At NWEA, we talk a lot about our mission. Partnering to help all kids learn. It’s a big idea, a compass that guides us in decision making and wayfinding. One of the most interesting words in that phrase is all. All kids. Not some, not most. All. That’s what makes it such a central focus for us, a magnet for the people who work here and we hope for our partner schools and districts too.
So it’s especially satisfying to share a new dimension in what all means. Today we celebrate a major milestone – over 500 partners in international schools now use our MAP interim assessment. (532 partners in over 140 counties, and counting.) Many are affiliated with the Office of Overseas Schools – in fact, we partner with 168 of the nearly 200 schools teaching the children of Americans serving in the diplomatic corps.
So what are these overseas partners doing with MAP?
Edwin Ladd, Head of School of the American School in Japan, sees MAP and the student growth data it delivers as a “tool to inform instruction.” Ladd, who has been an international educator for thirty years and worked in schools from Doha to Tel Aviv to Taipei, finds MAP useful for helping teachers understand a student’s unique strengths and areas of need.
“One size fits all is the death of learning,” Ladd says. “Teachers need to understand where kids are in their learning in order to address their needs and MAP allows teachers to teach to strengths and build upon weaknesses.” He adds that MAP data supports differentiated instruction, allowing teachers to improve their practice and be “self-reflective.”
Like their stateside peers, international educators teach to rigorous standards, including the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards and the Common Core. To support their work, MAP versions are available that are aligned to both. We have also built a partner support team to serve the needs of international partners, and we work with regional international school associations to deliver professional development.
Fusion, our annual summer conference, has benefitted from these partnerships as well. Last summer, 63 international educators attended, representing 30 schools in countries including Saudi Arabia, Congo, Taiwan, Singapore, Egypt, India, China and Guatemala – a true sharing of perspectives and collaborative learning.
We are proud to see our partner base go global and welcome the worldwide community of educators committed to helping all kids learn. All.