In January, our teachers and scholars begin making that final push to the end of the year. A common question in January is “How close are scholars to achieving their growth goals?” In order to help our teachers monitor scholar growth, Uplift gives the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) and Explore/PLAN/ACT tests in January. This helps our teachers refocus their small groups and continue to help scholars grow academically.
Both of our middle of year tests are less knowledge and fact based, and focus more heavily on skills. Knowledge or fact based tests measure a scholar’s ability to recall a fact or something taught, whereas skills based tests might measure a scholar’s ability to solve problems based on their comprehension of something written. Understanding the growth scholars have made on skills is what allows us to continue to sharpen scholars’ skills so that they are truly ready for college.
For anyone new to the tests we give at Uplift, MAP is the national test we give to grades K – 8 in reading and math, and 3 – 8 in science and language usage. Scholars have growth goals for each subject in which they test to help guide them to a college ready level of performance. Starting in ninth grade, scholars take one of the ACT line of tests which are used to help scholars prepare for the official ACT they will take in the spring of their junior year. Explore is our ninth grade measure of college readiness and Plan is taken by our tenth graders. The official ACT is a national test that scholars can send to colleges for admission and scholarship dollars.
Basically, middle of year testing at Uplift helps us make sure we are on the right track for college success.
Maria Yocom is the Testing Coordinator for Uplift Education and is responsible for supporting testing and state accountability for all Uplift campuses.