Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) FAQs for Parents
Where can I go to learn more about the MAP Assessments?
The http://www.nwea.org website has many resources for your use. Click here for a Parent Toolkit.
Who is North West Evaluation Association (NWEA)?
NWEA is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping school districts throughout the nation improve learning for all students. NWEA partners with more than 5,500 school districts representing more than five million students. As a result of NWEA assessments, educators can make informed decisions to promote your child’s academic growth.
What are the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessments?
MAP is a computerized adaptive assessment, administered three times a year, in reading and math. When taking a MAP assessment, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers the previous questions. When the student answers correctly, the next question becomes more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the next question becomes easier. In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly. This is the most accurate way to pinpoint a student’s readiness to learn new material and concepts. These assessments determine your child’s instructional level and measure academic growth from year to year in the areas of mathematics and reading. MAP is NOT a mastery level assessment. CMS uses MAP as an instructional tool to help teachers instruct students exactly where they will learn best.
What are some of the features of MAP Assessments?
The assessments challenge every student. Students are not expected to get every question right.
The assessments are dynamically built based on students’ instructional levels and give accurate, reliable information for every student; on an individual basis.
The assessments are untimed. Students are given as much time as needed to complete the assessment. Most MAP assessments are taken in less than an hour.
Assessments are given for internal accountability and instructional planning purposes. The assessments give educators information about students within the district, school, or classroom and are used by teachers to customize instruction for every child.
The assessments measure growth and show how students are progressing in reading and math.
Assessment results are received immediately and display at the end of the assessment.
Do all students in the same grade take the same assessment?
No. NWEA assessments are designed to target an individual student’s academic performance in mathematics and reading. These assessments are tailored to an individual’s current instructional level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows, what they can do, and what they are ready to learn. The computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique assessment that challenges them individually.
What is a norm-referenced test?
Norm-referenced tests compare an individual child's performance to that of his or her classmates or some other, larger group. Such a test will tell you how your child compares to similar children on a given set of skills and knowledge, but it does not provide information about what the child does and does not know. Scores on norm-referenced tests indicate the student's ranking relative to that group. MAP assessments are nationally normed.
What type of score will my child receive?
Your child’s MAP results are reported in RIT scores. This is a different type of score than a typical assessment that provides a percentage correct. It is also different than many assessments that provide results based on your child’s score compared to others in his or her grade. Instead, the RIT score is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, that is unrelated to age or grade level of the student. As a result, we can easily measure growth in learning. This type of score increases the value of the assessments as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for your child’s learning.
How will my child’s teachers use the assessment scores?
You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times, such as on his or her birthday. This is a growth chart. It shows how much he or she has grown from one year to the next. MAP assessments do the same sort of thing, except they measure your child’s growth in mathematics and reading skills. MAP assessments let teachers know where a child’s strengths are and if enrichment or remediation is needed in any specific areas. Teachers use this information to help them customize instruction for every child in the classroom.
What can I do as a parent?
There are three ways that parents can support their child at home. These activities are consistently associated with higher student achievement.
· Meet with your child’s teacher as often as needed to discuss his or her progress.
· Ask your child’s teacher to suggest activities to help improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork.
· Maintain open lines of communication with your child’s school. Children benefit from parents and teachers working together.
· Give your child a well-rounded diet. A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.
· Provide books and magazines for your child to read at home. By reading new materials, a child learns new words that might appear on an assessment.