The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test is popular with teachers because it provides real-time information about what students know. Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet testing requirements for federal accountability and Indiana law. That may change soon, though. The testing company that makes MAP, the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), is creating a division to work with states to make tests that meet the guidelines while keeping the aspects of the MAP that teachers like.
The NWEA initiative may be the solution to some ideas for Indiana’s new testing program that were brought up in a recent ISTEP replacement panel meeting. Some educators and administrators are in favor of computer adaptive testing that measures a student’s improvement over the course of the year – a description that applies to the current version of the MAP test.
Detractors are concerned about possible technology issues with a computer-administered test, and feel that the purpose of the test should be decided before the panel gets into specifics. Policymakers say they’re more likely to support a test administered once per year, based on grade level expectations rather than improvement.
At Elevate Teachers, we’re just glad teachers’ opinions are being taken into account. Regardless of whether or not it’s MAP, we hope to see a test chosen that helps teachers and students, and not something that simply follows minimum state expectations.