DEARBORN, Mich. (WLNS)— Each year Michigan students are challenged to various standardized tests. Some of these tests determine their educational future, funding for their school district, and it plays a crucial role in assessing educators. The M-STEP (The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) is a computer-based assessment that occurs in classrooms designed to see how well students are mastering statewide standards.
However, this year many teachers across the state are worried with what to expect with the MSTEP.
Recently, parents of students have had a choice to continue virtual learning, or send their kids to in-person classes.
The Michigan State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich discussed how brutal the school year has been for students in the state in OPED’s they wrote. The Michigan Department of Education requested the U.S. Department of Education to waive the M-STEP for 2021 and asked for national benchmark assessments required by state law last summer instead. On the Michigan Department of Education’s website is said the state’s education leaders argued it would be best for teachers and parents to understand where their kids are academically and help target areas they need specialized help with.
However, the U.S. Department of Education denied the request for benchmark assessments and stated students will continue to take the M-STEP this year.
Soumia Ameziane, an English teacher in Dearborn Public Schools, says from her personal perspective the COVID-19 pandemic has had some negative side effects on students’ education across the state. Ameziane stated teaching virtual education has been a personal challenge, and says although, she’s been teaching throughout the entire pandemic it’s harder to give her virtual attending students that in-person help. She says the virtual platform creates more independence in their learning and they have a choice to turn their camera’s on and off.
Therefore, Ameziane says it varies how students comprehend classroom material because as a teacher it’s harder to see how each student engages because everyone learns at a different speed.
“Now, with standardized testing is it going to be used this year to assess students like it was previously to evaluate teachers,” Ameziane exclaimed, “or is going to be used to evaluate how far schools are going? How far online teaching is going?”
Ameziane says her perspective is these tests will evaluate what each school district has lost during this pandemic, and what each district needs to work on when they permanently go back to in-person school in the future. However, as a teacher, she does feel nervous this year with the standardized tests.
“As a teacher it really makes me think now that we will be taking these tests very soon within the next few weeks it’s up to me to see what I need to do to make sure that my students are doing well,” Ameziane said, “in these tests because they’re still going to be looked at scores like they were looked at before. “
In a few weeks, the M-STEP Science Field Test and Social Studies portion will test until May 3, 2021.
For more information regarding what the M-STEP entails attached is an education assessment sheet regarding Michigan’s system with standardized tests. The document details all standardized tests in Michigan and why the testing is in place.