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MEAP Cut Scores: Guidance from our Curriculum Office

From Mrs. Karla Akins, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Each year, public school students are required by the State of Michigan to take assessments at various grade levels in the areas of mathematics, reading, writing, science and social studies. Students in grades 3 – 9 take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test and students in eleventh grade take the Michigan Merit Exam (MME).

Recently, the State Board of Education adopted more rigorous proficiency standards (cut scores) for these assessments which more closely align with ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. Cut scores separate test takers into various categories; advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient. With this year’s new cut scores in place, parents may notice their child is not at the same proficiency level as previous years. A lower score does not mean that a child isn’t gaining academic skills, rather it is a reflection of the higher standards. While we anticipate an initial decline in the number of students reported as “proficient”, we are confident this change will be temporary due to ongoing school improvement efforts.

In order to prepare districts for the implementation of these new cut scores, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has released historical assessment data showing how districts would have scored had the new standards for proficiency been in place since 2007. Attached are graphs showing how Hudsonville Public School students would have compared to the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and state averages. More detailed data can be accessed at MISchoolData portal.

Prior to the spring release of MEAP and MME reports, several other measures are used by our staff to ensure students are making academic progress. Attendance, classroom participation, class work and formative and summative assessments are used to determine the level of support needed to prepare students for the next step in their education. In addition, several of our S.O.A.R. I (strategic plan) goals reflect Hudsonville Public Schools’ commitment to preparing students for a future career in a global economy.

If you would like additional information about changes to the MEAP or MME, or more specific information on how your child’s school is working to prepare students to meet these higher standards, please contact your building principal or visit:

This document contains charts comparing our progress over the past four years to other schools in the county and state:  MEAP Nov Letter 2011-12


Karla Akins, Director of Curriculum and Instruction