If principals and teachers understand how to measure student growth and support students in reaching their potential and if they truly value the ability to deliver a measure that an interim assessment like MAP® Growth™ provides, then consistent data practices can become part of a school or district culture. So believes Cindy Keever, Director of Student Support at the Westfield Washington School District in Hamilton County, Indiana.
Since NWEA assessments and data practices have become an embedded, integrated system of evaluating, understanding, and educating throughout the past decade, Westfield Washington School educators feel confident about their ability to understand where students are in their learning process, no matter how their buildings, classrooms, or instructional groupings are reconfigured over time.
How did MAP Growth data come to be central to the culture of learning?
The district made a firm commitment to providing professional learning for teachers and administrators, to help all become more sophisticated users of data. To this end, they have taken all the Professional Learning (PL) workshops offered by NWEA and continue to deepen their practice. They also created buy-in for the NWEA growth model by making sure it was—and continues to be—completely visible to its entire learning community. Every student, teacher, and parent understands that MAP Growth data shows how kids are growing—and that each student knows where he or she can progress further.
How did they get families invested in the data?
Principals hold NWEA “focus nights” where they introduce the MAP Growth test—its usage and the reports that come from it. Then, teachers send home growth reports three times per year, and every parent-teacher conference includes a review of a student’s MAP Growth report. Students, too, have complete ownership of their growth evaluation. They understand the purpose of testing, and they are excited about striving to meet their growth targets.
According to Keever, these efforts are paying off:
By providing NWEA data three times per year showing how your kids are growing—that helped us. It has helped us build a trust base with our families. They have tangible evidence that their children are learning every day when they come to school. It gives them peace of mind.
MAP Growth data is not only a cultural investment, it’s driving performance. Westfield Washington sets district and building-level scorecards—and measures three times per year—based on what they value most: student growth as reflected and reported by MAP Growth. For example, they set a target that students in grades 2–8 would be at the 90th percentile of meeting growth targets across all grade levels and at the district level. Based on the number of subjects evaluated, there were 21 opportunities to meet that growth target. At the outset, the district met this goal in one of 21 areas. Today, with the support of teachers focused on understanding and empowering student growth, they’re at 14 of 21 areas.
For more on MAP Growth, visit our website. For more on how Westfield Washington School District takes advantage of MAP Growth data, download the complete case study.