OSCEOLA, MECOSTA COUNTIES — The results are in for state standardized tests taken during the last academic year.

Statewide and local scores for the Michigan Student Test of Education Progress (M-STEP) show large percentages of students are testing at or below the proficiency level in several subjects.

Only 44 percent of students in grades 3 through 8 in Michigan passed the English language arts (ELA) portion, while only 37.4 percent of the same students were proficient in mathematics and 23.8 percent in social studies.

Students in third, fourth, sixth and seventh grades were not tested in social studies.

Students taking the M-STEP are scored as not proficient, or needing intense intervention and support to improve achievement; partially proficient, needing assistance to improve achievement; proficient, understanding key grade level content; and advanced, exceeding grade level content standards, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

In high school, 36.9 percent of juniors who took the SAT met the proficiency level in mathematics and 57.8 percent in evidence-based reading and writing. Only 48.5 percent of high-schoolers tested passed the social studies portion of the state standardized exam. On average, juniors across the state earned a 1,001 score out of a total possible 1,600 on the SAT.

Within the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, many local schools are in-line with state scores.

"Families and parents should remember the M-STEP is one assessment and is not a 'sole indication' of what your student is capable of doing, accomplishing or learning," said Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District General Education Director Tonya Harrison. "The scores are one picture of the strengths and weaknesses of their student's academic learning."

She said the data from the assessments should be used to evaluate what standards are taught and how schools can improve between grade levels.

"A couple of our grade levels increased in proficiency in the area of ELA but we have continued work to do in the area of literacy," she said. "We see the same in the area of mathematics. As an ISD, we are continuing to work with the Essential Elements of Early Literacy and we hope to see this initiative impact our scores. I would like to see us begin to look at our middle school scores, as we see a dip in scores across the board once students get to middle school."

Big Rapids

Approximately 273 students were tested in Big Rapids Public Schools' two elementaries, Brookside and Riverview. Between the two schools, an average 55.5 percent of third- and fourth-graders tested as proficient or advanced in ELA, and about 57.1 percent passed the math portion of the M-STEP.

The numbers drop slightly as students move into the middle school. More than 520 fifth- through eighth-graders took the ELA and mathematics portions of the exam, with 35.3 percent and 30.4 percent, respectively, being proficient or advanced. Approximately half of Big Rapids Middle School students took the social studies portion of the M-STEP, and 16 percent passed.

On the SAT, high-schoolers earned an average score of 1,047.4 out of a 1,600 total. Of the 147 students tested, 59.5 percent passed the social studies exam, 62.6 percent tested as proficient or advanced in evidence-based reading and writing and 50.3 percent passed the math portion.

"This is a snapshot," said Superintendent Tim Haist. "We are always proud of our kids. We continue to want to provide a well-rounded education for our students."

Crossroads Charter Academy

Of the more than 170 third- through sixth-grade students at Crossroads Charter Academy's elementary building, 47.7 percent scored at the proficiency level on the ELA part of the M-STEP, while 38 percent of the same 170 pupils scored proficient or advanced in math. Just over 15 percent of fifth-grade students passed the social studies portion.

In the secondary building, 31.4 percent of students passed the social studies portion of the exam and 41.2 percent of sixth- through eight-graders scored proficient or above in ELA. Students who scored at the proficiency level in mathematics made up 28.6 percent of the total 69 tests taken.

High school juniors scored an average 1,047.3 on the SAT. Of the 48 students who took the exam, 70.8 percent met the proficiency level in evidence-based reading and writing, 53.2 percent passed the social studies segment and 41.7 percent scored proficient or advanced in math.

Evart Public Schools

In Evart, more than 70 high school juniors earned an average total score of 887.2 on the SAT, with 29.3 percent being proficient or advanced in ELA, 16 percent passing the mathematics portion and 20.6 percent meeting the proficiency level in social studies.

Approximately 280 middle school students took the ELA and math segments of the M-STEP this year, with 24.5 percent and 22.7 percent scoring proficient or advanced, respectively. More than 150 fifth- and eighth-grade students took the social studies portion of the state standardized test, with 10.5 percent meeting the proficiency level.

Of the 122 third- and fourth-graders at Evart Elementary School, 33.1 percent passed the ELA part of the exam and 35.2 percent were proficient or advanced in mathematics.

Reed City Area Public School

In Reed City, approximately 118 high-schoolers earned an average 947.5 on the SAT. On the ELA portion, 47.5 percent of youths passed, and 42.7 percent of juniors were proficient or advanced in social studies. More than 27 percent of students tested at the proficiency level in mathematics.

More than 350 students at Reed City Middle School took the ELA and math segments of the M-STEP, with 33.1 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively, scoring proficient or advanced. In the eighth grade, 126 students were tested in social studies and 21.4 percent met the proficiency level.

Third- through fifth-grade students at G.T. Norman Elementary scored 32.4 percent proficient or advanced in ELA. Of the same 336 students, 21.1 percent met the proficiency level in mathematics. Nearly 100 fifth-graders took the social studies portion of the exam, with 15.3 percent passing.

"Our students’ scores overall show stability and small growth compared to last year’s M-STEP scores," said Superintendent Myra Munroe. "We plan to dig into the data to see where we are showing success and where we need to adapt and improve our programs and instruction as our scores are not where we want them to be. All of our teachers are working every day to help our students meet and exceed expectations."

Harrison advises parents to learn more about this year's M-STEP and SAT.

"Talk to your student's teachers and school about the score and ask if there are things they should or could do at home to support their student and their learning," she said. "The teacher and family supporting the learning together is the strongest indication of success for the classroom."