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51% Of School Districts Show Lower English Proficiency For 7th Graders In 2022

September 6, 2022

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Thursday announced that spring statewide test results show decreased proficiency in 51% of school districts between 2021 and 2022 for 7th graders in English Language Arts (ELA).

MDE’s press release highlighted that scores between 2021 and 2022 from third to seventh grade improved in 54.5% of school districts for ELA and that 4% of districts maintained their proficiency levels compared to last year.  

For mathematics, on average from third to seventh grades, 55.9% of school districts increased their achievement scores and 7.4% of districts maintained their levels. 

“Last year was a stronger year for our children, given the courageous work of our students and staff, but we continue to have a lot of room for improvement,” said Michael Rice, state superintendent of public instruction. “Supported by an extraordinary fiscal year 2023 budget recently negotiated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state Legislature, this school year will be critical to the growth and achievement of our students.” 

The Great Lakes Education Project argued that a National Center for Education Statistics report showed “students have fallen faster and farther behind in reading and math than ever imagined.  

“Our kids are hurting and all Gretchen Whitmer has offered them is a veto pen,” said Beth DeShone, executive director of GLEP. “The latest numbers are absolutely heartbreaking, but they’re hardly a surprise to parents who’ve watched their kids struggle while Whitmer played politics with their lives. Enough is enough. Now is the time to do absolutely everything we can to catch kids up to grade level. Period. Hard stop.”  

Here are the numbers released Thursday by the MDE on the count of districts showing increased proficiency and decreased proficiency: 

* “Entities had to have a valid district aggregate score on M-STEP in both 2021 and 2022 to be included in this analysis.”Statewide 2022 M-STEP Results 
(Percent Proficient or Above)

* “Due to standard setting with low participation numbers for the science assessments in 2021, performance levels and cut scores had to be reset in 2022. This requires a new starting point for science score trends in 2022.”

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