M-STEP Results for Spring 2015

M-STEP Results for Spring 2015 are in… and they’re not impressive. I think the question now becomes… is the M-STEP test and how it’s taken an accurate assessment?

The M-STEP Spring 2015 State Assessment Results are below, written as the percentage of proficient students in the listed category:


English/Language Arts

  • Grade 3 – 50%
  • Grade 4 – 47%
  • Grade 5 – 49%
  • Grade 6 – 45%
  • Grade 7 – 49%
  • Grade 8 – 48%
  • Grade 11 – 49%


  • Grade 3 – 49%
  • Grade 4 – 41%
  • Grade 5 – 33%
  • Grade 6 – 33%
  • Grade 7 – 33%
  • Grade 8 – 32%
  • Grade 11 – 28%


  • Grade 4 – 12%
  • Grade 7 – 23%
  • Grade 11 – 29%

Social Studies

  • Grade 5 – 22%
  • Grade 8 – 30%
  • Grade 11 – 44%

So, you could read this as… 28% of 11th graders in the state of Michigan are proficient in Math, 12% of 4th graders are proficient in Science, etc.

Prior to the M-STEP being administered, many parents expressed valid concerns. The M-STEP was brought on as a replacement to the 44-year old MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program). The M-STEP was developed for students in grades 3-8 and 11 and assesses English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies skills.

Some of the concerns expressed discussed how the M-STEP is now a computerized exam and results of the test could be incorrectly affected by a student’s ability to use the computer. Additionally, the M-STEP was put together in 9 months. Standardized tests take up to 3 years to prepare, and the test had not been validated or field tested.

It makes you wonder where the shortcomings lie. Are students not properly educated? Did a computerized exam make it too difficult to take the test for some students? Was the test simply poorly written?

This is something that may take years to conclude as they shift things around in an attempt to get the most accurate results. In the meantime, the MDE is providing schools with reports that can be used to improve student instruction based upon the 2015 M-STEP. Additionally, the 2016 M-STEP will include improvements based upon feedback from school districts during the first administration of the test and survey responses from more than 26,000 students and 5,000 parents. It was expressed that the testing time was an issue for schools in this first implementation. The MDE announced that for Spring 2016, the testing time for the Michigan Merit Exam (grade 11) will be reduced by eight hours, and by two and a half hours for grades three, four, six, and seven. The test also will be administered in smaller portions over multiple days so students will not be required to complete the test all in one sitting.

What are your thoughts?

See related posts below for more on M-Step and M-Step results.

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