Friday, April 25, 2014

Representative Tom McMillin - Working to keep Michigan’s Kids Behind!

Once again “Representative” Tom McMillin shows his contempt for raising the educational bar for Michigan’s school children by insisting on using the outdated MEAP exam next year. An article in MLive highlights his position: “McMillin, a frequent critic of the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced exams based on the standards, believes the department could prepare the MEAP for next school year.” He’s trying to force the state to use the old MEAP test rather than the new smarter balanced assessment. 

Insisting on using the MEAP is like riding a bike with both hands tied behind your back, you might stay upright for a time, but you’re guaranteed to crash. Educators across Michigan have long understood the problems with the MEAP, and the list of the test’s deficiencies is long. Here are just a few problems related to the old MEAP:

  • The results are worthless for improving learning outcomes (nearly a full school year passes prior to getting results)
  • The test is not aligned to important critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Most Michigan districts have adopted the Common Core to guide their own curriculum development, the MEAP is not aligned with what schools are teaching
  • MEAP is specific to Michigan making comparative analysis between our results problematic.

I’ve already commented on how McMillian has perverted the idea of the common core. In fact, his “understanding” rests on manufactured misrepresentations (i.e., lies). An important disclosure, I’m a fiscally conservative republican, and I’m elected school board member that supports the common core initiative. I’ve studied the common core and I’ve researched the development of the standards. I am a witness to how our district is working to ensure our own curriculum (my emphasis) supports the core standards, and then moves to exceed those standards. 

If we have any hope of moving out of the stone age of educational assessment and comprehensive learning, the polluted ideas of people like Tom McMillin should be exposed for the misrepresentations that they are.

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