Discover how we participate in discussions about education
NWEA Research gives powerful, in-depth information to the communities, researchers, and policymakers who debate policies—and practices—that affect students. As leaders in their fields, our researchers publish in peer-reviewed journals, trade journals, and education media.
Our curious and innovative researchers spend their days investigating strategies to advance academic student growth and measurement. Their common purpose? Revolutionize education research with high-quality data designed to inform, empower, and make a difference.
Our 5 Key Areas of Focus
The power of insight, the promise of results
Our research team contributes to a goal we share with many: helping all kids learn. They work toward a smarter, more responsive education system for everyone by focusing their efforts in five key areas.
Investigations in test construction-related issues and development of theoretical approaches to measurement iPsychometrics is the science of measuring psychological traits and attributes, for example, knowledge, ability, achievement, and personality.
Standards and accountability
Explorations of how policies related to efforts in education reform impact school systems, teachers, and students
Teaching and learning
Journeys into the ways assessment data can help teachers improve their instructional practices and schools identify their most effective teachers
Inquiries into how growth data can help measure achievement gaps more accurately—as well as identify effective methods of closing them
Use of data
Investigations that shed light on how to conduct educational experiments and quasi-experiments in order to evaluate schools and the effectiveness of educational interventions
Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?
An NWEA/Thomas B. Fordham Institute study
Find out if students who outscore their peers on standardized achievement tests remain at the top of the pack year after year.
Explore more of our researchers’ original work
Student Test-Taking Effort and the Assessment of Student Growth in Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness
Shared at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). Evidence shows that student test-taking effort has significant influence on growth results. Read about problems related to test validity when students do not exhibit full effort on assessments, as well as methods for detecting non-effortful test taking and techniques for addressing the problems.
A Level Playing Field: How College Readiness Standards Change the Accountability Game
NWEA Research team members reviewed the academic growth of 35,000 high-achieving students in 31 states as measured using Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessments. They found that schools at both ends of the poverty spectrum are preparing their high-achieving elementary and middle school learners for college.
Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students
Produced in partnership with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, this groundbreaking study examines the achievement of high-performing students over time at the individual level. Find out if students who outscore their peers on standardized achievement tests remain at the top of the pack year after year.
Virtual Comparison Groups
The NWEA Research team developed a research control group methodology called Virtual Comparison Groups (VCGs) that leverages student data from Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessments.
NOTE: Student information is confidential, and NWEA abides by all federal and state regulations regarding appropriate data use. VCGs allow researchers to compare one student’s academic growth—based on the difference between two MAP scores—to students who perform similarly and share similar demographic characteristics.
Assessments that help drive decision making
Discover assessments rooted in research
Our computer adaptive assessments help educators answer a crucial question: Are my students learning? By delivering precise, real-time information about every student’s learning triumphs and challenges, we set educators—and students—up for success.