Mississippi Department of Education Approves NWEA MAP Growth Assessments as Universal Early Literacy Screeners for Grades K-3

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Contract Enables All Mississippi Public School Districts to Use MAP Growth Assessments to Identify Need for Early Reading Interventions

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“If a student experiences a gap – regardless of the level a student is achieving – MAP Growth clearly gives us all the needed information to help that student.” - Principal Sharon Guepet, Pearl River Central Lower Elementary School, Carriere, Miss.

NWEA, the not-for-profit provider of assessment solutions, today announced that the Mississippi Department of Education, in collaboration with the Mississippi Reading Panel, has approved MAP Growth K-2 and MAP Growth as universal reading screeners in grades K-3 for local school districts.

Aligned to Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards, MAP Growth provides precise, immediate, and actionable data to measure student growth. The contract award enables all Mississippi public school districts to select MAP Growth K-2 or MAP Growth to assess students’ current level of performance in relation to grade-level benchmarks, beginning in the fall of 2018. The universal screening assessments will be administered to all students at least three times annually.

NWEA has strong partnerships with many Mississippi schools and districts who consider NWEA to be the state’s premier provider of growth data for improving student outcomes. Currently, more than 30 percent of public school districts in Mississippi use MAP Growth or MAP Growth K-2 to measure student academic growth.

Pearl River Central Lower Elementary School in Carriere, Mississippi, uses MAP Growth for its 730 K-2 students. According to Sharon Guepet, Ph.D., Principal of Pearl River Central Lower Elementary School, MAP Growth helps the school closely monitor student growth in an effort to close the achievement gaps for all students.

"The MAP Growth Learning Continuum allows us to see what each child needs to meet his or her targeted growth,” said Principal Guepet. “If a student experiences a gap – regardless of the level a student is achieving – MAP Growth clearly gives us all the needed information to help that student.”

The state selected MAP Growth as an approved assessment after a rigorous review of MAP Growth’s alignment to the state’s College- and Career-Readiness Standards. In addition, the Mississippi Department of Education evaluated the assessment for reliability, validity, classification accuracy, and generalizability.

“We are pleased at the prospect of working with more Mississippi schools and teachers to help children become better readers,” said Chris Minnich, CEO of NWEA. “Our Mississippi partners include many districts that are working hard on early reading, and we’re excited to help them improve reading ability for those students. We look forward to continuing our work to support the implementation of Mississippi Succeeds, the state’s new strategic plan to advance student achievement.”

MAP Growth provides a precise measure of a K-12 student’s academic achievement and growth. A computer-adaptive assessment, it adjusts to each student’s responses to provide personalized results about what each student knows, is able to do, and is ready to learn next—whether on, above, or below grade level. Teachers receive immediate and actionable information in easy-to-use reports to help differentiate instruction for students in need of remediation and those high performers requiring additional enrichment. Because MAP Growth tracks individual student growth over time, it can help predict each student’s proficiency and college readiness.

MAP Growth is noted for its stable, equal-interval cross-grade scale and the accurate, valid, and reliable data it provides. This interim assessment provides nationally representative norms derived from more than 10 million students in the U.S.

MAP Growth includes innovative features to help teachers connect assessment data to classroom instruction and ensure that all students can benefit from assessment activities. Through partnerships with the industry’s most extensive array of curriculum and instructional providers, teachers have the flexibility to use MAP Growth results with their current curricula and instructional tools. MAP Growth also supports the district-, school-, and class-level need for educational technologies to provide accessibility and accommodation features.

MAP Growth, MAP Skills, and MAP Reading Fluency comprise the MAP Suite from NWEA, a comprehensive assessment system with multiple ways to utilize assessment to improve instruction.

MAP Growth was the sole assessment awarded in the 2017 THE Journal Readers’ Choice Awards best assessment category. The awards recognize the best education technology products and services used by teachers throughout the country. MAP Growth also was named a winner of the Tech & Learning 2017 Awards of Excellence, which recognize the best new and upgraded education tools that help educators in teaching, training and managing with technology.

About NWEA
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. Educators in more than 9,500 schools, districts, and education agencies in 145 countries rely on our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Visit NWEA.org to find out how NWEA can partner with you to help all kids learn.

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