The annual MEAP results, released Monday morning, showed academic improvement in most areas for Brighton students in the last year.
The results show students maintaining a higher level of proficiency in every grade level and every subject than peers statewide.
[Find school-by-school breakdowns in our searchable database]
The 2012 Michigan Educational Assessment Program measures progress in subjects such as math, reading, writing, science and social studies for third through ninth-graders.
Brighton shows increases in math, slight dip in science
In the data released publicly Monday, 45 percent of Brighton eighth-grade students were ranked proficient in math - meaning they met or exceeded state standards - versus 29 percent in 2011.
In math, scores were up across the board from 2011, save for sixth-graders, who showed a districtwide decline of 10.3 percentage points proficiency, and seventh-graders, who dipped 4.2 percentage points in proficiency.
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Laura Surrey said administrators are really pleased with the district's math scores.
Surrey credits the huge gain in elementary and eighth grade math results to a larger focus on math last spring.
"We placed a lot of emphasis on mathematics whereas we've been all about reading and literacy for a long time - we just sort of switched over," she said. "And it paid off huge. We expected to see a four-five percentage point gain, but I really think it was because of the emphasis did last spring."
Surrey said K-4 grades pushed math hard by extending math instructional times to an hour a day. In addition, they created May is Math Month and participated in an online math program with in-school interventions that could be used at home with parents.
Surrey said the decline seen in sixth and seventh grades is due to the fact that Maltby Intermediate did not devote as much time to math as district elementary schools.
"Fifth grade scores are based on fourth-grade instruction," she said. "Maltby focused on the essentials, but didn't have as much as an emphasis on math."
However, Maltby recently implemented a 90-minute math block last month, and Surrey predicts middle school scores to jump next spring.
"You really need about four or five months of doing something to really see any gain or losses on the MEAP to see if it has an affect," she said. "We needed to work on the model. That was the problem there. They didn't have enough time for focused math instruction."
Districtwide science results dipped from 2011 and had the lowest percentage of proficiency on all MEAP subjects.
Part of the problem in science is that while schools are told to teach content, both the MEAP and ACT tests are about data analysis, according to Surrey.
"There's kind of a disconnect - there has been for years, between what they're telling us to teach in science and what they're testing in science," Surrey said.
"When you think about the MEAP test, what you really want to look at is what is coming out on the other end, and that's your ACT scores," she said. "Last spring's ACT science test, Brighton High School students scored fourth highest in two counties: Livingston and Washtenaw. I think in the end, we get the job done. It would help if they would measure science on a yearly basis instead of every three years. I think it would get more focus from all of us at that point."
Statewide results demonstrate teachers, students rising to the challenge
Statewide reading, mathematics and writing scores saw positive gains compared to the previous year, the Michigan Department of Education said in a press release.
“These gains demonstrate Michigan’s teachers and students are rising to the challenge of the rigorous standards established last year,” State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in a press release. “I am encouraged by the progress we are making in Michigan and look forward to the continued efforts to help all students achieve at a higher level in all subjects.”
Fall 2012 MEAP scores
Percentage of all Brighton students who met or exceeded state standards, as compared with those same percentages in 2011.
Grade 3Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 50.1% 38.3% 40.9% Reading 88.7% 84.1% 66.5%
Grade 4Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 68.2% 54.1% 44.9% Reading 89.8% 88.7% 68.1% Writing 74.7% 69.3% 46.7%
Grade 5Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 63.9% 54.2% 45.7% Reading 88.8% 85.8% 70.4% Science 21.5% 22.4% 13.1%
Grade 6Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 44.9% 55.2% 40.2% Reading 84.5% 87.3% 68.2% Social Studies 53.8% 46.3% 29.7%
Grade 7Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 45.3% 49.5% 38.4% Reading 79.3% 79.7% 62% Writing 69.4 62.6% 51.7%
Grade 8Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Math 45.2% 29.1% 32.5% Reading 79.7% 74.8% 65.7% Science 19.3% 20.7% 15.9%
Grade 9Brighton 2012 Brighton 2011 Michigan 2012 Social Studies 42.4% 47.6% 28.6%
Source: Michigan Department of Education