Submitted by guest blogger:
Maria Yocom, Network Testing Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
As the school year starts at Uplift, so does our testing season. At Uplift, we know that to truly meet scholars where they are instructionally, we need to have a solid understanding of where scholars are when they come to us in the fall. For scholars in kindergarten through 8th grade, we give the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test each fall, winter, and spring. Here’s why:
MAP tells us what a scholar is ready to learn.
We know that to develop a plan to help every scholar achieve their potential, we can’t overlook any skill. MAP tests are available for math and reading for all grades, with the addition of language usage and science in 3rd – 8th grade. The information we get from MAP tells our teachers what skills our scholars already know, what skills they are ready to master, and what skills they’re ready to start learning.
MAP is computer adaptive.
When a scholar takes the MAP test, the testing system actually adjusts to the level of the scholar by giving a slightly harder question after a right answer, and a slightly easier question after a wrong answer. In this way, we are able to pin point exactly what a scholar can already do, and where we need to focus our teaching effort to help them succeed.
MAP measures growth.
At Uplift, growth is incredibly important to us for all scholars. Three administrations of MAP every year help Uplift teachers and scholars keep track of their progress toward their growth goals, and even exceed those goals on their path to college readiness. With each MAP score, we can see where scholars have grown the most and use their progress to motivate them to continue to excel.
MAP scores (RIT) mean the same thing at every grade level.
The RIT score we receive from MAP is a scale score, but the scale doesn’t change from grade to grade like other tests. MAP measures what a scholar is ready to learn, and that is not something we can determine by grade level alone. If a 5th grade scholar and a 7th grade scholar have the same score in a subject, then they are ready to learn the same information.
MAP is predictive of STAAR.
Through recent research completed by NWEA, the makers of MAP, we can now determine how likely it is that a scholar will achieve Level 2 Satisfactory and Level 3 Advanced on STAAR based on their MAP scores. This will help us plan for additional support to ensure that all scholars achieve their highest potential on STAAR as well.
MAP scores can be compared nationally.
We know that our scholars will compete with other scholars throughout the nation for spots at the best colleges and universities, and MAP helps us see how we compare to those same scholars through National Norms and Test Percentiles. Using these tools, we know if our scholars are at the average score for their grade level, or if they are college ready and significantly above their national peers.