year trends, the largest gains on the MME occurred in mathematics and writing. Mathematics saw an average increase in percent proficient of just over three percent; writing saw an average increase in percent proficient of nearly six percent.

Science and social studies also showed four-year positive gains, with science increasing an average of 1.5 percent and social studies increasing 1.1 percent statewide.  Reading experienced yearly fluctuations, ending with a slight decline over the same four-year period; however, it still has the highest student performance across the five MME subject areas with 53.5 percent of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced.”

During the same four-year period, the average ACT score rose incrementally in all categories. Science scores showed the largest increase from 19.7 to 20.1.  English scores rose from 18.4 to 18.8 and both reading and mathematics increased from 19.4 to 19.6.  The overall composite score for Michigan students on the ACT college-entrance exam increased for the fourth consecutive year to reach 19.7.

An additional important measure - one that is included on Governor Rick Snyder’s Education Dashboard - is the percentage of students meeting the ACT college-ready benchmarks in all ACT-tested subjects (English, reading, mathematics, and science). The percentage of students meeting the benchmark in all subjects has continued to rise steadily over the past four years (from 16.2 percent in 2010 to 18.1 percent in 2013).

 “While assessment score fluctuations are not unusual when comparing different classes of students, results show the need to continue the state’s strong commitment to high standards,” Flanagan said.

The MME is administered over three days with students taking the ACT Plus Writing college entrance exam on Day 1, WorkKeys job skills assessment on Day 2, and the Michigan components of mathematics, science, and social studies on Day 3.  The Day 1 administration of the ACT Plus Writing provides students with the opportunity to receive college-reportable scores needed to apply for college entrance.
 
While nearly all student population groups are making gains in the percent proficient when using the four-year trend (in all subjects except reading), the gap in achievement between student groups is remaining static or narrowing just slightly.

A Parent Report outlining individual student achievement on the MME is provided for each student tested. Local schools are directed to distribute the MME Parent Report to parents/guardians as soon as possible after printed hard copy reports are received at the school.

Career- and college-ready cut scores are used to define a student’s performance level (i.e., Advanced, Proficient, Partially Proficient, or Not Proficient).

While the vast majority of high school students in Michigan participate in the MME, it is not appropriate for some Students with Disabilities. For these students, Michigan’s alternate assessment program, MI-Access, is appropriate.

There are three levels of MI-Access targeted toward students with different degrees of cognitive disability.  They are: Participation, Supported Independence, and Functional Independence. Determining which assessment level is appropriate for an individual student is the responsibility of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team.

Michigan Merit Exam and ACT College Readiness Exam Data Summary

Percent Proficient on each MME Subject

Subject/Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

Reading

54.0

52.7

55.9

53.5

Writing

43.7

46.9

49.4

49.3

Social Studies

37.5

41.2

40.5

38.6

Mathematics

25.3

27.3

29.1

28.6

Science

24.2

25.5

25.8

25.7


ACT Mean Score on each Subject

Subject/Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

English

18.4

18.3

18.7

18.8

Reading

19.4

19.2

19.5

19.6

Mathematics

19.4

19.5

19.7

19.6

Science

19.7

19.9

19.9

20.1

Composite

19.3

19.4

19.6

19.7


Percent Meeting/Exceeding ACT College Readiness Benchmarks on each subject

Subject/Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

English

52.7

53.1

54.3

56.3

Reading

38.7

39.7

40.6

41.2

Mathematics

30.4

31.9

33.2

33.2

Science

21.7

22.8

23.5

23.1

All Subjects

16.2

17.4

17.7

18.1

To view MME results, go to www.michigan.gov/mischooldata. Results can also be accessed from the MME webpage by visiting www.michigan.gov/mme and selecting “MME Test Results” or “Downloadable Data Files” from the menu along the left side of the webpage. 

To view MI-Access results, go to www.michigan.gov/mischooldata. Results can also be accessed from the MI-Access webpage by visiting www.michigan.gov/mi-access and selecting “MI-Access Test Results” from the menu along the left side of the webpage.

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