I'd like to tell you a bit about our MAP testing and how this is different than the high stakes testing you may hear about in the news.
As you know the state requires all public school students to take the STAAR test. So what's the difference? The STAAR is a competency test; it tests what students are supposed to know. That makes is a pass/fail situation. The MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) is an achievement test; it helps determine what has already been learned and what still needs to be learned. An analogy might be boiling water. You can just heat it knowing that when it boils it's done, or you can check it with a thermometer to know how close it's getting. Seeing the boiling, one test at the end, is more like the STAAR. Checking the temperature along the way is more like our MAP testing done three times per year.
Testing on computer in shorter durations allows for testing more frequently. That means each one is less stressful. Students become accustomed to the testing process. Also viewing the results (taking the temperature) early in the year allows for changes to be made in the instructional process.
And finally our MAP testing is not used to determine who passes a class. It's used to help guide instruction. Teachers change the sequence and duration of instruction based upon the results.
We give these tests in September, January and April. If you are disappointed with the results this time, January may be different. Likewise if you are happy this time, don't get too excited. It's consistency over time that gives us the most accurate assessment.
As always, if you have any questions, please talk to me.
In His Service,
Tim Miesner, Principal