NWEA Launches MAP Reading Fluency, First and Only K-3 Oral Reading Assessment Using Speech Recognition, Automatic Scoring, Computer Adaptive Technology

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Enables group administration to whole class in 20 minutes; assesses oral reading fluency, comprehension, and foundational reading skills; provides actionable instructional data for differentiated instruction

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Students at Gardner Academy in San Jose, CA take MAP Reading Fluency

"We're delivering a better approach; one that is fun and engages kids, adapts to the needs of every child, and is quick, giving teachers back valuable instructional time."

NWEA, the not-for-profit creator of assessment solutions, today introduces MAP Reading Fluency, the first computer adaptive, automatically scored K-3 oral reading assessment that eliminates the need for one-on-one, teacher-student administration. The groundbreaking 20-minute assessment of oral reading fluency, comprehension, and foundational reading skills is delivered online, enabling group administration and saving teachers hours of time. Teachers receive immediate objective results, actionable data, and instructional guidance to support individualized reading development for every student.

MAP Reading Fluency was developed in partnership with LanguaMetrics, Inc. the leader in speech-enabled education applications. LanguaMetrics' Speech Platform uses patented speech recognition and scoring technology EduSpeak,® licensed from SRI International. EduSpeak is one of the first speech engines that is tailored to children ages 4-8 and that addresses beginner reader behaviors including word and line skips, substitutions, and long pauses.

A complement to MAP Growth and part of the MAP Suite of assessments, MAP Reading Fluency is computer adaptive, so it adjusts to accommodate pre-, early-, and fluent readers. Using a headset and microphone, students self-pace through activities including reading passages aloud and answering comprehension questions. Passages are recorded, saved, and automatically scored using advanced speech scoring technology. MAP Reading Fluency provides young students with an interactive, developmentally appropriate, and encouraging assessment experience.

"Traditional oral reading assessment is based on a time-consuming, 30-year-old method which frustrates teachers and disrupts learning time," said Jennifer Knestrick, NWEA Product Manager who spearheaded the development of MAP Reading Fluency. "We're delivering a better approach; one that is fun and engages kids, adapts to the needs of every child, and is quick, giving teachers back valuable instructional time."

MAP Reading Fluency results are delivered to teacher dashboards, along with reader profiles and specific instructional suggestions for each student. Teachers can use results for differentiated and group instruction, for guided interventions, and in screening for RTI. Individual student recordings allow teachers to further evaluate prosody and analyze miscues, and share with parents audio yearbooks of their children's reading growth. It can be given up to three times a year and administered with a laptop, desktop, or iPad.

"Teachers want to tailor their reading instruction to students' different needs, and good assessment facilitates that," said Cindy Jiban, Ph.D., NWEA Senior Curriculum Specialist for MAP Reading Fluency. "MAP Reading Fluency reveals those students who sound like fluent readers, but still struggle with comprehension."

Approximately 10,000 students in over 100 schools - including some Chicago Public Schools - are using MAP Reading Fluency as part of an early adopter program.

"I have already used the fall report when conferencing with a parent whose child is reading fluently, but too quickly for deep comprehension or intonation. I was able to play the recording for them so that they could hear this firsthand. It was wonderful!" said Daneal Silvers, Teacher, Edison Regional Gifted Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools. "I love the report that is color-coded. It makes it easy to identify students with red or yellow blocks and to be sure I am providing them extra support."

"A benefit for teachers is that they are able to see a snapshot of students' fluency over time. Teachers are able to print reports to share with parents, and teachers are able to identify strengths and possible weaknesses of students' reading fluency," said Amanda Becker, Teacher, Poe Classical Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools.

Along with MAP Growth and MAP Skills, MAP Reading Fluency comprises the MAP Suite from NWEA, a comprehensive assessment system with multiple ways to utilize assessment to improve instruction. More information on MAP Reading Fluency here.

NWEA® is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency-and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative Pre-K-12 assessments, professional learning that fosters educators' ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators in 140 countries and more than half the schools in the US rely on our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). Visit NWEA.org to find out how NWEA can partner with you to help all kids learn.

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