Improve every student’s learning and growth
Why everything we do is rooted in research
Educators looking for reliable information they can use to help improve every student’s learning and growth turn to us for our deep expertise in quality student learning data.
We earn their trust by developing, field-testing, norming, and maintaining our assessments. We maximize their time and resources by delivering professional development rooted in research-based best practices designed to boost student achievement. And to further the study of student advancement, we partner with select education researchers.
There was no contest. Measures of Academic Progress—MAP—is the most well-researched test out there. I’m continually impressed by the norm studies and other research NWEA publishes.
Discover evidence-based solutions that empower educators to make a difference
Inform instruction for pre-K – 12 students
Engage students and families with learning goals
Implement best practices around instruction and professional development
Enable conversations about educational policy issues
When building tests, we put students first
Step 1: Determine Purpose
Before our development team starts building an assessment, they ask: what questions will the assessment data answer and what decisions will it help educators make? How can we ensure students and educators receive a reliable, valid test?
Step 2: Design Data & Reporting
Our developers then consider the type of data and reporting that enables the intended decision-making
Step 3: Clarify Learning Targets
Next, they make sure they can clearly state the knowledge, skills, and performances the assessment-to-be will evaluate aka the learning targets.
Step 4: Identify Assessment Techniques Matched to Learning Targets
From there our test developers begin creating test items directly aligned to each of the relevant learning targets. This lets students demonstrate proficiency on the selected targets.
Step 5: Field Test and Calibrate Items
Before general release, we field test items and calibrate them to a measurement scale to ensure accuracy.
Step 6: Develop Test Design
A test design serves as the fingerprint of the test: it includes all the content, technical, and psychometric iThe branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests information as well as the parameters necessary for test building.
Step 7: Build Test
After the above steps are completed, the test is built and ready for use!
Why Our Assessments
Precise meets purposeful: 5 characteristics of quality assessments
Valid Content (Content Validity)
Our assessments contain items that measure only what they’re supposed to measure: the intended learning objectives. Our test data allow educators to make valid inferences about what a student understands, knows, and is ready to learn.
Because we understand the benefit of adaptive tests, our assessments have high reliability, and the results are equally valid for students at every level. An individual student’s subsequent test events—year after year—have the same validity and accuracy as their first test event with an NWEA assessment.
Students of similar latent abilities who take our tests have the same chance to show what they understand, know, and are ready to learn. We carefully screen our test items for bias based on gender, culture, geographic location, linguistic heritage, physical capabilities, and more.
Student Engagement and Motivation
Our assessments provide an accurate picture of what each student understands, knows, and is ready to learn. Because the tests provide immediate feedback and personalized reports, students are motivated to produce their best work.
Our assessment results permit educators to personalize instruction and support student learning throughout the school year.
The culture we’ve developed at McKinney is about using assessment data to inform our instruction and enhance what we do in the classroom. We do not use data to separate or humiliate. It’s not a two-by-four…it’s a tool.