.

Michigan Department of Education Plans for New Online-Based Assessments

Changes will take place during the 2014-2015 school year.

Paper and pencil for statewide tests will soon be a thing of the past for Michigan students as they prepare to take detailed during a roundtable Monday by the Michigan Department of Education.

The exam will replace the standardized MEAP and MME assessments in math, reading and writing, beginning during the 2014-2015 school year. The MEAP and MME assessments will still be given in science and social studies.

But unlike the tests students are used to, the new statewide exam will not have a common set of questions. Subsequent questions will be determined based on how a student answers the previous one. A correct answer yields a harder one. An incorrect responce yields an easier question. The goal is to have students get 50% of the exam correct, according to state officials.

The questions will range from multiple choice to essays and performance tasks, similar to assignment students get in class. And students will be given a scale score, similar to the MEAP, but also a performance score which will detail, for instance, how well they research.

Districts will still have the option of using paper and pencil assessments until 2017-2018. But state officials explained that the online alternate will provide quicker and more accurate results.

Michigan is among 40 states that have adopted the new test and is part of the  Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led effort to provide consistent and comparable standards, aligned to the , in English language arts, literacy and mathematics.

The goal is to have more rigorous tests measuring student progress toward college and career readiness and have common, comparable scores across different states.

Joseph Martineau, executive director of the Bureau of Assessment & Accountability for the Michigan Department of Education, said that the computer adaptive technology will be tailored to each student's individual ability and that question difficulty will increase or decrease depending on a correct answer.

"This will be a culture shift for students," Martineau said.

Eventually, it is the hope that the Smarter Balanced assessment will replace the need for students to take the ACT. However Martineau said Smarter Balanced "is going to have to demonstrate its ability to be a college predictor test" before colleges will accept those scores in the place of the ACT.

Meanwhile, as the state readies for the new exam, Martineau said districts will have to determine if they have sufficient student to computer ratios in order to make sure they are technologically capable of administering online assessments.

"That does not mean one to one computing," he said, adding: "Two hundred to one is probably not going to work."

MEAP/MME current assessments

Subject K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Math


m m m m m m

M
Reading


m m m m m m

M
Writing



m

m


M
Science




m

m

M
Soc. Studies





m

m
M

m = MEAP; M = MME

MEAP/MME and Smarter Balanced 2014-2015

Subject K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Math


S S S S S S S S S S Reading


S S S S S S S S S S Writing


S S S S S S S S S S Science




m

m

M
Soc. Studies





m

m
M

m = MEAP; M = MME; S = Smarter Balanced

For more information, visit www.smarterbalanced.org.

