In alignment with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which Missouri adopted in 2010, and the Missouri Show Me Standards, the MAP exams are intended to bring data-driven instruction to classrooms and increased accountability to the state's public education system.
Given that the MAP tests are an integral part of schooling in Missouri, we wanted to share this list of five things you might not already know about the assessments.
1. Based on next-generation skill and proficiency demands.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has made it clear that the latest iterations of the statewide assessments will require students to put on their thinking caps. A wide and deep range of cognitive demands will be placed on test takers as they organize and synthesize information, evaluate and integrate complex research, and connect learned content to real-life practice in a variety of assessment items covering all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
2. Measures not only what students know, but what they can do.
Yes, there are the usual multiple-choice test items on the MAP assessments, but students will also have to respond to short-answer and constructed-response questions, as well as "performance event" questions.
The latter are assessment items that involve demonstrations of what the students know and what they can do. Examples might include writing an essay or solving a real-life multi-step math problem.
3. Developed with Smarter Balanced.
The state's education department has partnered with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in developing recent versions of the MAP exams. This consortium provided both the design and the blueprints for the English/language arts and math tests, along with Smarter Balanced test item banks. As you're probably aware, Missouri is just one of a number of states that have partnered with Smarter Balanced to create large-scale assessment items.
4. Computer-based assessments.
Digital assessments are the norm in 21st-century education, and Missouri has kept pace by rolling out computerized MAP exams. In the 2014-2015 school year, districts throughout the state have administered the computer-based tests for grades three through eight, thereby allowing for a quicker turnaround of assessment score reporting—generally within ten business days, and sometimes even within five.
Check out LearnBop’s Technology Enhanced Items (TEI) to see what the new computer-based item types being used in SBAC computer-based assessments look like. Teachers can use these new items right now for free!
5. Comprehensive score reports.
MAP testing result reports have, thus far, been richly detailed and rife with pertinent information for parents and educators. Score reports have shown not only raw scores and proficiency levels, but also the statewide mean scores for comparative purposes, as well as specific suggestions to help improve the skills of the test taker.
Like most standardized assessments, the MAP exams are meant to measure how well the test takers can apply the skills and competencies they have acquired over time. Indeed, demonstrating academic proficiency will be the task of thousands of students as they take the tests this year, just as they do every school year in Missouri. It all comes down to a handful of intense hours in the springtime as students throughout the state must, once again, "show what they know" in the Show-Me State.
We hope this list was informative, and that you learned something you didn't know before. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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About the Author
David Moadel is in his third decade working in education. He has taught, mentored, and inspired students from elementary age through adult. David has earned his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the American College of Education, and is currently a certified teacher in Florida. David enjoys teaching, writing, and utilizing technology tools to communicate with people with diverse viewpoints across the globe.