8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 11, 2004
Senate agrees to scrap 11th grade MEAP for new test
LANSING (AP) - Eleventh-graders
would no longer take the MEAP test but
instead be tested with a version of a college
entrance exam under legislation approved
yesterday by the state Senate.
The bills don't specify a replacement test
but two of three components of the proposed
new test resemble the ACT and an ACT work
All 11th-graders would start taking the test
in the 2006-07 school year. A sample group
could begin taking it next school year.
The Michigan Educational Assessment
Program is the state's K-12 standardized
testing system. The legislation doesn't affect
elementary and middle school students who
take the MEAP.
The new test would include a college
entrance exam that tests English, math,
reading and science and a "wraparound"
exam-with a work skills component and a
social studies test. Students wouldn't pay for
The new test also would be used to deter-
mine eligibility for the Michigan Merit
Supporters say the new test, called the
Michigan Merit Exam, would better prepare
students for college and the workplace. It
also wouldn't take as much time to admin-
Another rationale is that students would
take the new test more seriously because it
would have a bearing on their college admis-
sion or post-high school employment.
"This change would give students and
their parents a strong reason to take the
test seriously," said Sen. Wayne Kuipers
(R-Holland). "We want to use a standard-
ized test that students can use to apply to
college instead of one that is used only by
Replacing the MEAP test also is being
considered by Lt. Gov. John Cherry's com-
mission studying higher education and eco-
nomic growth. The Cherry commission's
report is expected next month.
Kuipers has said it appears the Cherry
commission will endorse switching from
The Senate voted 35-1 to approve the leg-
Republican Sen. Laura Toy of Livonia
voted no, citing complaints from school
officials in her district who thought it would
cost more to administer a new test.
Democratic Sens. Dennis Olshove of War-
ren and Buzz Thomas of Detroit were absent
and didn't vote.
The legislation next heads to the House.
First hydrogen fuel station
WASHINGTON (AP) - About four miles east of
the U.S. Capitol, in an industrial section of town, sits a
gas station that looks like any other. But yesterday, it
became the first in North America to have a hydrogen-
Shell executives, Energy Secretary Spencer Abra-
ham and District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams
unveiled the technology, which the Bush administration
hopes will help reduce the country's dependence on for-
"This will be, in fact, the first step toward the real
transition in the economy from the carbon-based
economies of the past to a hydrogen economy of the
future," Abraham said at the station in Northeast
The pump services just six minivans that General
Motors Corp. uses to demonstrate the technology to
government officials. But with 80,000 vehicles pass-
ing by every weekday, Shell officials hope it'll get a
lot of attention - and, eventually, a lot of use.
GM hopes to sell affordable hydrogen-powered
vehicles by 2010, and Shell envisions building on the
number of stations and having mass-market penetra-
tion between 2015 and 2025.
The minivans are equipped with fuel cell stacks
that turn hydrogen into electricity to power the vehi-
cle. The only emission is water vapor.
Not everyone supports the refueling station. More
than two dozen neighborhood residents with safety
concerns protested the opening. Organizers said they
don't want the station located 50 yards from an elemen-
"We have issues of how they would bring a truck
into the neighborhood to fuel up the hydrogen tank,"
said Rev. Heath Cheek. Others complained there was
little notification about the station.
"We probably went to the community later than we
should have to talk to them about the project," admitted
George Smalley, a Shell Hydrogen spokesman.
Smalley said the chances of an explosion were
"very, very remote." Hydrogen deliveries will happen
at night or on weekends, separately from gas deliver-
ies, Smalley said.
The underground storage tank has 24-hour elec-
tronic monitoring, and the pump requires a security
code to use.
Local firefighters have also been trained on how to
handle incidents with hydrogen.
Senate bill requires treatment for mentally ill
LANSING (AP) - Mentally ill peo-
ple who have been hospitalized, jailed or
have a violent history could be ordered to
receive outpatient treatment if they refuse
to comply with their prescribed treatment
under legislation approved yesterday by the
The measures also would let a person
designate a patient advocate to make men-
tal-health-treatment decisions for him or
her in the future - much like what already
is done for physical health decisions.
The Senate voted 36 to 0 to pass the
13-bill package. Democratic Sens. Dennis
Olshove of Warren and Buzz Thomas of
Detroit were absent and didn't vote.
Part of the package is known as Kevin's
Law, named for Kevin Heisinger, a Univer-
sity graduate student who was killed by a
mentally ill man in a Kalamazoo bus sta-
tion in August 2000.
The attacker was a diagnosed schizo-
phrenic with a history of problems who
didn't comply with mental health treatment.
Sen. Tom George, a Republican from Texas
Township in Kalamazoo County, said the
legislation would provide an alternative to
hospitalization for individuals with a severe
mental illness but still give them the help
they need. He said too many of the mentally
ill end up homeless or incarcerated.
The bill would protect the public, George
said, by letting family members and others
intervene to get mentally ill people treat-
ment before they hurt themselves or others. It
would allow any person at least 18 years old
Supporters say the bill protects the public by letting
family members and others intervene to get mentally ill
people treatment before they hurt themselves or others.
to file a petition saying that a person meets
the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment.
A community mental health program
would be required to provide the treatment
- picked up by the program or Medicaid.
Mark Reinstein, president of the Men-
tal Health Association in Michigan, said
Kevin's Law essentially gives courts and
mentally ill people more options.
Instead of ordering someone to receive
treatment in a hospital or other facility, a
judge could choose outpatient treatment.
Another part of the package involves
patient advocates - those who work on
behalf of patients receiving treatment.
Reinstein said extending patient advo-
cacy to the mental health field would fol-
low a trend of giving patients more choice
"At some point in time when people are
functioning well they think about what could
happen if they become highly dysfunction-
al," he said. "They could record their wishes
now ... to prepare for the future."
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