One of the many decisions made by state lawmakers during their budget actions last week was to keep the MEAP in place for another year.
The more than 40-year-old MEAP exam stays put even though Michigan adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010. And the state's education department has been working for the past three years to bring in the new testing that is aligned to the Common Core. That new test is called the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
The state lawmakers' recent decision could mean that educators and students have to hit the reverse button and go back to MEAP. But State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in April that the MEAP was simply “not an option."
Brian Smith has been reporting on the Common Core and Smarter Balanced vs. MEAP tussle. He said that as the issue moved forward, the Department of Education started to talk to testing vendors and see what could possibly be done.
It looks like a deal has been reached between Traverse City Area Public Schools and its teachers. Members of the union have voted to accept a tentative deal that was hashed out over seven hours at the bargaining table Friday.
The agreement still has to be approved by the TCAPS board of education. That is expected to happen at their meeting Monday, according to the district's executive director of human resources, Chris Davis. She said this week that the deal falls within parameters set by the board.
Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.