Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MAP Testing at Greenville City Schools

by Jeff Cassell, principal at Woodland Primary School

At Greenville City Schools, we are passionate about student growth. Student growth is about learning and the students acquiring the concepts and skills they need to flourish in the world over a period of time. Measuring student growth is crucial, and as educators we need a measurement scale over time to accurately indicate this growth. One of our measurements is called the MAP or MPG. What is MAP or MPG? MAP is an acronym for Measure of Academic Progress and MPG is an acronym for MAP for Primary Grades. Both MAP and MPG are designed by NWEA, an organization that originated in Portland Oregon over forty years ago. Woodland Primary School uses the MPG, the other 3-8 grade schools use MAP.

MAP/MPG scores provide educators with normed data. Normed data is data about typical level of performance for any given group of students based on characteristics such as age range, grade level, or geographical area. These norms help educators see if a student is growing at an expected pace, regardless of where the student started. It measures growth over time and not just what a student knows at one moment in time. MAP/MPG tests are given three times a year and our students are compared to all the students taking the test from many states and areas. Students take the test during September, December, and April or May.

The three testing windows provide teachers with information about where a student is starting and progressing. In addition, it provides differentiated instructional information to help all students learn. Principals use the information to understand how each class is performing and to track the school as a whole towards established benchmarks. District administrators want to see overall trends and make sure the district is on track to meet accountability requirements. No single assessment can meet all of these purposes.

Using multiple measures allows educators to cross-check their data and answer different educational questions with the appropriate tools. This is why the formative and interim assessments have a critical role to play in providing the information educators need to close achievement gaps. To understand where all students are on their learning path, an adaptive assessment can be used. MAP/MPG is a computer adaptive skill assessment. A computer adaptive skill assessment is a test on a computer where the next question is determine by the outcome of the previous question. If a student misses a question, the next question is easier on the continuum of questions. If the next question is answered correctly, then the next question is more difficult. This assessment continuum is a K-12 continuum. This allows the teachers to track the progress of students each year. We are comparing apples to apples, unlike our OAAs our students have been taking for years dictated by the state with a different assessment continuum.

Woodland Primary School uses the MPG data to chart the progress of students in reading and math and set goals for student growth. Teachers use this information to group students in small groups; provide individual instruction for students, and to evaluate the students’ progress during the year. MPG data will be used for future learning as well. This information will be used for placement in response to intervention (RTI) programs and using technology in a one-to-one system where each student has their own device, IPad, and they will be given web apps based on their MPG scores. Each student will have their own tailored set of practice problems, videos, personal quests, performance assessments, and develop their own re-teaching video as an authentic assessment based on the individual academic level. As you can see, MAP or MPG data is critical to the present and future of our students.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */