2012-03-25 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

By Mike Wallace, Superintendent
St. Charles Schools

March is the month we officially receive and release our 3rd through 8th grade students MEAP test results to their parents and the community. Although our students are tested in the fall, we don’t receive our results back until the spring. We released the scores to parents at our recent parent teacher conferences. You may have seen our test results in one of the local newspaper articles showing area schools’ results. This year our school district scores look very different than in past years. That is because the state of Michigan dramatically changed their cut scores for students to score proficient. As an example, last year’s 3rd grade students scored 97% proficient in math yet this year as 4th graders they scored 33% proficient in math. Did our students regress that severely from 3rd grade to 4th? Absolutely not! That is simply the difference in what the state sets as cut scores for proficiency.

Now let’s look at those same results with a different comparison that the state doesn’t release to you. That 97% proficiency our kids scored last year in 3rd grade math translated to a 22% proficiency using the current years cut score requirements. Realizing that, those same students and their 33% proficiency on this year’s 4th grade math test demonstrated an 11% increase in proficiency scores. That’s an improvement of 50% over last year. However, as I said earlier, that result doesn’t come from the state, districts have to translate those scores for their communities themselves. This example wasn’t an isolated case. The same thing is true in our scores for most other grade levels and subjects tested. The fact is, we only showed a decline in four of the twelve state tested core reading and mathematics areas. That reflects a dramatically different result of our student’s achievement abilities than gets reported by the state’s public release.

Each year our instructional staff works hard to break down and analyze their own grade level MEAP results. By breaking down the students’ scores, we can determine areas of need in our core curriculum. Data is utilized to improve classroom instruction in those academic areas. Although we are pleased with our students’ success, we are always trying to improve student achievement from one year to the next. By always “raising the bar” ourselves before the state does, we can stay ahead of the game and continue to improve our students’ achieve- ment and educational success.

We work very hard to provide a quality education for our students. Our staff and students take great pride in their success while still striving to improve in the future. If anyone has any questions regarding our district MEAP results, you may contact my office to discuss them.

March is also “Reading Month” in our elementary school. Staff and students strive to achieve reading goals to earn various honors and awards for their grade levels, classrooms and school. When you walk around our buildings you can’t help but notice reading month activities going on everywhere. Please take time this month to read with your child and encourage them to read while at home. Young children need to foster a love of reading and that is much easier to do when they are read to and encouraged to read at their homes.

Finally I want to mention that Carol Knieper was hired as our new food service director. Carol replaces Carla Darling who officially retired the 1st of March. I want to thank Carla for her dedication and service to our school lunch program and our students. I also want to welcome Carol to her new duties and we are excited to have her leading our food service program. Speaking of our food service program, I encourage parents to talk with their children (especially those in grades 6-12) about the new lunch menu and food offerings. Please give us some feedback on our changes to the lunch program. We feel that thus far, our students have responded very well to the many new offerings.

As always parents are welcome to contact my office with any information, questions or concerns they may have about any of our school programs. I hope everyone has an exceptional spring break and is enjoying this wonderful weather we have had thus far in March.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 Tri-County Citizen, All Rights Reserved