Michigan Public School Policy Grades Middle School Students with the MEAP

By This information provided the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability

Your middle school student is going through a lot right now. During their middle school years, children are growing physically, psychologically, mentally and socially. Sometimes, that middle school transition can be challenging. The middle school classroom years are an especially important time to make sure your child is keeping up with increasingly demanding school work. In order to track that, the state of Michigan administers an annual statewide test called the Michigan Educational Assessment Plan (MEAP).

All 6th through 8th grade students are tested in reading, writing and math. Sixth graders are also tested in social studies, and all 8th graders are tested in science.

Why Is the MEAP Given in the Middle School Classroom?

The MEAP test is given to all Michigan students. It provides a way to measure in the same way, at the same time, how all Michigan students are doing on the same skills and knowledge. The test provides valuable information to parents on their student's academic progress. It also allows teachers and schools to determine whether improvement programs and policies are having the desired effect and to target academic help where it is needed.

In fall 2007, the MEAP will release a more detailed parent report for the first time. It will allow parents to compare two years of their child's progress in English language arts and in math.

Test is Only One Measurement of Middle School Learning

MEAP is just one snapshot among many that can reveal a student's overall ability
and progress. It is also important to consider other assessment tests, progress reports, report cards, class work, class participation, homework habits and teacher comments.

State, School Issues Standards Covered in Test

Michigan's MEAP tests are based on state standards and Grade Level Content Expectations that outline what a student should know and be able to do by subject, at the end of each grade. You can find the expectations by visiting www.mi.gov/glce.

Understanding MEAP Scores:

A basic understanding of your child's MEAP scores is not difficult. All MEAP tests have four performance levels:

Studying Tips: Prepare for the MEAP Year-round

Remember, the MEAP is based on the grade level content that a student learns every day in the classroom. Helping children do well in school also helps prepare them for the MEAP. The best way to help is to make sure children get to school ready to learn. This includes:

Parent-Teacher Communication in Middle School: Ideas for Improving Test Scores

If your child performs at Level 3 or Level 4, don't panic! Instead, you can:

Testing Students with Disabilities

While a majority of students with disabilities take the MEAP, it is not appropriate for some students. For that reason, the state of Michigan developed MI-Access, the state's alternate assessment program.

There are three MI-Access assessments in which students with disabilities can take part in: Participation; Supported Independence; and Functional Independence. Which of the three assessments a student takes is determined by that student's Individualized Education Program (IEP), based upon their cognitive functioning level, curriculum, and instruction. For more information on MI-Access, please visit the Michigan Department of Education's web site.

Additional information on the MEAP may be found at www.michigan.gov/meap and click on MEAP Test Results. You also can call the MEAP help line at 1-877-560-TEST or email MEAP@michigan.gov.