It's time for the state to discontinue the Michigan Educational Assessment Program or "MEAP" test. That's the contention from a number of business and education groups who say the new "Smarter Balanced" exams should be given instead.

Michigan State Capitol - Photo by Gary Austin

The Education-Trust Midwest, the Detroit and Grand Rapids Chambers of Commerce along with the group Business Leaders for Michigan, among others, would like to see the new system in place by this fall. They have signed a letter suggesting that be done and have made sure Michigan lawmakers and the State Education Department have copies.

Backers say the "Smarter Balanced"  system is computer based and is a very effective way of gauging a student's performance. Critics worry Michigan may not have as much control over this kind of testing. They have also expressed concern about the cost.