Here’s a scenario that is often a challenge for districts: Assessment results that are not well aligned to new, more rigorous standards that a district or state has recently adopted. On top of this, teachers and principals don’t want assessment results that simply provide a score and not some informative next steps to improve student learning. Sound familiar?
Superintendent Curtis Craig, Ed.S, faced this exact challenge at Rensselaer Central Schools Corporation in Indiana. Superintendent Craig told us:
We need to know more than if students pass the test. Our standards are more rigorous, and we need more information. We are looking at growth for all our students.
When Craig and other administrators began to research a new tool, they knew exactly what they wanted in their next assessment:
- Strong alignment between their interim assessment and their state standards
- Accurate projections on I-STEP+, the Indiana State Test, that they could rely on
- And results that included next steps for teachers that apply to students across the spectrum of learning, including high achievers that they knew had more growth potential
Craig had used MAP® Growth™ interim assessments in a previous district and thought it could help them identify students accurately and direct their efforts more efficiently. They were so laser-focused on the connection to I-STEP+ that they decided to create their own version of a linking study, showing the percentage of students in each RIT range relative to the I-STEP+ pass rate. They wanted to independently validate the link to MAP Growth, and as Craig says, “We were very happy with the correlation we saw.”
In addition to the link to their state assessment, Rensselaer educators are realizing other instructional benefits of MAP Growth data. Teachers use it for setting goals with students, and they use the learning continuum within MAP Growth, along with IXL Learning, to connect students’ scores to classroom work.
After a spring testing pilot and professional learning workshops using actual MAP Growth data this summer, Rensselaer educators feel confident about testing corporationwide in this year.
As Craig concludes:
We are not just adding things to teachers’ plates. If anything, we’re taking things off their plates and making their lives easier.
For more information on how Rensselaer introduced MAP Growth and saw results, download the complete case study here (PDF).