LANSING (AP) — The state standardized test for high school juniors is a step closer to being replaced with a version of a college entrance exam.

The Michigan House voted last night to send the five-bill package to the Senate for final approval. The House voted 99 to 10 on the main bill to replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test.

The legislation doesn’t specify a test to replace the MEAP test, but two of its three parts would resemble the ACT and an ACT work skills exam.

Eleventh-graders would start taking the test, called the Michigan Merit Exam, in the 2006-07 school year, according to the legislation. A sample group could begin taking it in the 2005-06 school year.

The bills are strictly limited to the 11th grade MEAP test and wouldn’t affect elementary and middle school students who take the exam.

The House already approved a bill to supplement the Senate legislation by setting up qualifications for vendors hired to create the test, administer and score it.

The bills approved yesterday night were changed by the House to require that social studies be a part of the new test and require the state school superintendent to check that test questions are accurate.

The Senate is expected to send the bills to Gov. Jennifer Granholm before adjourning at the end of the day today.

Three House Democrats voted against the bill: Stephen Adamini of Marquette, Glenn Anderson of Westland and Jack Minore of Flint. Seven Republicans also voted no: Clark Bisbee of Jackson, Sandy Caul of Mount Pleasant, Judy Emmons of Sheridan, Philip LaJoy of Canton, John Pastor of Livonia, John Stakoe of Highland and John Stewart of Plymouth.

Democratic Rep. Artina Tinsley Hardman of Detroit was absent and didn’t vote.


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