March 19, 2007, Beaver Island News on the 'Net


State of Michigan Mandated Testing

The following questions were asked of Beth Croswhite, Beaver Island Community School (BICS) Counselor. This past week was pretty much taken up by the round of tests required by the State of Michigan of all juniors in the state.

Would you please list the names of tests that the juniors of BICS were required to take this week?

Day 1  ACT in 5 subjects: English  45 min., Math     60 min., Reading 35 min., Science  35 min., Writing    30 min.

Day 2  ACT WorkKeys (WK)and Michigan (MI) Math: WK Reading 45 min, WK Math 45 min., MI Math  20 min.

Day 3  Michigan Science and Social Studies: Science 50 min., Soc. Stud, Pt.1 50 min., Soc. Stud. Pt.2 50 min.

Were there other students taking this test not attending BICS?

The Beaver Island Lighthouse School Juniors were also testing with us. They sent a staff member to proctor their test.

How much of your time was required to receive, prepare, package and send off materials for these tests?

I was supposed to receive the test materials the Tuesday before our testing week.  But it arrived late in the dayTuesday to the Charlevoix Airport.  Island Airways didn't send it till the last flight Wed.  I finally started calling for it Thursday and found it and picked it up Thursday late morning.  Fortunately, all materials were packed correctly.  With that short of a timeline, I would not have been able to order additional materials in time for the following week.  I did have to order additional materials for the senior's MEAP test, but I had been given 2 weeks before the test to check those boxes. I had attended training for this test last fall and had periodic forms to complete all winter.  But recently, I have given most of last Friday and almost all of this week to this test.  When I wasn't monitoring the tests, I was preparing for the next day with paper work, organizing schedules and packing all materials for shipping .  I had stopped doing my regular job to accomplish all this.  I can't imagine what kind of time counselors of bigger schools have given up in their schedules. MME is completed.  Now I begin testing the seniors for make up MEAP tests over the next two weeks.

Could I have your reflections on the test, the amount of time required, etc. as counselor of BICS?

The MME (Michigan Merit Exam) has replaced the old MEAP High School Test.  When we used to test the MEAP, we were given a 2-3 week window to arrange student and school schedules for testing.  All MEAP tests were untimed.With the new MME, we are told what days and even what times of day we are allowed to test.  All MME tests are timed, creating more stress.  We tested for 3 mornings consecutively.  The first day was ACT, typically a high stake's test for college bound students.  This year ALL juniors took the ACT, not just the college bound students.  The second day tended to be a bit easier.  But by the third day the Michigan section was difficult. All students began the morning of the third day, tired of being tested.  By the end, they seemed exhausted & frustrated.  I will be curious to see the results compared to the MEAP, locally and statewide.

Could you give your understanding of the purposes of these tests?

“No Child Left Behind” requires schools to test their students.  But the test was developed to also evaluate the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations.  If the students pass all 3 days of tests, Governor Granhom has created anew college scholarship for students, the “Michigan Promise Award” of $4000.

Add St. Patrick's Day to the School Celebration

After taking the above mentioned tests for three solid days in a row, roughly nine hours of testing, there was really no reason to begin trying to teach the BICS students on the Friday before St. Patrick's Day. Lots of costumes were put together by the students. A few are shown below.

The costume winner for the guys. He was the winner hands down.
The costume winner for the girls. This one was pretty good, too.

The group with the most spirit.

Donegal Danny's Pub is Packed

The St. Patrick's weekend was just starting and Donegal Danny's Pub is packed to the rafters of the old barn. The parking lot was completely filled, and cars were parking both directions on Carlisle Road from the storage building owned by Beaver Island Marine to the Beaver Island Rural Health Center driveway.


Page 2 of News on the Net, March 19-25, 2007