FAQ's the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®) and About Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™)
What is NWEA?
It is a global not-for-profit educational services organization with over 30 years experience developing adaptive assessments, professional development, and educational research.
What are the MAP assessments?
They are computerized tests reading and math. The difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level.
How long does it take to complete a test?
Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students about one hour to complete each MAP® test.
When will my child be tested and how often?
SCASD students in grades 3-5 are assessed in reading and math three times a year.
Do all students in the same grade take the same test?
MAP assessments target a student’s academic performance in mathematics and reading. These tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do. The computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test.
For what are NWEA assessments used?
MAP assessments measure a student’s progress or growth in school. The scale used to measure your child’s progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT). The RIT scale is an equal-interval scale much like feet and inches on a yardstick. It is used to chart a student’s academic growth throughout the year and from year to year.
How do teachers use the test scores?
Teachers use MAP scores to keep track of individual student’s progress and growth in basic skills. Teachers identify a student’s strengths and areas for improvement. Teachers use this information to design instruction in the classroom.
Can parents discuss assessment data directly with NWEA?
NWEA is not allowed to discuss student information due to privacy laws.
How and when will I know my child’s test scores?
Teachers will use the results from your child's MAP scores in conjunction with other assessment information and classroom experiences to establish goals that will be shared with students and parents at goals conferences.
Commonly Used Terms
The average RIT score for all students in the school district in the same grade who were tested at the same time as your child.
Norm Group Average
The average score of students who were in the same grade and tested in the same term as observed in the latest NWEA norming study.
Percentiles are used to compare one student’s performance to that of the norm group. Percentile means the student scored as well as, or better than, that percent of students taking the test in his/her grade. There is about a 68 percent chance that a student’s percentile ranking would fall within this range if the student tested again relatively soon.
This number indicates the percentage of students in the NWEA norm group for this grade that this student’s score equaled or exceeded. The percentile rank is a normative statistic that indicates how well a student performed in comparison to the students in the norm group. A student’s percentile rank indicates that the student scored as well as, or better than, the percent of students in the norm group.
Tests developed by NWEA use a scale called RIT to measure student achievement and growth. RIT stands for Rasch UnIT, which is a measurement scale developed to simplify the interpretation of test scores. The RIT score relates directly to the curriculum scale in each subject area. It is an equal-interval scale, like feet
and inches, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages. RIT scores range from about 100 to 300. Students typically start at the 180 to 200 level in the third grade and progress to the 220 to 260 level by high school. RIT scores make it possible to follow a student’s educational growth from
year to year.
Standards are statements, developed by states or districts, of what students should know and be able to do, related to specific academic areas.
Web Sites for Kids and Parents
www.aaamath.com Math practice and activities
www.coolmath.com Interactive math games
www.funbrain.com Great site for kids
www.aplusmath.com A+ Math
www.mathforum.org/dr.math/ Ask Dr. Math
www.mathleague.com/help/help.htm Math League help topics
www.edhelper.com Help for all subjects
www.funbrain.com Language Arts games and more
www.merriam-webster.com Merriam Webster Word Game of the Day
www.vocabulary.com Vocabulary activities
www.superkids.com/aweb/tools/words Vocabulary builders
www.lexile.com Lexile Framework® for Reading