DPS posts increases in reading exceeding state gains

Comparing new cut scores to previous scores recalculated, reading assessments improve by as much as 7.2%, while math scores steady or lower. Alignment to core standards and new Individual Learning Plan set for all students

Detroit Public Schools posted gains in reading at nearly all grade levels on the 2011 Michigan Assessment of Educational progress (MEAP), including at the middle grades by 7.2 %, 5.6%% and 5.0% where the increases in the number of students testing proficient or above exceeded the statewide increases. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has presented data using a new scoring system for the most recent exam as well as for the three previous years.

The scores for DPS, along with all schools in Michigan, reflect a new scoring system for both the MEAP and MME (Michigan Merit Exam) that MDE implemented to better represent student progress toward proficiency in the next grade and ultimately toward college-readiness.

The percent of DPS students demonstrating proficient or advanced performance by grade tested were: Grade 3, 32.7%, down 3.5; Grade 4, 37.7%, up 2.0; Grade 5, 40.6%, up 0.2; Grade 6, 37.6%, up 7.2; Grade 7, 29.5%, up 5.6; and Grade 8, 34.6, up 5.0. By comparison, using the former scoring system, DPS student scores would have ranged from 55-73 percent proficient, increases of 3-8%.

Math scores for Detroit Public Schools students decreased or remained steady at the grade levels tested, with proficiency levels on the 2011 test with the new scoring formula ranging from 7.2 to 13.1. Under the old scoring system, those scores on this year’s test would have ranged from 51-84%.

Superintendent of Academics Karen Ridgeway stated, “The revised scoring system is a rigorous one that we accept and, in fact, Detroit Public Schools has aligned its curriculum to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), considered to be the most demanding, challenging and nationally representative assessment of school children in the U.S.”

Ridgeway said that despite the improvements in reading proficiency, Detroit Public Schools must remain focused on implementing its new academic plan which is built around NAEP, the state’s common core standards and state curriculum, and nationwide best practices.

“Going forward, we will have data-driven discussions at every school in every classroom about every child, and are creating a new mechanism that leaves no doubt about what every single student needs to know and do to meet with academic success. Beginning next fall, every student throughout the district will have a data-based individualized education plan to help pinpoint his or her strengths and weaknesses.”

The individualized education plans will be automated and built electronically from existing data systems, using tests scores from the MME, MEAP, and benchmark assessments, as well as attendance. The plans will create a new academic blueprint for teachers and staff to know each child’s needs. DPS will also introduce a new parent-friendly academic blueprint to clearly outline what children should know at each grade level. Every school will have a School Improvement Plan based on a compilation of data from all students. The District will employ the use of a performance evaluation tool for all principals and teachers.  Every principal and every teacher will be evaluated on an annual basis, per state law.

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