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School leaders finally know more about the standardized test kids will take this spring

Nov 13, 2014

Credit Biologycorner / Creative Commons

State education officials have updated standardized testing for public school students across Michigan. Details of the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress were announced Thursday.

The new tests, known as M-STEP, replace the 44-year-old Michigan Educational Assessment Program.

Last spring the state was set to switch over from the MEAP to a test called "Smarter Balanced.” But lawmakers balked at the idea, because the test aligned with the controversial Common Core standards.

MDE is still working to come up with a more permanent test with standards the federal government considers "college and career ready." That testing system is supposed to be in place for spring 2016.

The test is online with a paper-and-pencil option.

State law also requires writing tests for additional grades and more questions that test problem solving.

Michigan public school educators helped develop and write M-STEP content. It includes spring testing for grades 3 to 8 and a Michigan Merit Exam for 11th-graders.

About 1,900 Michigan schools have performed pilot online testing to prepare for the new test.