Statement from NWEA’s CEO regarding Chicago Public Schools’s District Testing Action Plan

Statement from NWEA’s CEO regarding 

Chicago Public Schools’s District Testing Action Plan


February 21, 2020

NWEA is in full support of Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) commitment to foster a strong learning environment that prepares students for academic success and its use of assessments (like MAP Growth) to empower teachers with actionable data that is instructionally relevant and provides insights into student progress.

Today, we learned the results of a Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) performance review of test time trends, test pauses, and at a small number of schools, potential test administration concerns.  The performance review included recommendations to CPS on how to improve test processes.

NWEA fully supports the strong action plan that CPS has put forth to implement these recommendations. In addition to the recommendations from the OIG, we have reviewed what resources and additional guidance we can provide to CPS, as well as all our partners.

Test integrity is a priority and we can always improve. We are committed to working with CPS to provide additional training opportunities and professional learning for proctors in partnership with the district.

To start:

  • Provide strongly recommended professional learning offerings around test administration and proctoring.
  • Review our current resources and guidance documents for clarity and direction. Ensure our partners are fully aware of these materials.
  • Further establish guidance around “untimed” MAP Growth tests. Because there is no time limit set during the testing session, untimed tests need more defined parameters. In this, we agree with the CPS OIG’s recommendation and will look at how we can further offer best practices and guidance.
  • Provide stronger guidance on test duration. MAP Growth is designed to provide instructionally informative, actionable data so educators understand where students are in their learning and what they are ready to learn next. It is an untimed assessment that adapts to student responses to provide an accurate reflection of student growth. Our research into timed vs untimed tests finds that timed tests increase the likelihood of inaccurate scores that can undermeasure student learning. This negatively impacts the classroom, as teachers frame instruction on inaccurate data. It also negatively impacts the school and district, which end up reporting aggregate scores that underrepresent the quality and effectiveness of instruction being delivered. We strongly believe in untimed assessment as the best way to measure growth but do believe that we can provide stronger guidance and direction on test duration.

NWEA is committed to our mission of partnering to help all kids learn.  We value our work with Chicago Public Schools and will continue to support their efforts to improve test processes.

Chris Minnich CEO – NWEA


About NWEA

NWEA® is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency— and provide insights to help tailor instruction. Educators in more than 10,000 schools, districts, and education agencies in 141 countries rely on our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™; and our new assessment solution that combines growth and proficiency measurement. Visit to find out how NWEA can partner with you to help all kids learn.