MAP Assessment

  • The Papillion La Vista Community Schools assessment program uses multiple measures in order to accurately determine what a student knows and is able to do. Some of these assessments are mandated by the State or Federal Government and others are locally determined.
    The MAP test fulfills a state requirement as part of Nebraska accountability which requires us to administer a nationally normed assessment. It also serves as a valuable tool to understand how to respond to individual student learning needs, determine instructional groups, select appropriate materials, monitor progress, and differentiate instruction. In this document you will find additional information regarding the MAP test and how it will be used in the Papillion La Vista Community Schools.

    What is NWEA MAP?
    Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping all children learn. NWEA provides assessments called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to improve teaching and learning.

    What does a MAP assessment look like?
    MAP assessments are computerized adaptive tests that measure your child’s instructional level in math, reading and language usage. When taking a MAP test, the difficultly of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is a reliable estimate of the student’s achievement level. Although MAP is not timed, it usually takes students about 45-60 minutes to complete each assessment.

    Who takes the MAP test?
    Beginning with the 2018-19 year, students in grades K - 9 will take the MAP Assessment. MAP may also be used at other grade levels as an initial screener for High Ability Learner (HAL) identification and intervention monitoring.

    When will students be assessed?
    Students will take the assessment in the fall (September/October) and winter (January/February). If your student does not finish an assessment within the time-frame set aside for his or her class, the assessment may be paused and then resumed at a later date without penalty.

    Do all students in the same grade take the exact same test?
    No. MAP assessments are designed to target a student’s academic performance in mathematics, reading, and language usage. These tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do.

    What are the benefits of the MAP assessment?
    MAP assessments support Nebraska College and Career Readiness standards and also provide projections for other assessments such as the ACT. The results from MAP provide teachers with accurate and timely information to assist in their classroom instruction. Teachers may use the students instructional level information from a MAP assessment to monitor student learning and pinpoint areas for more specific and intense instruction as well as celebrate areas where significant growth has occurred.

    What is a RIT score?
    Once students have completed the MAP, they will receive their RIT score. Similar to measuring height on a yard-stick, the RIT scale is used to measure how “tall” a student is on the curriculum scale and scores can be compared to tell how much growth a student has made. The RIT score is one of the most important pieces of information on a student’s report. This score is independent of the age or grade of the student, and reflects the instructional level at which the student is currently performing.

    When will I see how my child performed on the MAP?
    Parents and students will receive a student performance report following each administration of the test.

    Growth Over Time
    We expect RIT scores to increase over time. Typically, younger students show more growth in one year than older students. Students who test above grade level often show less growth. Sometimes RIT scores may decline from one test to the next. One low test score is not cause for immediate concern. Like adults, students have good and bad days and their test results do not always indicate what they know and can do. Students' attitudes toward the test can also affect their score. Therefore, growth over time is a better measure of student learning. Our goal is to use the data to differentiate instruction, monitor student progress, and identify those students that could benefit from additional support and intervention so that all students in PLCS can master rigorous academic expectations.

    The Lexile Framework for Reading
    After completing the MAP, students will also learn their Lexile range. A Lexile range is a score that helps identify reading material that is at an appropriate difficulty level for an individual student. Reading materials are written at a set Lexile level. Knowing your child’s Lexile range will help you identify materials that match his or her reading level. Keep in mind that Lexile does not evaluate genre, theme, content, or interest. Even though a student might be able to read books at a certain Lexile, the content or theme of the text may not be appropriate for that particular student because of his or her age or developmental level. Also, a student may be able to read more difficult content if it is an area of interest for that child since he or she may already be familiar with some of the vocabulary necessary to comprehend the text.

    Examples of Sample Books
    Green Eggs and Ham, Lexile = 30
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lexile = 940
    Pride and Prejudice, Lexile = 1100
    Charlotte’s Web, Lexile = 680

    Commonly Used Terms
    Here are some other terms you will hear and use as you are talking with teachers and your children about MAP.

    District Average
    The average RIT score for all students in PLCS in the same grade who were tested at the same time as your child.

    Norm Group Average
    The average score of students who were in the same grade and tested in the same term as observed in the latest NWEA norming study.

    Percentile Range
    Percentiles are used to compare one student’s performance to that of the norm group. Percentile means the student scored as well as, or better than, that percent of students taking the test in his/her grade. There is about a 68 percent chance that a student’s percentile ranking would fall within this range if the student tested again relatively soon.

    Percentile Rank
    This number indicates the percentage of students in the NWEA norm group for this grade that this student’s score equaled or exceeded.