Measures of Academic Progress
Posted Thursday, August 29, 2013
One of the most important goals that we have in the Loveland City Schools is to ensure that every child is growing academically each year. In order to accomplish that goal, we must continually monitor student learning by gathering data and then adjusting instruction as a result of that data. We gather data from multiple sources and at multiple points in time. From teacher-created assessments such as quizzes, unit tests, projects, speeches, and observations to standardized assessments such as the Ohio Achievement Assessment and the Stanford Achievement Test, we want to build a profile for each student so that we can meet the learning needs of every child.
After extensive research and learning, we are bringing Measures of Academic Progress or MAP to our district. MAP is a web-based assessment which students will take three times per year in reading and math. MAP is a product of the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). NWEA is a non-profit organization started in 1977 by teachers who wanted “to devise a formative testing system that responds dynamically to the child, and gives educators detailed insight into kids' learning.” MAP adapts to each student’s skills and knowledge level so that teachers and parents know exactly what skills a child has mastered and what skills a child is ready to learn. MAP is timely, providing immediate feedback to each student at the end of the testing session and shortly thereafter to parents and teachers. Further, MAP will allow us to eliminate some of the assessments that we currently use.
MAP is not for assigning grades. It is a tool which will allow teachers to have meaningful conversations with students and parents about individual growth. Unlike some assessments, it is not a grade level assessment. It is an assessment of knowledge and skills that students have developed. Because the test is adaptive, each child’s assessment is individualized based upon how each question is answered. Simply put, if a student answers a question correctly, he/she will get a harder question. If a question is answered incorrectly, he/she will get an easier question.
In the fall of 2013, we will implement MAP in grades K-9. The assessments will be given three times a year. For the first time, we will have a method for measuring the growth of each child over time. Furthermore, you will receive consistent information each year about your child’s growth in reading and math. Each report that you receive will show the results of MAP assessments over multiple years so that you can see how much your child is growing from year to year.
Please feel free to contact me directly with questions. I look forward to the strengthened school-home partnership that MAP will bring.
Kimberly Pietsch Miller
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning