The New Jersey Department of Education released a memorandum last week that detailed the schedule of required state testing for 2008-09. The memo was seven pages long.
- High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) – grade 11
- Special Review Assessment – grade 12
- End of Course Exam: Biology – high school
- End of Course Exam Pilot: Algebra I – high school
- End of Course Exam Algebra II (a future test) – high school
- Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (ASK)
- Alternative Proficiency Assessment (APA) for select special needs students.
That is a lot of testing. Obviously, each requires a shift to the school instructional day, significant administrative work, and time to administer what are often multiple day assessments.
It is no wonder that you hear educators and parents worry about the amount of testing.
Most of the above tests factor into the national No Child Left Behind (NCLB) performance expectations that schools are required to meet.
In addition to the above tests that have been primarily used for regulatory purposes, Woodbury began to administer an additional tests to students in grades 3 through 8 (grade 2 was also piloted for a different, younger version of the test). These new tests are called MAP – Measures of Academic Progress.
The MAP tests are different from the state testing in that these tests are administered on the computer, they are adaptive to the individual student (questions are given based upon previous answers), and have results immediately available to teachers so that the tests results help guide classroom instruction.
We administered the MAP tests in the fall and then again in the spring. There is a MAP report that has been generated for each student, and we will be mailing these results home with an explanatory cover letter next week. You will be able to see your child’s performance in the areas tested, look for growth, and examine how the scores compare with a district average and a national norm.
As we continue to utilize the MAP testing, the individual student score report will generate longitudinal results that will show growth over multiple years. We are excited about the first year use of this testing program and believe that there will be even more positive impact in the years to come as we become even more accustomed to how to use the many different reports available that can help teachers make curricular choices and parents support learning at home.
Look for your MAP information in the mail next week.