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Assessment & Research

New Testing Method Provides Additional Educational Support
Following considerable examination, the Greenville City School District has replaced the Iowa tests (ITBS) with a different type of assessment - Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).

Developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), MAP is a computerized, adaptive assessment program that provides educators with information they can use to improve teaching and learning. The assessment itself adapts to the student's ability, accurately measuring what a child knows and needs to learn. MAP tests also allow teachers to measure individual student academic growth over time, independent of grade level or age.

MAP tests are easy to administer and each computer-based assessment takes about an hour. An advantage of the MAP assessments is that individual student scores are available immediately after testing. The reports - available to teachers within 24 hours of uploading to NWEA - provide teachers with timely access to information they can use for instructional planning and school improvement.

NWEA has the largest norm reference group in the nation, providing highly accurate, norm-referenced scores. MAP results, however, go beyond ranking student achievement to identify the skills and concepts a student knows, and what he or she needs to learn in order to keep growing. With accurate, timely information on an individual student's needs, teachers can target instruction so every student is learning and growing.

MAP assessments in reading, language usage and math will be administered in late September or early October, January and again in May to students in grades K-8, beginning in 2013-14. These tests will provide highly accurate results that can be used to:

Identify the skills and concepts individual students have learned;

Diagnose instructional needs;

Monitor academic growth over time;

Make data-driven decisions at the classroom, school and district levels; and

Place new students into appropriate instructional programs.

Testing takes valuable time from instruction, so it makes sense that the assessments Greenville City Schools give students should make a difference. MAP has a long and successful track record of providing educators with the information they need to help students learn and grow.

Teaching and learning is what GCS is all about, and this is yet another tool that will contribute to the district's success.

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