The First MAP Explanation Meeting for Parents

On the afternoon of March 10th,  the first Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)  Explanation Meeting for parents was hosted at Sias IS. MAP test system was developed by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) in 1976, which already has 50 years testing experience. At Sias IS, students take MAP tests three times a year, in fall, winter, and spring to regularly evaluate students’ academic ability. In order to introduce what MAP test is, how MAP test takes place, and the significance of the result data, our school decided to host three explanation meetings for parents regarding the MAP test.

Our first meeting started with the welcome speech by our Head of School, Dr. Mills, followed by the introduction of MAP test from Ms. Baker. MAP test is a computerized adaptive test system widely accepted by schools in 145 countries and 9500 districts, it uses a RIT scale to evaluate students’ learning and improving progress, and the measured data will help teachers plan their teaching direction and focus in order to promote students’ further academic development. Ms. Baker shared, recently MAP test has over 1100 student users in United States and 140 countries worldwide. As a computerized adaptive test system, MAP test will give a more challenging question if the previous answer is correct, and it will give an easier question if the previous answer is incorrect, until a student can consistently answer correctly. This is the way that MAP test evaluates students’ academic level, and it measures their learning growth over time, which allows teachers to track and monitor students’ learning progress throughout the school years.

After Ms. Baker’s sharing and introduction, IB PYP Coordinator, Ms. Juliana introduced to parents, how teachers use the scores of MAP test. At Sias IS, teachers use MAP test scores to inform their teaching decisions, personalized learning, and monitor the growth of individual students. HoS and administrators will use these scores to see the performance and progress of a grade or the whole school. Meanwhile, Ms. Juliana shared how to understand and master students’ learning through the MAP test report as well. On the explanation meeting, parents watched videos from teachers of different grades, sharing how they use MAP data to help their students to improve in classes, and how they use MAP data to analyze and prepare their own classes. On this basis, MAP data will also help teachers formulate targeted teaching plans for each student, provide teachers and parents with an additional channel to observe students’ learning and feedback on course information, as well as help students prepare for assessments in the future. 

Ms. Juliana said, although MAP test has a powerful database and information comparison mode, it is not the only standard for teachers to measure students’ learning ability here. At Sias IS, there are comprehensive ways to evaluate students’ learning other than MAP test, such as students’ reflections, observation, students’ work samples and their reading level.

For parents who wish to know the results of MAP test, Ms. Juliana shared suggestions from NWEA and ISS which are, schools do not share MAP test results until at least three years of data have been accrued. This is because the purpose of the MAP Growth test is to show growth over time. Only after every student takes the MAP test at least three times for 3 years will we have more accurate reflection of their growth and abilities. However, in order to dispel the doubts from parents, to encourage more parents participate in students’ growth of learning, in the following Ms. Juliana announced an exciting decision, which is at Sias IS, we decided to release MAP test results and report cards to parents only if they finish attending all three explanation meetings which are Winter MAP Test Parent Information Session in March, Parent MAP Training Session in April (Try the Test) and Spring MAP Session Assessments and Student Reporting. Afterwards, June 10th will be the date of releasing.

The first MAP Explanation Meeting for parents concluded successfully with a Q&A time. We are looking forward to seeing the parents again in next MAP parents’ explanation meeting, hopefully this explanation meeting will help more parents to know about our school as well as MAP test.