New Michigan Standardized Test Yield Poor Results

Oct 28, 2015

M-STEP Test Logo
Credit State of Michigan /

Michigan students struggled with the state’s new standardized test.  Jake Neher explains.

The Michigan Department of Education on Tuesday released the first results from Michigan’s new M-STEP test which replaced the MEAP.  They show only about half of students who took the test scored proficient in English Language Arts.   Just 12 percent of fourth graders passed the science test.

But state officials expected low scores because this is the first test to fully assess Michigan’s new, more rigorous Common Core standards in math and English Language Arts. They say a tougher test on tougher standards inevitably meant lower scores.  “We’re resetting expectations, raising the bar on Michigan students, and moving forward in the future,” said Venessa Keesler, the MDE’s deputy superintendent of accountability services.  

Keesler says the data should not be compared to previous test results.  “This really represents a new test, a new era, and our new baseline,” she said.  “So, looking backward to other tests, other assessments, other performances on things isn’t as helpful as looking forward to where we’re going to go.”

The MDE is also working on new standards in science and social studies.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network. Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at