Bay District Schools in Panama City, Florida, knows firsthand that using the right assessments is key to tackling achievement gaps. After changing their approach to assessment, they helped struggling students experience extraordinary and measurable growth.
After implementing MAP® Growth™, Bay students at the lower end of the achievement spectrum (below the 30th percentile) across all grade levels grew well beyond what’s considered normal. A typical median growth percentile for any group of students is the 50th percentile. In Spring 2018, the median score for this group of Bay students ranged from the 64th–70th percentile in math and 64th–75th percentile in reading. In Florida, showing that kind of growth is particularly important for meeting state expectations.
By using MAP Growth assessment data to understand student performance and improve their Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), teachers can pinpoint instruction and identify which intervention materials to use with students. These efforts have played a critical role in improving outcomes for low achievers.
In addition to using assessment data for remediation, MAP Growth enables teachers to differentiate instruction to support all learners—including their top-performing students who require more challenging material. As Linda Pitts, Instructional Specialist for K-12 English Language Arts says:
Instead of having to cull through data and create our own reports, MAP Growth breaks it down for teachers. It shows right where a student is and what they need next. MAP Growth really identified the gaps where teachers need to focus [instruction] and provided them with next steps. That’s usually very intensive, and it can take multiple measures of diagnostic data to find that… so that is very beneficial.
This makes it easy for teachers to create instructional groups, monitor student progress, and maximize opportunities for each student.
Along with helping teachers improve instruction for all students, MAP Growth helps teachers explain student progress, growth goals, and instructional decisions to parents. With MAP Growth reports, parents can see where students started, whether they made gains, and whether they have slips in understanding.
In order to improve outcomes for all students, though, Bay District is now turning their attention to high achievers. Linda Pitts concludes:
The kids are doing what we ask them to do, but what we’re putting in front of them is not aligned to the standard the way that it needs to be, and the data report from NWEA really highlighted that [for us]. The four main questions are: What do we want students to know? How will we know when they have it? What do we do if they don’t? What do we do if they do? NWEA data helps us to answer those questions.
You can download the complete case study here.