The state Board of Education voted in favor of raising the “cut scores” or cut off scores for what’s considered "proficient" on the state’s standardized MEAP test.
Susan Dynarski is an education professor at the University of Michigan:
"The cut score that the state has defined as indicating proficiency in math is currently set such that 95% of third graders are above that score. By moving up that score, 34 percent of third graders will be defined as proficient."
Dynarski says the new scores will give parents and schools a more accurate representation of how well students are doing and what areas need improvement:
"The idea of the cut scores is to provide a signal about what proficiency is and what you should be aiming for, and if you set the bar at a higher level, the idea would be then that they’d be aiming for that higher level."
The new cut scores, which are still to be determined, will go into effect for the 2011-12 school year.