Proos: Improved high school exam scores positive news for SW MI students

According to assessment results recently released by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Southwest Michigan high school students continue to improve their proficiency scores or maintain already high marks, said Sen. John Proos. 

“A quality education that focuses on fundamentals remains critical to the chances of each Michigan child reaching his or her full potential in their career,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The news of continued improvement in high school testing is positive news for every student in Southwest Michigan and a testament to the hard-work being done by our teachers and parents.”

The MDE said that the state is seeing a four-year upward trend in student proficiency on both the 2013 Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and ACT college-entrance exam. The overall composite score for Michigan students on the ACT exam increased for the fourth consecutive year to 19.7, and the state’s average ACT score rose incrementally in all categories.

“The steady improvement on ACT and MME scores illustrates that Michigan is preparing more and more students for success in college and in their future careers,” said Dr. Myra Munroe, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services at Edwardsburg Public Schools. “The achievement is the direct result of a commitment to excellence by our educators, parents, students, and community. We are proud of our good scores and will continue to work toward our goal of 100 percent student proficiency.”

Janine Harrison, a Lakeshore Public Schools teacher, said: “As a teacher, it is very gratifying to see the continued improvement of student scores in Southwest Michigan. I am very proud of the commitment that my students have shown to their education and look forward to their future achievements.”

Statewide, during the past four years, the largest gains on the MME occurred in mathematics and writing. Math saw an average increase in percent proficient of just over three percent; writing saw an average increase in percent proficient of nearly six percent.

Science and social studies also showed four-year positive gains. Reading scores have fluctuated, ending with a slight decline, but it still has the highest student performance of the five MME subject areas with 53.5 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced.

“The improved Michigan Merit Exam scores in math and science throughout Southwest Michigan highlight the impact that career and technical education is having on helping students achieve great results,” Proos said. “CTE programs offer opportunities for area students to learn in creative ways that best unleashes their potential, and these scores are an example of the impact these programs can have.

“Improving academic performance is why I continue to encourage that we give every student the ability to choose the educational path that best matches their skills and prepares them for a success in today’s workforce.”

Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at: Click on Podcasts.