The state changed its standardized testing for K-12 students this year.
New M-STEP scores released Thursday can't be compared to old MEAP scores.
"These results are the first year of a very rigorous test. It's much much different than the kids have experienced before," Lansing Schools Deputy Superintendent Mark Coscarella said. He says since the tests are online and test current-year curriculum (instead of information covered the previous year) they are tougher.
The scores show good improvement if you compare them to other things, Lansing Board of Education President Peter Spadafore says. "I think this is great, that we're seeing significant academic progress in our students. We're seeing the gap between the state averages and our students decreasing."
The change is most marked in schools the state has said are a "priority" for academic improvement - like Eastern High School - Spadafore said. "Where we've been really focusing our efforts to get those scores up. It's just been really rewarding to see that kind of progress being made," he said.
The average ACT composite score at Eastern went up a full point, Coscarella says. "That's really exciting news. Eastern students and teachers have been working so hard, so we're really excited. We still have lots of work to do and we understand that, but we're definitely headed in the right direction."
Some of that work to be done includes a whole new math curriculum for Kindergarten through Algebra 2, and more professional development for teachers and cross-school collaboration.
"It's important to focus on the fact that progress is being made and our scores are going up. I think the bar has been set and we are working to move that bar every year," Spadafore said.
To check out the scores for any school in Michigan - visit the state's M-STEP data site here.