Portrait in Partnership: Using Assessment and Assessment Data to Drive Student Growth

Portrait in Partnership: Using Assessment and Assessment Data to Drive Student GrowthUp until 2013, the Skiatook, Oklahoma school district didn’t have the right tools to help teachers drive real instructional change that would ultimately impact student growth. They had instead a benchmarking tool that was form- and paper-based, cumbersome to use, and ultimately fell short of what they needed. On top of that, by the time they got the results back, the data was no longer actionable. The Skiatook school leaders found what they were looking for in Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®).

After communicating the value of MAP to principals and teachers, the district administered MAP on a small scale with spring testing in 2014. Their reason for this was strategic; it gave some teachers and staff members the opportunity to interact with the data before a district-wide implementation.

Within the first year of implementing MAP, the district’s elementary school connected their MAP data to Compass Learning—accelerated learning software that helps pinpoint and close skill gaps. Since MAP data integrates with Compass Learning to automatically generate self-paced instructional content that is appropriate for each student’s needs and supports their personal growth, the school knew this combination could have a big impact. After using Compass Learning throughout the fall, a mid-year assessment showed student improvement, providing more evidence to teachers of the usefulness of MAP data.

MAP has also emerged as an integral part of the district’s teaching strategy. Skiatook has a data team process in which principals conduct a MAP assessment and use the data to segment students into the following groups: proficient, close to proficient, and far from proficient. Teachers then create instructional strategies that will support the growth of each group. Skiatook teachers also use MAP’s goal-setting worksheet to engage students and encourage them to play a more active role in their learning.

We’ve already seen the benefits of MAP. We’ve seen how the data we collect can inform instruction, and we’re just in year two.”

In fact, Skiatook has already moved the needle. In spring 2015, Skiatook’s MAP results showed that students performed better than the national norms in grades 1–5 and 8. In 6th grade, students matched the norms, and in 7th grade, they fell slightly below the norms. Having this data enabled the Skiatook district to take a closer look at what was going on in grades 6–7 and create a plan to help these students grow throughout the spring term—and continue that growth in the new school year. Skiatook’s efforts proved successful. In spring 2016, Skiatook students performed better than the national norms at every grade level.

As Missy Bush, Director of Curriculum and Federal Programs for Skiatook Public School District explains:

Now everybody, across every site, is using the same high-quality data. That’s going to make us more effective as educators. I can now compare summative data to the normative data as a district, and make a plan from there. We’ve already seen the benefits of MAP. We’ve seen how the data we collect can inform instruction, and we’re just in year two. I feel confident that we’ll see growth and strong results going forward. We now have the data we need to make an impact.

Parents also receive student progress reports that show their child’s growth trends throughout the year. As Bush elaborates:

We share MAP data results and growth objectives with them during parent-teacher conferences. It’s great for the parents to know these things because then they can become more involved in the process and have a better understanding of how to support their child’s learning and growth. The kids love it, their parents love it, and it keeps everyone moving in the same direction toward the same goals.

To read the complete case study on Skiatook’s success with MAP, download it here.