Just Watching May 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
The article states "...... But unlike the tests students are used to, the new statewide exam will not have a common set of questions. Subsequent questions will be determined based on how a student answers the previous one. A correct answer yields a harder one. An incorrect responce yields an easier question. The goal is to have students get 50% of the exam correct, according to state officials." So now we will have a classroom of students not taking the same assessment test as their classmates. If the goal is a certain level of achievement than set a fixed proficientcy level and everyone at or above is good. This makes no sense at all when the public discussion is to use standardized testing as a measure. The ACT doesn't change the next question depending on your answer.
Ann May 01, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I am all for progress, but are we not putting too much emphasis on one test at the expense of educating the child. The only thing I really see is more test creator companies taking more of our tax money. How are the schools going to afford all the technology necessary for this new experiment, not to mention maintaining its infrastructure and supervising the test taking. Stop the this runaway train, please!
william martin May 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
this article is about online testing i think its a good idea
Billy Bob May 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Oh good Lord... another debacle in the making.... 1) schools don't have enough working technology to make this happen hardware or infrastructure. 2) what are the error rates with the young ones reading and flipping between screens? 3) Adaptive Testing? Designed to make you fail. There was such an uproar when certification testing went this route. Not sure what came of it.. but designing a test with the desired outcome is only 50% correct? as the kids say wtf.... 4) Who designs this stuff and thinks it up? They certainly are not teachers and /or they haven't spent time in a long time in a classroom...
Ann May 01, 2012 at 06:53 PM
William Martin, Why do you think it is a good idea?
Ann May 01, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Billy Bob, I agree with you 100%! This is a debacle in the making. All schools being able to take the tests in a timely and efficient way to having enough staff who can supervise and manage students who know how to get around the system along with the need to have enough adequate technology will complicate this already stressful yearly event.. I know students who randomly blacken in any answer with the pencil approach. Now they will learn that they keep getting easier questions if they don't answer the first one correctly because the questions get harder if you answer them correctly. Let the teacher be the professional in the classroom again. Most teachers can tell how well each of the students is progressing. Remember the good old days?
Virginia May 01, 2012 at 08:39 PM
And why, if I'm a kid, would I worry about getting answers correct? If I'm wrong, the next question will be easier. Our overemphasis on metrics is killing actual "education".
Dave May 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Where is the money coming from for the new tests? And how are Districts going to pay for new hardware etc? I can see the implementation nightmare already not to mention the dumbing down of the state test. I will be glad when my last child has completed their K-12 education and heads off to college before this is new system is given. Our kids are tested way too much already.
Linda May 01, 2012 at 10:35 PM
The differences in difficulty of test questions will result in differing levels of proficiency. A student who scores at 50% with easier questions will not be rated at the same proficiency level as a student who scores 50% with more challenging questions.
Cass Pawlowski May 01, 2012 at 10:37 PM
What a test like this should do is help pinpoint the grade or performance level for each test taker. There is no real passing or failing such a test, but it could show how many students are at, above or below a certain perormance level. All testing attempts to be objestive but is really subjective to the norms built into it. If this test can be used nationwide, then maybe it could work. As a test used only in this state it will only show how kids respond and perform to Michigan-made standards.
Linda May 02, 2012 at 01:23 AM
The Smarter Balance test is a multi-state assessment that is aligned with the Common Core Curriculum. The Common Core is a set of national standards to replace individual state standards in an effort to ensure that students across the nation will receive the same curriculum and will level the playing field. It has been adopted by approximately 46 states, so far. Please go to the following website for detailed info: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/
Aaron Mukerjee May 02, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Virginia, As a high school student myself, I completely agree. Each year, my district administers the NWEA, a similar test in that the questions increase in difficulty as you get more right. Currently, there is no incentive driving students to succeed on these kinds of tests. Also, I completely agree that there is an overemphasis on metrics in education. The over-testing of kids just increases the amount of apathy many students have toward school and "education".
AbuHak May 02, 2012 at 01:54 AM
If a high school has 2400 students, I wonder how long it will take everyone to be tested on the 300 or so computers that might be available in the school? It will be necessary to do staggered testing by grade and within each grade in order to accommodate the technology shortage, so this will result in students losing more days of instruction due to testing. The current method of testing only penalizes non 11th grade students 2 days (one full day and two half days) of lost instruction. I want the contract to lease the computers to the school.
mary May 02, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Ann. You are very right about this. There are not enough computers in the schools to test all the children at once. The schools will have to schedule students in. How are classes going to be run with a rolling student count of kids absent?
Margaret mckinley May 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Probably the most troublesome aspect of standardized testing is the incredible amount of time that must be devoted to it: reviewing core content, test prep, testing periods, scheduling students for computer access, scheduling several testing blocks with multiple grade classes with limited computer access, and probably lost important is loss of instructional time due to testing logistics. Then figure in the amount of stress burdening those 8 year old students (and all children) there will need to be time spent emotionally preparing for testing... All this in a five hour day. So when does the teacher get to teach and the children to learn? Crazy.
Ann May 02, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Extreme testing in our schools is a societal sickness. Sure we want to know if our kids our learning and our teachers are teaching. But, you got to ask yourselves, isn't it getting a bit ridiculous?
DeeDee June 30, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Who is making a lot of money from all of this? Do the people that make these decisions even consult real educators? Would someone replace the people running the Dept of Ed. What a joke. Why would any student really try hard when an easier question comes up? Are student grades based on this? If not, why would a student even care? Teachers will be evaluated on this garbage? Insane.
Brook Stratton July 01, 2012 at 03:31 PM
If you read the article, this test is replacing the MEAP or other standardized tests. No more testing, just a different one...
Sarah O'Brien February 13, 2013 at 05:14 PM
It would be great if the district actually used the scores to improve education, but they don't seem to. Everyone seems content with the status quo of overtesting. Our students are not learning better or given more enrichment. It is test after test.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something