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MEAP scores showing gains

Published 10:42pm Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dowagiac Middle School scored higher than state average in 2011 in three areas compared to none in previous years, Co-Principal Matt Severin told the Dowagiac Board of Education Monday night.
From 2009 to 2010, DMS showed a growth rate higher than the state in eight of nine tested subjects.
From 2010 to 2011, DMS’ growth rate was higher than the state in six of 10 tested subjects.
From 2009 to 2011, DMS’ growth rate exceeded the state in eight of nine tested subjects, plus one year where there was only one year’s worth of data.
“Of the two we’re not, one is already turning, eighth grade math,” Severin said. “We’re already starting to see a positive swing.”
Severin explained a relatively new term, “cut” scores, by saying last year’s sixth-graders needed to score 600 on MEAP tests to be considered proficient, 700 for seventh-graders and 800 for eighth-graders. “It raised the bar. They haven’t changed the actual test, but now to be considered proficient, a sixth-grader has to earn somewhere around 625 for math, for example. They have to earn more points.”
In math, 18 percent of sixth-graders were proficient in 2009, compared to 33 percent in 2010 with the new cut scores — a gain of 15. The state lost two points, giving Dowagiac “a net gain of 17 points compared to the state — a pretty big jump. We really targeted our math. This year, we actually dropped three points, but we had such a big gain before over the past two years that we had a 14-point gain. To me, that says we’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re moving in the right direction,” Severin said.
To analyze data another way, Severin plotted four-year trend lines to show “slopes.”

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