Poway Unified’s “A MAP Story”

One of the many incredible experiences of partnering with educators is being able to witness and hear the amazing gains our partners are achieving utilizing MAP data with their students. The personal and inspirational stories of what happens when students become the owners of their own learning keeps us encouraged on in this journey, doing what we do to help all kids learn. 

The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is located in northern San Diego County, California and serves approximately 33,000 students. It is the third largest school district in San Diego County. Poway has a vision for all students to graduate college-ready, and MAP data is an integral part of achieving this vision. By engaging every student in meaningful, level-appropriate work and by individuating instruction, students are encouraged to think critically and become self assessors, while setting and achieving their academic goals.

However, the transformation that occurred at Poway did not happen overnight. Working with NWEA since 1998, it took dedication and commitment to get to a point where so many of Poway’s students benefit from using an adaptive assessment. In the beginning, some of Poway’s high-performing schools were resistant to the need for a new form of assessment, while others welcomed the system. But through the investment made over the years by the staff and leadership, even Poway’s youngest learners, starting as early as Kindergarten, have experienced the benefits by getting involved in their own learning and have begun their academic careers on solid footing.

Students Become Champions for their Own Learning

“Every student owns his or her learning,” says Linda Foote, a Poway Instructional Technology Specialist. “When students know what they need to learn and set meaningful goals, it takes some of the mystery out of learning and makes them partners in the process. I have students come up to me asking when they can take their MAP test again because they recognize that they’ve made progress and are ready to move on to their next learning goal!”

Even high-performing students are challenged to keep growing academically. The meaningful, individualized instruction that comes as a result of implementing MAP assessments and utilizing MAP data makes all the difference in the classroom and has strengthened Poway’s culture of college readiness.

In the Students’ Own Words

Poway’s 2nd grade students had strong feelings about the effect MAP has had on their learning! Here are a few of their own words:

“Seeing my MAP test scores helps me because I can see if I grew or sunk. When you don’t see them you think yeah, whatever, but when you have the scores you think… I’m doing great!”

“It f[ills] my heart with courage! I know to work very hard and always never settle for less than your best. I will always be thrilled to look at my score.” 

“When I increased my score last time it was like getting a puppy named Scrump.”

“MAP really helped me. It made me work hard that I got a 219 for my score! I’m so impressed! I believed in myself that I can do it… If you believe in yourself just like me, you can make it.”

Learn More

To read more about how this district has truly engaged its students in their own academic success, check out more of Poway’s MAP Story in the SPARK Community. There are more comments from Poway’s 2nd grade students about the role MAP has played in their education. And we encourage you to inspire others and share your own MAP story in the SPARK Community discussion forum

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