Students in early grades in the State of Michigan have test scores that are improving. The 2019 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress or M-STEP test is used by the Michigan Department of Education to gauge how well students are mastering state standards. The Michigan Department of Education reported that 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade English language arts scores have shown gains for the second straight year. Math scores also increased for 3rd, 5th, and 6th-grade students. State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said, “Focus and attention on early childhood education and early literacy are beginning to bear fruit, and continued efforts in these areas will keep Michigan moving forward.” Dr. Rice also noted that despite a significant number of snow days, test scores in many places increased or remained consistent, even with fewer instructional days. Deputy Superintendent Venessa Keesler added that the 2018 and 2019 assessments are the first time during the past five years where there is a relatively clean comparison across years from M-STEP. She also said that changes and systematic improvements to Michigan’s state assessment system have been made each year since the M-STEP began in 2015. Those frequent changes make it difficult to make data comparisons or interpret long-term data trends.