Plymouth-Canton Students Surpass State, County MEAP Averages
Despite progress, district still short of new state goals.
While Plymouth-Canton Community Schools made improvements in most subject areas on the statewide MEAP test, it still fell short of state's new benchmark.
The district improved upon its scores from last year in most areas of the MEAP test, which measures students' profiency in a variety of subjects, and topped county and state averages across the board. However, with stricter "cut" scores defining students' proficiency this year, the schools failed to meet the state's revised Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals.
The test, taken by students in grades 3-9 each year, measures students' performance statewide in reading, math, science, writing and social studies. The state adopted new standards this year, raising the bar for student achievement to measure students' college and career readiness, said Dana Jones, the district's director of academic and assessment services.
Previous standards, Jones said, gauged an overall understanding of material in the tested subject areas, while the new goals aim higher. The state's Board of Education, she said, made Michigan's standards among the highest in the nation.
While the district's scores ranked among the highest in the state, Jones said there still is room for improvement.
The new standards allow the district to tweak its curriculum to meet future AYP goals and better prepare students for college and the workforce, Jones said.
Frank Ruggirello Jr., Plymouth-Canton's director of community relations, said the new standards allow the district to "stay focused and aim higher."
The new standards have especially raised the bar in math and science, Ruggirello said, and the district will boost efforts to ensure student achievement in those areas.
While districts' MEAP results are highly scrutinized, Jones said the test is "just one piece of the puzzle" in determining students' proficiency. In addition to the test, teachers are "gathering formative data every day by working with (students)," she said.
Here is a look at this year's MEAP scores for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools compared with previous years and county and state averages: