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Education

Lawmakers grill education officials about why test results took so long

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Lawmakers are not happy about the time it took for state education officials to release the latest round of standardized test results.

Students struggled in all grades and subjects on the new M-STEP test which replaced the MEAP.

That was expected. But lawmakers didn’t expect it to take six months to get that data.

They grilled officials with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) on the delay during a committee hearing on Thursday.

“It’s frustrating for us as policymakers, but more so for schools and school districts to understand where they need to go and how to improve,” said state House Education Committee chair Rep. Amanda Price (R-Park Twp.) after the hearing.

Education officials say it took longer to release the results because the test was new this year.

“There is a lot of things in the first-year-through that you have to build and you don’t know,” said Venessa Keesler, MDE’s deputy superintendent of accountability services. “We’ve already started looking at the schedule, cutting time for next year. We are confident we’ll be able to do it a lot quicker.”

“We acknowledge that it was too slow. We feel terribly about how slow it was. We did the very best we could and we’re going to improve in the future,” she told the panel.

The state expected students to struggle with the M-STEP this year because it’s the first to fully assess the state’s new, more rigorous standards. Officials say the assessment is also a more demanding test compared to the MEAP.