MME scores topic for AMA ESD

ALPENA – Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Board of Education had a long discussion on Thursday about the results of the Michigan Merit Exam scores released recently. The scores show there was an overall improvement as far as student proficiency, but there also were many problem areas.

“These are a good snapshot on how the students are doing, but they reflect more of a baseline,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance Tony Suszek said. “You want to look at how it compares to state average and the schools around it as far as geographical proficiency.”

The MME scores ranged from being proficient to less than proficient, but Superintendent Brian Wilmot pointed out there are discrepancies in the testing.

“Michigan is one of a handful of states that test everyone for the MME,” he said. “All of the scores are included in the pot. Other states test the top students.”

The state also has raised the bar on testing scores they consider average many times over the years, putting scores that used to be near the top percentages below average.

“As the scale scores go up, the number of kids that meet the requirements goes down,” Wilmot said. “The kids aren’t doing worse. All of our schools are working to do better and we’re doing what we can to support them.”

The board also voted unanimously to nominate and approve the current elected officers to their same positions. John Pines as president, Naomi Deo as vice president, Norm Sommerfeld as treasurer, Ralph Stepaniak as secretary and Donna Meyer as recording secretary.

“The consensus was the people currently filling those positions are doing a good job,” Wilmot said. “It benefits keeping those people in the roles because they have experience.”

In other business:

  • the board appointed Thrun Law Firm, P.C. as district counsel, and LaPointe & Butler, P.C. for special education legal issues, Straley, Ilsley, & Lamp, P.C. as ESD auditors for 2013-14, and Suszek and Melissa Cook as authorized transfer agents for bank accounts;
  • the rate of pay for substitute staff at Pied Piper School stayed the same at $80 per day for certified staff and $9.25 per hour for paraprofessional staff and support staff;
  • Mary Zann has been approved for a Michigan School Administrator Certificate by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Professional Preparation Services;
  • the preschool has been given 481 slots this year compared to 155 last year and Sarah Prevo has been working diligently to fill slots and open new approved sites for the Great Start Readiness Program along with preparing many requirements and paperwork for this school year.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.