Statewide MAP Results Are Out, and They Don’t Look Great
Do you remember the feeling you’d get as a student, when the teacher was handing back exams—especially when you weren’t optimistic about the grade you’d earned? It’s a feeling that must have been common in Missouri on Wednesday, when the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the statewide results of the Missouri Assessment Program’s 2016 administration.
Taken at face value, the numbers aren’t strong.
The table below shows the percentages of students who scored “proficient” or better in grades 3–8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.
|Subject||Grade 3||Grade 4||Grade 5||Grade 6||Grade 7||Grade 8|
In grades 5–8, fewer than half of students scored proficient or better in Math. At 63.2%, 4th-grade ELA is the highest single score, and that is still less than two-thirds of students.
So what does all of this mean? Well, it’s a bit complicated. This was the first year for the new MAP test and new cutoff scores for proficiency. Missouri developed a new test and set new expectations after jettisoning the Common Core–aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment, so it’s hard to put these numbers in context. Are these standards too high? Too low? Just right? It’s probably too soon to say.
One thing we can do is compare these results, at least for the 4th and 8th grades, the scores on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), a test that is administered to a representative sample of students every two years. The following table shows the proficiency results from 2015.
|Subject||Grade 4||Grade 8|
NAEP is designed to set a higher standard than most state tests, but there is still a pretty large gap between what NAEP defines as proficient and what the MAP test does—that is, unless our students made huge gains in one year. Given the small likelihood of that, it looks like MAP might need to raise the bar.
All of that said, these numbers do create a baseline that subsequent years of assessments can be compared to. It will be interesting to see how they change over time.