NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessment serves many purposes, from informing instruction to identifying students for intervention to projecting proficiency on state accountability assessments. To do the latter, NWEA routinely conducts studies that provide estimates of RIT scores on the MAP assessments corresponding to “proficient” and other performance levels on summative state accountability assessments. These studies provide schools and districts using MAP assessments with tools to predict whether students will demonstrate adequate reading and mathematics achievement on their state accountability assessments, and to adjust instructional plans accordingly.
In recent months, many school districts have asked us to provide estimated MAP scores that correspond to “college and career readiness” as it will be measured by tests aligned to the Common Core standards, such as the consortia tests from Smarter Balanced and PARCC.
Initial development for these new studies is underway, but the work cannot be completed until the final cut score values are verified and adopted by the Common Core consortia tests in summer of 2015 (PARCC timeline, Smarter Balanced Timeline). This information is critical in conducting NWEA’s studies, since students’ observed scores on both tests must be examined to understand how one test predicts performance on the other.
What Can Educators Do Now?
While nobody currently knows what college and career readiness scores on PARCC and Smarter Balanced will eventually be, we can make informed inferences, and some states have already done so. New York, Illinois, and Kentucky have all implemented changes in their state proficiency benchmarks in anticipation of more rigorous standards.
To help our partners in the near term, before actual linking studies can be completed, researchers at NWEA have prepared a report called Proficiency Guidance from NWEA on New State Summative Assessments. The report looks at data from the states that have already made adjustments, and shows the corresponding percentile ranks on MAP.
NWEA makes no claim that these cut scores represent college readiness as defined by PARCC, Smarter Balanced, or other state tests currently in development. Until cut scores are finalized, no test publisher can truthfully make that claim. But the findings in our new report may provide a guide to schools and districts during the interim.
As soon as SBAC, PARCC and other new state tests finalize cut scores and performance levels, NWEA will conduct studies that directly examine the ability of MAP to predict performance on those tests.
For more information on proficiency guidance from NWEA, please read this report or visit our website section on MAP’s alignment to other assessments.