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MAP Frequently Asked Questions

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General


• Why did my child's MAP percentiles change for previous years?  
• Why did my child's RIT scores change for Fall 2011?  
• What is MAP?
• What does "computer adaptive" mean?
• Why is SPS using MAP?
• Will all SPS schools use MAP?
• Why do we need a common benchmark assessment across all schools?
• What is the difference between MAP and the new state tests?
• Which other districts use MAP?
• How are school staff trained in MAP?
• What does it mean if my student's results go down from one testing window to the next?  
• What do I do if I dont want my child to participate in the MAP assessment? 

      

Communications


• What is the district’s plan for communicating with families about MAP?



Q: Why did my child's MAP percentiles change for previous years?
A: Based on updated information from NWEA and as part of an ongoing effort to follow best testing practices, the percentile results from students' MAP scores were recalibrated in 2011 to better measure how Seattle students perform relative to students across the nation. These recalibrated percentiles were also applied to previous testing terms in prior years. This allows all involved to see the growth of a student over time, as compared to other students taking the test at the same grade level.
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Q: Why did my child's RIT scores change for Fall 2011?
A: If your child was in Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade and took the MAP for Primary Grades test in Fall 2011, their score may have changed. Due to technical issues, NWEA made mistakes in scoring the Fall 2011 tests. These were rescored, and the correct RIT scores are the ones now posted on The Source and sent home in Student Progress Reports.
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Q: What is MAP?
A: MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. MAP is a computer-adaptive benchmark assessment in reading and math designed to be administered 2-3 times per year. Teachers are able to access student scores immediately after students complete the tests. The test includes detailed teacher reports that show the specific skills students have mastered and need to work on.
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Q: What does "computer adaptive" mean?
A: MAP provides a different, personalized test for each student. Depending on how a student answers each question, the test adjusts in difficulty. This allows students with widely varying skill levels' from struggling to advanced to take a test that is well-suited to their needs.
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Q: Why is SPS using MAP?
A: Excellence for All, the district's Strategic Plan, specified that the district pilot the MAP assessment in 2008-09. SPS chose to pilot MAP because it meets many of the district's priorities for assessment: it provides immediate student data to inform instruction; diagnoses needs for special programs such as bilingual education, special education and advanced learning opportunities; monitors student growth during the school year; and, has been specifically aligned to Washington state standards.
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Q: Will all SPS schools use MAP?
A: MAP was selected as the district's common benchmark assessment for grades K-9 in reading and math, beginning in 2009-10. Currently all students in grades K-9 in all schools are assessed using the MAP assessment system.
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Q: Why do we need a common benchmark assessment across all schools?
A: Implementing common assessments is a key goal of Excellence for All and we believe it will help us achieve our district's goal of all students meeting or exceeding standards. Before selecting MAP, schools were using more than 15 different benchmark assessments in our district. This made it difficult for the central office to adequately support schools and for everyone to see how we are doing as a system. Using one common assessment across the district helps all of us, since it allows for better support of schools and more frequent monitoring of student progress throughout the year.
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Q: What is the difference between MAP and the State tests?
A: These are two different tests serving two different purposes. The MSP/HSPE are summative, while MAP is formative. Summative assessment is a measure of what students have learned after the learning process. Formative assessment is most often administered during the learning process to gauge students' understanding of the material being taught at that moment, and to provide information to teachers to adjust their instruction based on student understanding. MAP will provide us with data on how much students learn or "grow" during the year.
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Q: Which other districts use MAP?
A: In Washington state, 131 school districts use MAP. In the Puget Sound area, these districts include Auburn, Clover Park, Highline, Lakewood and Mercer Island. Across the country, thousands of districts use MAP.
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Q: How are school staff trained in MAP?
A: We use a "train the trainer" model for staff training in MAP. The District Data Coach supports schools to implement MAP in a way that meaningfully impacts instruction. The Data Coach provides professional development throughout the year to MAP Teams -- teams of 4-7 staff from each school made up of 2-3 teachers, an educational technologist, school-based coaches, and administrators. MAP Teams will then train other staff in their school.
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Q: What does it mean if my student's results go down from one testing window to the next?
A: Although most students’ scores increase from testing period to testing period, in some cases student's scores can decline a few points. If you are noticing that your child's scores declined more than a few points, then you should talk with your child's teacher to try to determine whether outside factors could have influenced the results. A big reason for declining results is lack of student motivation. If students are not trying their hardest, the test will not get harder and their RIT ranges will not be as high.  Occasionally when students switch from taking the Primary version of the test to the MAP 2-5 version, their scores will decrease.  This is due to a change in the test environment as the Primary test provides audio support and the 2-5 version does not.  However, the score typically increases the next testing session.
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Q: What is the district’s plan for communicating with families about MAP results?
A: MAP results are currently available for families on The Source. MAP scores are updated on the Source approximately one week after each testing window begins. Additionally schools have access to "MAP Student Progress Reports" that will be sent home following the testing window.
Data Coaches created a MAP Family Orientation power point presentation available for schools to use at parent nights and other events, available here.
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Q: What do I do if I don't want my child to participate in the MAP assessment?
A: Based on the School Board's District Assessment Policy (C40.00, rev. April 2010), families may request to exempt their child from district testing.  Families must contact the school principal to discuss the exemption process and policy.  All requests must be in writing, and must be submitted every testing term.
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