Union Community School District students will take the MAP, Measures of Academic Progress, assessment January 7-11. Reading assessments will be given to second through eighth grade students and select ninth through eleventh grade students. The MAP test is given to various grade levels in the fall, winter, and spring.
The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization who developed and supports the MAP assessment. The tests are designed to target a student's academic performance in math, reading, and language usage. The electronic test is unique to each student. As the student answers questions, the test will either get more difficult or easier, depending on if the student answered the question correct or not.
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that all schools administer a second assessment in addition to the Iowa Assessments (previously ITBS and ITEDS). The Union Community School District has chosen to utilize the MAP tests for this second assessment.
"We chose MAP because these assessments measure students' progress or growth in school and they provide a measure that suggests what concepts and skills each student is ready to learn. This information is not provided by the Iowa Assessments," said Pam Schmidt, Director of Instructional Services for the Union Community School District.
Teachers value the results that the MAP assessments provide. They are able to use the data to track students' progress and growth in basic skills. The data is also helpful as they create lesson plans. Teachers can see what an individual student's strengths and areas he or she may need additional instruction. This data is also analyzed and sent to the Iowa Department of Education.
"We encourage parents to have conversations with their children about taking the assessment seriously so the score they receive truly does identify what they know and can do. If the score is not accurate, teachers use incorrect information to make instructional decisions," said Schmidt.
The NWEA provides a Parent Toolkit, which is available on their website at www.nwea.org/support/article/930. This eight page guide includes answers to frequently asked questions and tips for parents. Parents are encouraged to speak with their child's teacher to discuss ways they can work together to help the student strengthen their test scores and academic performance.
The MAP assessments are not timed but testing takes approximately one hour. Make sure your student is well rested and eats a nutritious breakfast the day of the test.