MDE: Fremont did not break ACT, MME rules

FREMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Education found that staff at Fremont High School did not break rules regarding the administration of the ACT and Michigan Merit Exam, but that they may have “violated the spirit” of test policies.

The state opened an investigation after allegations of impropriety regarding how those March standardized test were administered to high school juniors.

In its findings released to 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday, the state said it appears staff loaded calculators with “help files” to help students as they took the exam. That’s not against the letter of ACT and MME rules, the state found, “though it appears to have violated the spirit of both ACT and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) policies regarding prohibited behavior.”

The state said in an email to 24 Hour News 8 that using the files “raises the potential for creating a non‐standardized condition, depending on what information is on these files.”

But in the end, the state couldn’t determine the extent to which student performances were influenced by the help files.

The students’ scores will stand, the state decided.

The state will provide a monitor to administer the next round of standardized testing at Fremont High School. Staff and administration at Fremont High school will also have to go over the state’s Assessment Integrity Guide, the state said.

The MDE is also going over its policies “to determine appropriate clarifications to the policies to eliminate the discrepancies that allowed this situation to occur.”

Last week, in a post on the district’s Facebook page, Superintendent Jim Hieftje released a statement saying investigators had found “test administrators did not violate ACT rules for administration of the test.” That statement did not mention that school staff would have to go over the Assessment Integrity Guide or that a state monitor would attend the next test.

The state told 24 Hour News 8 it was required to wait five days to release the findings of its investigation to the public after releasing them to the district.



The letter informing Fremont of the results of the MDE investigation (pdf)

The findings of the investigation and remediation plan (pdf)

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