During the fall, as our school partners transition from testing students to reviewing the results, we start to receive questions from educators about when to retest a student, why a student spent (too much or not enough) time on the test, or why scores may have declined unexpectedly. In most cases, the answers to these questions are unique to the situation facing the student during the test, and we leave it to the educators who know the student to determine the right course of action.
How schools use the results from MAP® Growth™ assessments has evolved over the last several years. Some use the results solely for instructional purposes and school improvement efforts. Others use results as an indicator of student readiness for certain programs or interventions (such as special education or gifted and talented programs). Whether the purpose is “low-stakes” or “high-stakes,” all students are impacted by decisions made from their assessment data.
Administering the assessment with fidelity and under good conditions for the student is going to provide a much more accurate and useful indicator of where the student is in his learning. At times, we have seen educators confuse MAP Growth’s function, which is measurement of student achievement, with the goal of producing maximum student growth in the classroom. In an effort to get the largest growth possible between tests, educators may, whether intentionally or not, compromise the integrity of the results. At that point, the utility of the result is diminished, and the subsequent instructional plan for the student may not serve his or her needs appropriately.
To address some of the questions that frequently come up regarding administration practices and conditions, we’ve released a new document to help with administering MAP Growth, and we think you’ll find it helpful. Guidance for Administering MAP Growth Assessments to Improve Measurement Accuracy and Maintain Test Integrity covers these topics:
- Early termination of test events and retesting
- Monitoring test durations and maintaining consistency in testing conditions
- Other considerations when administering MAP Growth in high-stakes situations
The Guidance document provides a view into how NWEA researchers view the importance of sound administration practices and offers practical steps to take when making determinations about the use of MAP Growth results in common situations that occur. To download the MAP Growth administration guidance document, click here. As always there are helpful MAP Growth blogs here at Teach. Learn. Grow., and there are more great resources on our partner community, NWEA Connection.