Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

With NWEA’s Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing taking place this month for many students enrolled in public schools, we wanted to offer some insights for families and students:

For Families

At a time when many feel that they’re in the dark in accurately assessing their students’ academic progress, this forthcoming Winter MAP Growth assessment offers an important benchmark. NWEA releases expected growth data year over year, so you can refer to expected gains in assessing whether or not your child is on track. Comparing your child’s growth Fall to Winter to the mean grade level growth using a table like the one below will provide you with an important reference point. Half way through this unusual school year you will be able to pause and take a close and meaningful look at your student’s growth. Below, you’ll see the average growth in RIT score on the MAP test in reading and math for each time frame and grade level. Keep in mind these norms are based on a student performing at about the 50th percentile–so for a student far above or below grade level, the expectations may be different.

For Students

The MAP Growth assessment is adaptive and (typically) untimed. The adaptive part means that the first items the student answers can be determinative, branching the student on to easier or more difficult items and, as a result, a level of scoring that at a certain point is difficult to significantly change. In short, you want to do well in the beginning, but here’s the rub: students tend to race through assessments, as if they’re sprinters and the first one across the finish line wins. Encourage students to slow down and earn the early ones. Recall, MAP is untimed or provided with generous timing!

In addition, MAP is online; however, the best problem-solving derives from careful pencil work and visualization. Discourage mental math; encourage students to use scrap paper to work out step-by-step solutions. They should also get comfortable with using the on-screen calculator from Desmos in their work; students can get practice with the tool here. Students may also want to warm up by getting comfortable with the MAP testing platform–there’s practice available from NWEA here by logging in with username and password “grow”.

Let us know if we can help, and best of luck!

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO