Michigan Educational Assessment Program MEAP
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program, commonly known as MEAP, is a standardized test. The test is taken by all public school students in the U.S. state of Michigan from elementary school to middle/junior high school. For high school students the MEAP test was replaced in 2007 by the Michigan Merit Exam.3, 5 Students scoring very well on the high school test earn the Michigan Merit Award, a $2,500 college scholarship. The program was started by the State Board of Education and supported by then Governor William G. Millken. The MEAP tests were first administered during the 1969-70 school year for the purpose of determining at various points in a student's career, their progress compared to standards set by the State Board of Education. Many of the criticisms of the test are common to all standardized tests. Opponents feel that standardized tests cannot correctly measure student knowledge, performance, or learning. Others feel that Michigan should not waste so much money on developing their own test and instead should use national tests, that would conform better to the standards of the rest of the country. In October 2007, a Jackson newspaper reporter published an article containing the topics of the 5th and 6th grade MEAP test, jeopardizing the integrity of later sections of the test yet to be completed by students in many districts. These compromised portions of the test were retaken by all students, levying a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Michigan Department of Education.