Evaluation Finds MAP Assessment Best Aligned to South Carolina’s Newly Adopted Academic Standards

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NWEA’s Process of Aligning MAP to States’ Standards Proves Effective; Average Alignment Twice that of Closest Competitor

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The South Carolina Department of Education again has selected the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment for the state’s Adoption List of Formative Assessments, finding it to have the greatest degree of alignment between test items and the South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards for grades 1-9 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Overall, the average alignment for MAP was twice that of the other referenced assessment, and covered almost twice as many of the state’s standards.

“As a psychometrician, I know that this evaluation is a real validation of the intentional process and tailored effort we undertake to make sure MAP is aligned with each and every state’s unique education standards,” said Fred McDaniel, Ph.D., Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)’s Senior VP of Product Management and Publishing. “Teachers need valid, reliable assessment data they can use to inform instruction, so we are particularly proud of the South Carolina results.”

This was South Carolina’s first evaluation of assessments for use in improving student performance aligned with the new content standards, adopted in 2015. Out of 14 submissions, only two were approved. Ten were eliminated in the first phase, which assessed empirical evidence of positive impact on student learning. The second phase assessing alignment was conducted by internal committees of state curriculum specialists.

“The study linking MAP scores to our state’s education standards is useful for our teachers as they prepare students for success in the classroom and ultimately on the annual assessments,” said Missy Wall-Mitchell, Director of Accountability, Lexington Five, SC. “The adaptive nature of MAP provides usable data to inform classroom instruction for students across the achievement spectrum. With ten years of MAP data we are able to examine trends in achievement status and growth at all levels: student, classroom, building and system.”

MAP just has been named a 2016 ISTE Best in Show winner by Tech & Learning Magazine. Last month, NWEA announced a new series of MAP reports to help educators understand, interpret, and use data to improve student learning; new MAP capabilities that support students with visual impairments; and MAP’s 10th Instructional Content Partner, providing teachers with the greatest range of teaching resources integrated with MAP assessment results.

For a better understanding of how NWEA strives for seamless standard-assessment alignment, visit https://vimeo.com/nwea/review/166551954/73955e80ef.

About Northwest Evaluation Association
Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim growth assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®); Skills Navigator®, a skills mastery and progress monitoring tool; and as the U.S. provider of the PISA-based OECD Test for Schools assessment. More than 7,800 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer PreK-12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and mastery and inform instruction; professional development that fosters educators' ability to accelerate student learning; and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students. Learn more at nwea.org.


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Jessica Schwartz Hahn
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