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TIP SERIES: Making Sure Your Student Benefits from MAP Tests

posted Oct 25, 2018, 7:13 AM by Web Admin

This month, your child took tests in reading and math, called MAP-R and MAP-M. They take these tests two or times a year. I am no expert on testing and know that standardized tests can only tell you so much. However, I have spent some time researching these tests, and here is what I found out.

MAP tests produce immediate results, unlike the PARCC, where results take months to come out. As soon as your child completes them, the results are available. Formal reports will eventually end up in the Document Library in myMCPS for your child, but that can take some time, and there is no reason to wait to get the results and find out how your teacher plans to use them. Some teachers have already posted the results in the grades section of myMCPS.

Ask for your child’s score on MAP-R and MAP-M. Each test produces an overall score, like 225.. That score should go up each time your student takes the test. Ask for the scores of your child. Compare it to the score from last spring, which you can see in the spring report in your Document Library. Did it go up? How close is it to the projected score for spring of 2019? If your child is not making adequate progress, it is something to discuss with your child’s teacher. If your child has accelerated, ask about opportunities for more challenging work.

Ask about how your child did on specific skills. MAP tests are adaptive, meaning that they respond to how well your child is doing on initial questions, giving easier or harder questions. This means that MAP identifies the upper limits of your child’s understanding. Your child may have already mastered much of the content of the current class! MAP also shows holes in knowledge, i.e., things your child studied but did not master or has forgotten. Your teacher has access to a Student Profile which shows all of this. Ask your teacher what skills MAP identified that your child still needs to work on and how your child can do that. What skills has your child already mastered, and how can your child advance?

To me, it is odd that MCPS does not proactively share MAP results. I have to assume they are viewed as valuable or MCPS would not have students take them. This means that to get full benefit from these tests, we need to be informed, communicate with teachers and advocate for our children.

I know this only scratches the surface, and I look forward to hearing additional tips from parents and guardians.