The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP)
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) was initiated by the State Board of Education, supported by then-Governor William G. Millken, and funded by the Michigan legislature through Public Act 307 of 1969 (Section 14). The MEAP tests were first administered during the 1969-70 school year for the purpose of determining what students know and what students are able to do, as compared to standards set by the State Board of Education, at key checkpoints during the students' academic career. Hundreds of educators from throughout Michigan continue to be involved in the development and ongoing improvement of these tests. No other tests measure what is expected of Michigan students, nor measure the performance of Michigan students against established academic standards.
The Michigan Revised School Code and the State School Aid Act require the establishment of educational standards and the assessment of students' academic achievement. Accordingly, the State Board of Education, with the input of educators throughout Michigan, approved a system of academic standards and a framework within which local school districts could develop and implement curricula as they see fit.
The MEAP tests have been recognized nationally as sound, reliable and valid measurements of academic achievement. Students who score high on these tests have demonstrated significant achievement in valued knowledge and skill. Further, the tests provide a common denominator to measure how well students are doing, and to assure that all Michigan students are measured on the same skills and knowledge, in the same way, at the same time.
Properly used, the MEAP tests can:
- Measure academic achievement as compared to expectations, and whether it is improving over time;
- Determine whether improvement programs and policies are having the desired effect;
- Target academic help where it’s needed.
Admittedly, there is some pressure associated with taking the MEAP tests, but it is a positive pressure. Competitive scholastic experience provides Michigan students with excellent preparation for the real world which awaits them after high school graduation, and helps assure that they possess the knowledge and skill necessary for a successful future.
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program is all about effort, improvement and academic excellence. Michigan students are expected to learn and grow, and the MEAP continues to make a valuable contribution in providing them the opportunity to measure their academic progress. The MEAP tests and administration of the tests are far from perfect, but our collective effort should be student focused with a clear bias toward accurate analysis, constructive criticism and continual improvement.
Reprinted with the permission of the Michigan Department of Education. © 2001-2007 State of Michigan
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