Many Missouri students are approaching the finish line for this year’s Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP tests.
More than 1.8 million testing sessions have been completed since the assessment window opened on March 30. That number accounts for more than 75 percent of all expected MAP sessions.
“Our students and teachers are to be commended for their hard work in the last few weeks,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Our districts should be recognized for providing 21st century test-taking opportunities.”
The Springfield Public School District, the largest in the state, is more than 94 percent finished with this year’s assessments. The district has administered more than 63,000 sessions.
“I have been in a number of schools over the last few weeks. As I've had conversations with staff about how it is going, I've heard very positive reports,” said Springfield Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann.
This year’s assessments contain several new features including higher expectations in math and English language arts, as well as new computerized assessments for grades 3-8. The online exams are interactive and allow students to use tools to solve problems. This capability brings a real-world element and helps students develop the skills they will need in their future careers.
“I like the listening part for the students,” said Julie Winborn, testing coordinator in the Portageville School District. “That was a better representation of what we do in the classroom. From the academic standpoint, that was better than just reading stories.”
Michele Herbert, principal at Eldon’s Upper Elementary School, said she was pleased with the transition to computers. She said there were only a few minor issues with technology.
“The computers worked out, and students said they liked testing online better,” said Herbert. “It went smooth, a lot smoother than I could have dreamed.”
Schools also no longer have to handle, store and process paper test books.
“I think it was a calmer testing environment,” said Diamond Superintendent Mike Mabe. “There wasn’t paper shuffling.”
MAP is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the Missouri Learning Standards. Goal 1 of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative calls for all Missouri students to graduate high school college and career ready.