Northwest Evaluation Association’s MAP® assessments approved to help English Language Learners in Texas

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August 11, 2010 – The state of Texas has approved the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP) assessments to guide Texas schools in helping their Limited English Proficient students learn well and keep up with their peers.

The approval by the Texas Education Agency means school districts across Texas can begin using the respected MAP assessments for state-required testing of their LEP students this fall and throughout the 2010-2011 school year. The MAP tests will be used for English testing of students.

“We are extremely gratified with the vote of confidence that Texas Education Agency leaders have given to our MAP assessments,” said Matt Chapman, NWEA’s president and chief executive officer. “And we’re excited to be able to partner with the TEA and Texas teachers to help English Language Learners excel.”

The MAP assessment suite offers advantages over other testing systems. The MAP tests are computer adaptive assessments, which means that as a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty for each test item. That gives educators detailed, highly accurate information on the student’s precise level of understanding, and will help them differentiate their instruction for each individual English Language Learner.

One in six of all Texas K-12 students are English Language Learners. Information from MAP helps educators close the achievement gap by focusing on student growth, not grade – especially helpful with English Language Learners and low income and minority students.

NWEA’s MAP assessments offer another advantage over other standardized achievement tests on the TEA-approved list. The MAP assessments are “normed” every three years. That means comparisons among all U.S. students taking the test are updated every three years, which ensures that the comparisons remain accurate, reliable and useful to educators. The two MAP assessments approved by Texas — MAP and MAP for Primary Grades — were normed in 2008, more recently than any other standardized test on the TEA-approved list.

Created by educators for educators, NWEA’s MAP assessments are based on more than 30 years of research and refinement. The assessments are currently used in more than 4,200 schools and educational agencies in the United States and around the world. About NWEA:

NWEA is a global not-for-profit educational services organization with home offices in Portland, Oregon. We partner with educational organizations worldwide to provide computer-based assessment suites, professional development, and research services. We are passionate about our mission: Partnering to help all kids learn.

Our Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) adaptive assessments leverage over 30 years of research into student growth and yield unparalleled data that informs decision making at every level, from classroom to boardroom. We continue to expand curriculum, instruction, and assessment offerings all in a unified system with our vertical scale providing stability and alignment throughout. Our professional development offerings help educators use data to transform outcomes. The Kingsbury Center at NWEA, our research arm, uses our Growth Research Database to drive original research with universities, foundations and policy makers. Learn more at nwea.org.