Each year we require our third through tenth grade students to take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. In fact, we ask them to take it in both the fall and the spring. The MAP test is different from many standardized tests in that it is taken online and is adaptive to the student's ability. For example, when your third grader begins the test, the first question will be a typical third grade level question. If your child answers the question correctly, the next question will be slightly more difficult. As your child continues to answer questions correctly, the test gets progressively more difficult. When your child answers a question incorrectly, the next question is adjusted to be slightly more manageable. Thus, the MAP test is successful in identifying the actual academic level of the child as it adapts back and forth to find the level of the student's academic comprehension, knowledge, and skills.
Although it helps identify a child's level of academic achievement, the adaptive nature of this test may be frustrating for students with perfectionist tendencies. As the test moves to a level beyond that student's understanding, the student may display symptoms of anxiety. It is best for the parent to prepare the student ahead of time and let them know that the test is designed so that the student should be able to answer about 50 percent of the questions correctly. By preparing your child ahead of time, you are setting a realistic expectation for your child and will lessen anxiety during the test.
There are many reasons for taking the MAP test, but one of the greatest advantages is that it allows you to see the academic progress of your child. MAP test scores are determined according to a RIT scale. It is suggested that from year to year or from fall to spring, a student should show an academic growth of five points in their RIT score.
As a school, we use the MAP test averages to look at our overall academic success in equipping your child with the appropriate knowledge and skills for their grade level. Let's take a look at our 2011-2012 MAP scores. I think you'll be pleased with how the school is doing.
The table below shows the number of RIT points above the national average that AOA students scored as a whole during the 2011-2012 school year. Keeping in mind that a student should show a growth of 5 RIT points in each subject area each school year, a school-wide score of 5 points above the national average would mean that AOA students tested a full grade level above the national average.
AOA School-Wide RIT Points above National Average for the 2011-2012 School Year
|Subject||Fall 2011||Spring 2012|
The table above supports that AOA students completed the school year testing two grade levels above the national average. It also shows consistent growth of about two RIT points above the national average over the course of the school year.
This spring, you will be contacted concerning the scheduling of the MAP test for your child. You may also call your family advocate to schedule MAP testing for your child. We are looking forward to seeing the 2012-2013 school year averages so that we can continue to monitor the academic success of AOA.