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Celebrating Our MEAP Scores

The Michigan Department of Education has finally given us permission to release our MEAP scores.  These were published in the press last week, and I would like to share our results with you!  You can view this year scores in comparison to 2006 and 2007 by clicking on the attached document:  MEAP Results 08

We are very proud of the way in which our students performed.  We opened our school in the fall of 2006–with students coming from 7 + different schools (with varied curriculum and instruction) and staff from 4 + schools.  You can see that each year, our curriculum approach has tightened and this is evident by scores that have gone up every year, and scores that remain in the 90% percentile ranking.  The teachers at Georgetown are focused on best practice instruction and our students in all grades put their very best in working hard and learning well!  We are very proud of them.

We have focused very intensively on writing these past three years.  We have celebrated every gain and have noticed that our students have improved exponentially on their school writing assessments.  In some cases, we have seen students improve their scores low to high within one year.  This is due to our work on the craft of writing (Lucy Calkin’s Writing Program) and our focus on student’s owning their writing progress (rubric bases assessment).

We have, however, been very frustrated by the scores we have received from the state.  Although the state has shown that we have improved, none (that means zero) of our students have received a proficient score of ONE (1) in spite of their incredible improvement on our assessments.  It is important to note that throughout our district, not ONE student received a proficient score in grades 3-8.

As a teacher of writing, a writing trainer, and an advocate for writing to teach other subjects, I have been extremely frustrated with the inconsistent writing results.  I was even more frustrated when I found out that student papers received only one reading last year.  In the past, papers received a reading by two assessors–and any papers that had a discrepant score were read by another assessor.

I was happy to hear that our state Superintendent Mike Flanagan listened to many of our concerns about these results that lacked reliability and integrity.  The writing portion of the MEAP will be re-evaluated and retooled so that the results indicate true writing strengths beginning in the fall of 2010.  To find out more about the flaws in the writing assessment, read this excellent article by a west Michigan parent and writer.

Writing will be a focus of improvement at our school in all grades, every year.  We are amazed by the writing (essays, memoirs, personal narratives and poetry) that our students in grades K-5 are producing.  To view their published work, visit our school storefront at lulu.com In addition, we will be celebrating our writing school wide the week of May 4th with stories published on lockers, walls, and monitors.  We will be reading stories over the intercom and performing stories with a star studded cast.  More about this event is found here:  JUST WRITE. Remember, if you have something to say…JUST WRITE!

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