Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Last week, Hayden students began taking tests that will help teachers set learning goals and track students' progress.
This will be the third year the district has administered Measures of Academic Progress tests to middle and high school students. The computerized test measures students' skills in specific areas within the broad subjects of reading, writing and math.
Unlike the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests, MAP tests are not required by the state. The Moffat County and Oak Creek School Districts also administer the tests.
Students take the set of three MAP tests at the beginning and end of each school year. Each test takes about 50 minutes to an hour and is given during regular classes, counselor Danica Moss said.
Hayden High School students started taking the test last week, seventh- and eighth-graders tackled MAPs this week, and sixth-graders will take tests next week.
Students receive scores in each section immediately after the test. Math for example, may include sections in algebra, geometry, statistics and problem-solving, depending on the grade level.
The tests establish target scores for students to aim for on their spring tests. Each student's spring target is different depending on their skills, Moss said.
Teachers adjust their teaching to help individual students reach their targets and to help classes improve overall in needed areas.
Information about specific subject areas makes MAP tests an "extremely important" tool for teachers, who use the test in conjunction with CSAP scores to determine overall strengths and weaknesses, she said.
Staff sometimes decide to give the tests at semester or in January, though sometimes that can overwhelm students preparing to take CSAPs, Moss said.
Schools typically receive collective scores within two weeks after students complete the MAP tests. The district is working to develop a user-friendly score format that can be sent to parents, she said.
Students enjoy tracking their own growth by comparing their fall and spring scores.
"At the end of the year, they really like it," Moss said.