Most educators agree that assessments can be powerful tools for students and teachers when they’re purposeful, instructionally aligned, and tied to student outcomes—but there’s still quite a bit of ongoing debate around the topic of assessments and young students. Some educators are concerned over the increasing emphasis on assessment of young learners, often focusing their criticisms on standardized tests.
Critics of early childhood testing typically voice two main concerns. The first is the possibility that the assessment may cover a narrow range of proficiencies, while there are a number of proficiencies that children must develop—and at varying rates—in early childhood. They may also fear that skills that are measured will become what is taught, leaving domains such as social and emotional development or creativity underemphasized.
The second area of debate revolves around the methods of assessment used. In the field, many early childhood professionals favor multi-method assessments that use indirect tools (like interviews) or tools that don’t feel like assessments, such as classroom observations. Multi-method assessments are a popular, useful tool for early childhood educators, so there’s some natural resistance to replacing them with a single solution.
Enter MAP Growth K-2. MAP Growth K-2 delivers three unique assessments that focus on the learning needs and requirements of young students: growth, screening, and skills checklists. The growth assessment measures each student’s performance, regardless of whether they‘re on, above, or below grade level – and over time, it provides growth data that teachers can track to help guide instructional decisions. The screening assessment provides educators with baseline information for students in the earliest stages of learning to support placement decisions. It also helps educators assess early literacy and early numeracy at the beginning and end of the school year. Finally, educators can use skills checklists to understand how well students know specific skills and concepts, either before or after teaching them.
MAP Growth K-2 helps you answer key questions.
- Growth: Is each student growing as expected? Are they at, below, or above grade level? MAP Growth K–2 adapts to each student’s learning level.
- Screening: What do my youngest learners know? Having this information in the beginning of the school year can help teachers better support their pre-K and kindergarten students.
- Individual skill mastery: Has the student mastered specific reading or mathematics skills? MAP Growth K-2 includes short, non-adaptive skills assessments.
MAP Growth K-2 is the only assessment suite that addresses the real-world needs of early learners, while still supplying educators with key data that supports instruction. With MAP Growth K-2, you can engage early learners effectively and use data to support decision-making—whether that’s at the individual student level, or for program and resource planning.
Whether you’re looking to empower teachers, understand your early learners’ academic needs, or accurately predict student proficiency, MAP Growth K-2 is an approach that connects the value of assessments with the unique needs of our youngest learners.
Learn more about MAP Growth K-2 here.