By Pat Maurer
Farwell Middle Students has something to celebrate. They met, or exceeded their “proficiency targets” for all but one of the subjects in last fall’s Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests.
Superintendent Car Seiter said, “In 2011 the Michigan Department of Education assigned proficiency target to each school building in the state.” He continued, “Schools’ MEAP scores are no longer compared to each other. Rather each building must reach their annual target. By 2022 every school must reach a proficiency of 85 percent for each subject area and sub-group.”
Seiter said, “Farwell middle School hit the annual target in four out of five subject area. As compared to the state average, Farwell middle School’s annual increase surpassed the state average increase in nine out of ten testing areas, with increases up to 27 percent.”
To honor them, a special early morning assembly of Middle School students was held Monday morning and FMS Principal Cathy Gross gave them the good news.
She said she had promised that if they met every target, she would color her hair. Although they didn’t meet the goal in Science, she said she still had to color it a bit because of their amazing accomplishment on the tests.
She wasn’t the only one with brightly colored tresses Monday morning. Every Middle School teacher was on hand sporting, red, yellow, green and Farwell purple hair.
FMS’s eighth grade Science tests had a goal of 27 percent increase. They did increase their scores to 13 percent, a five percent increase over last year, while the state increase was only four percent.
Math results for the sixth, seventh and eighth grades met their 37 percent target, well over the state average of less than 10 percent. Sixth grade results showed a +24 percent for Farwell compared to a one percent increase statewide. Seventh graders had a +10 percent and the state average was +7. In eighth grade Farwell had a +11 percent while the state average was zero.
In Social Studies, the FMS target was 31 percent for the sixth grade test. They scored 33 percent while the state average dropped by 4 percent.
In the seventh grade writing test, the proficiency target was 43 percent. The students scored 52 percent, while the state averaged just one percent.
In the reading tests for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, the proficiency target were 61 percent and the students’ scores averaged at 69 percent. Across the state, sixth graders scored at four percent, while Farwell scored a 24 percent increase. In seventh grade Farwell had a 19 percent increase and the state average dropped by two percent. In the eighth grade reading tests, Farwell earned a 27 percent increase, while the state increase was only seven percent.
Moving into the High School level, ninth graders at Farwell lost six percent in their Social Studies test while the State average showed a 3 percent decrease.
Principal Gross went over each of the scores and honored a great number of students who met proficiency targets in every subject and/or earned all As. She urged students to work hard to improve their science and suggested the possibility of a Middle School-wide science field trip this spring.
Many of the students joined their teachers on the floor for a dance celebration of their scores.