Youngsters in the Berkley School District performed better in all subject areas and at all grade levels than students statewide, according to the 2012 Michigan Educational Assessment Program results released Monday.
However, the district's performance compared to its own 2011 results was not uniform, with some improvements and some declines (see chart, below).
Public school students in grades three through nine were tested in math, reading, writing, social studies and/or science depending on the grade level during the MEAP exam taken during the fall.
Michigan students showed improvement in reading, math and writing in 2012, with the improvement seen in all grades and most demographic groups.
However, students statewide, including those in the Berkley School District, continued to struggle with science and social studies.
"Statewide scores, when compared to (the) county and Berkley, when similar trends exists, usually point to changes or test-embedded reasons," BSD Director of Curriculum, Technology, Assessment and Grants Mary Beth Fitzpatrick said Monday via e-mail.
She added that the district's professional development during the past three years has been focused on math and reading, areas in which BSD students improved at most grade levels on the 2012 MEAP exam.
BSD Communications Supervisor Jessica Stilger on Monday shared the district's takeaways from its students' performance on the MEAP exam.
- We are very proud of the growth in reading and math scores, for most grades, this is the highest we have scored in eight years.
- We will continue to focus on improvement in writing in fourth and seventh grade as well as science in fifth and eighth grade. We are growing, but not at a great enough rate.
- We are working toward the shift from the former/outgoing curriculum to that of Common Core, and anticipating the Smarter Balanced Assessment in 2014-15, which will replace the MEAP.
- We have more standardized and common district assessments, and this is helping to streamline instruction and advance students through the curriculum.
"We are always looking for ways to improve in all subjects," Fitzpatrick said. "The MEAP is just one measure of student progress, and we will analyze the results and tweak instruction and curriculum to make sure our students are learning and advancing."
'Rising to the challenge'
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 percentage point gain, respectively. Proficiency in math and writing also improved, with a 6.1 percentage point gain in fifth-grade math.
However, 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," State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said 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.
For a school-by-school breakdown of how each school performed on the 2012 MEAP, visit School Data: How Did Huntington Woods and Berkley Students Perform On the MEAP Test?
Fall 2012 MEAP scores
Percentage of all Berkley School District students deemed proficient, as compared with those same percentages in 2011.
BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 58.4% 46.7% 40.9% Reading 79.4% 76.6% 66.5%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 64.3% 67% 44.9% Reading 77.7% 84.3% 68.1% Writing 52% 54.4% 46.7%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 74.7% 65.1% 45.7% Reading 88.3% 86.9% 70.4% Science 21.9% 22.5% 13.1%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 64% 66.1% 40.2% Reading 82.2% 83.2% 68.2% Social Studies 49.7% 44.1% 29.7%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 63.6% 57.5% 38.4% Reading 77.2% 68.9% 62% Writing 55.4% 51.4% 51.7%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 52.7% 42.3% 32.5% Reading 74.4% 72.9% 65.7% Science 23.4% 22.1% 15.9%
BSD 2012 BSD 2011 Michigan 2012 Social Studies 36.4% 40.5% 28.6%
Source: Michigan Department of Education