U.S. Department of Education greenlights GMAP and NWEA partnership for innovative assessment pilot

Georgia districts to partner with NWEA to make assessments better for students as part of Innovation Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) program


Atlanta, Ga. and Portland, Ore. – July 23, 2019 – Student assessment in the state of Georgia might look a bit different in a few years and set the path for the future of assessment in the nation. The U.S. Department of Education recently approved the Georgia Department of Education’s application to pilot innovative assessment solutions in their public schools. This makes the state of Georgia the fourth state in the country to receive this authority.

A unique partnership

One of the initiatives approved under Georgia’s application is the Georgia MAP Assessment Partnership (GMAP), which consists of nine districts working to implement a through-year assessment solution in partnership with NWEA. The new solution will use adaptive assessments administered in fall, winter, and spring to yield longitudinal growth data, instructionally relevant insights, and summative proficiency scores.

“This is a great step forward for Georgia educators on the path to a new innovative model of assessment to better understand the proficiency and growth of their students,” said Chris Minnich, CEO, NWEA. “We are proud to work with Georgia districts to increase testing efficiency and provide information that helps teachers and students foster learning.”

A new assessment solution

The pilot is challenging the notion of the annual summative test at the end of a school year, which for decades has been how most schools in this nation measure proficiency. Instead, GMAP districts will work with NWEA to implement a new adaptive interim assessment solution that will evaluate student performance relative to grade-level expectations and provide a clearer picture of individual student needs – even if that student is performing above or below grade level.

The new solution will be configured to reflect the state summative testing blueprint for the Georgia

Standards for Excellence (GSE) for English language arts, mathematics, and science. As a result, educators, parents, and students will receive better insights during the year into what students need to do next to advance along the pathway to proficiency and beyond. In addition, summative proficiency scores will be generated at year’s end, eliminating the need for the traditional annual summative test.

“We’re excited to help pilot this innovative assessment solution with our fellow GMAP partners and the state,” said Dr. Grant Rivera, GMAP collaborating partner and Superintendent of Marietta City Schools. “This is part of our overall effort to assess what each student needs to learn next, while also showing how each student is performing against grade-level standards throughout the year.”

The participating districts will begin the transition to implementing the new solution in the 2020-21 school year. The IADA pilot runs through 2023-24, at which point the Georgia Department of Education will evaluate results of the approved pilots and select a solution to implement statewide.

About GMAP 

The Georgia MAP Assessment Partnership (GMAP) is a consortium of nine districts committed to thoughtfully creating a unified assessment system that reduces testing time, provides educators with instructional guidance, and challenges students to develop the higher-order thinking skills they need to succeed in college and careers.  The districts in this consortium include Barrow County School District, Clayton County Public Schools, Dalton Public Schools, Floyd County Schools, Jackson County Schools, Jasper County Charter System, Marietta City Schools, and Polk County School District (all collaborating partners). Haralson County Schools is an affiliate partner. It is anticipated that the affiliate partners, which are expected to grow in number, will transition to collaborating partner status over time.

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™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Visit NWEA.org to find out how NWEA can partner with you to help all kids learn.

Contact: Simona Beattie, Sr. Manager, Public Relations, simona.beattie@nwea.org or 971.361.9526.