Puesta del Sol Elementary in New Mexico’s Rio Rancho school district was graded a D- by the state in 2012. Three years later they received a grade of B+, and they credit this remarkable turnaround in part to more effective use of MAP® Growth™ assessment data.
After receiving their D- grade midway through the 2011-2012 school year, Principal G. Bryan Garcia challenged the staff to commit to two key initiatives: data-informed instruction for every student and collective agreement about what makes a productive (and unproductive) learning environment. As Garcia states:
MAP Growth data help us level the playing field. We’ve engaged teachers and students in the concept of growth as it relates to progress, rather than proficiency. It doesn’t matter if it’s a student with a special need, a student who comes from a second language background, a student with a high proficiency level—wherever the student is achieving, we use MAP Growth data to design a specific action plan.
The teachers find their increased ability to use MAP Growth data creates powerful momentum in the classroom. Once fall MAP Growth testing occurs, the real-time scores help tailor teaching even more. The also use the Learning Continuum tool within MAP Growth to identify what pieces each student needs to work on. Happy Miller, executive director of Research, Assessment, Data and Accountability (RADA) loves the more student-centric approach to applying assessment data:
They [the school and staff] moved away from looking only at group state assessment data in the ‘rearview mirror.’ Instead of saying, ‘Okay, overall which standards did we do well in?’ they now look at each student and ask, ‘What does a particular student need?’
Puesta del Sol has a six-phase approach to data that they have used with success:
- Data orientation and coding
- Data analysis
- Identification of students for focus/need study
- Focus/need study development
- Instructional tools development
- Sharing of best practices and identifying support needed
MAP Growth data has also provided staff the opportunity to get students more involved in their own education, as well. Garcia notes:
We show students what their areas of strength are, and seeing their areas of growth helps engage them. They have the opportunity to set goals tied to what they want to accomplish. They see how learning new skills helps them develop the building blocks for a great and successful future.
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