This is our third year of administering Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to all students in grades three through high school in all of our schools. The information that MAP provides the entire community (students, parents, teachers, community members and our Board of Education) is remarkable. Each year we will be able to provide students and parents with reports that show growth in reading and mathematics for all of our students. MAP measures growth from fall to spring, from year to year. A history of growth will be built for each student across time - a great profile of what is happening with our students.
Starting last spring and continuing this fall, we will be administering the Primary MAP for mathematics to all full day Kindergarten students, as well as this year's 1st grade students who attend our full day K schools. This is an exciting opportunity for our students to demonstrate their knowledge of math skills and for our teachers to know what our students are able to do in math.
Growth reports allow students, parents, teachers and principals to see how students performed in the specific Kansas standards within Mathematics (Number & Computation; Algebra; Geometry; Data) and in Reading (Phonics/Vocabulary/Word Analysis; Identify Text/Locate Information; Read and Comprehend Text; Evaluate Validity/Credibility of Information; Respond to Text). Performance on each standard is indicated as either "High," "HiAvg," "Avg," "LoAvg" or "Lo." This will help all of us see where our students are strongest and/or where they are having difficulty. These scores are reported in RIT scores, explained below:
RIT scale - Rasch Interval Unit is an equal interval scale of measurement. Because it is an equal interval scale, the score will be applicable to all students regardless of age or grade level; thus this score is ideal for measuring actual growth.
The best analogy for understanding how an equal interval scale works is to think of measuring the height of individuals - an inch is always an inch, regardless of who we measure. If a 15-year-old student grows 2 inches and a 10-year-old student grows 2 inches, they have grown the exact same amount. If a 15-year-old is 5'8" and a 10-year-old is 5'8", they are the same height, regardless of the difference in age. (If a 15-year-old student has a RIT score of 210 and a 10-year-old student has a RIT score of 210, the 210 RIT score means the exact same thing.)
If a student grows from a 230 to a 231 on the RIT scale and another student grows from 210 to 211, they have both grown the same amount. The difference is the starting place - thus, the 10-year-old who is 5'2" and grows to 5'4" has grown 2 inches. A 15-year-old who is 5'6" and grows to 5'8" has grown 2 inches. The 15-year-old is still taller in this case, but the actual growth is equal.
If a ninth-grade student begins at a 200 RIT score in math and a fourth-grade student begins at a 200 RIT score in math, they probably answered many of the exact same questions and were able to answer about the same number correctly. The interesting feature is that a 200 is pretty much the mean score for fall of fourth grade - thus, the ninth-grade student is below grade level in performance (thinking in terms of height, if a ninth-grade male student is 5'0" and an average fourth-grade male student's height is 5'0", then we would say that the ninth-grade boy is seemingly below the mean height for ninth-grade boys; perhaps he is more at the mean for fourth-grade boys) while the fourth-grade student is performing at the mean RIT.
One of the most important features of MAP is that it shows student growth from the fall assessment (mid-September-early October) to the spring assessment (early to mid-May). The report will show the number of points of growth for each student against the "Typical Growth" for that age, grade level, and performance level. Page 2 of the report provides a graph of each student's growth compared to the district average and compared to the national average.
The report identifies a range for scores. Typically, the range is from 3 points below the student's actual score to 3 points above that score. This range demonstrates the test makers understanding that with any good testing instrument, the standard error of measurement must be factored into performance. Essentially, this is the same factor that is used for opinion polls - the information is accurate +/- 3 points. This ensures that all factors have been taken into account in determining student performance - factors that are out of the control of the classroom, the school, or even the student (interruptions, temperature of the room, time of day, lighting, possible illness, external distractions, etc., are all examples of these factors).
Because of the adaptive nature of the assessment, and because students are expected to perform at about 50% correct, the expected percentile range is about 50% instead of 100% as we normally think of it. So, don't be concerned if you see a percentile range that is in the 37-57 range - this would be performing approximately at grade level.
Long Range Profile
MAP gives us the ability to develop a long-range profile for your son or daughter. Each year we will all be able to see the growth attained at the current grade level, but we will also be able to look at the past and see how far your student has come. MAP gives us the unique chance to look at each and every individual and work with each student on her/his instructional level. MAP gives us valuable data that helps our teachers fulfill Lawrence Public Schools' Mission: Learning For All, Whatever It Takes.
For more information about MAP, visit (www.nwea.org).