This year the Newtown school district is continuing the implementation of the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)’s
Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP©). In 2013-14, the district administered the MAP© mathematics assessment and this year, as implementation continues, the Language Arts assessment will also be administered. Students in grades K-9 take the MAP assessments 2-3 times per year.
The MAP© tests determine a child’s instructional level and measure academic growth throughout the school year. Eventually, MAP© will also provide a measure of academic growth from year to year in the areas of mathematics and Language Arts.
MAP© tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests taken on a computer. As a student takes an adaptive test, the more questions answered correctly, the more difficult the test becomes. When a child incorrectly answers a question, the test becomes easier. Therefore, the test is specifically created for a student’s learning level.
MAP© results are reported as RIT scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. It is also different from many tests that provide results based on a student’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 independent of grade level. As a result, growth in math and Language Arts learning is measured. This type of score increases the value of the tests as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for a student’s learning.
There are several advantages to using NWEA. Newtown pursued this assessment to provide an assessment more in alignment with district curriculum. As educators continue to use this tool, standardized information will be available for a student in grades K through 9. The results of this assessment are immediately available.
If you have further questions, your child’s teacher and principal can give you further information about NWEA MAP©. There is also a Parent Toolkit at www.nwea.org.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools