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Saint Cyril School - Interpreting MAP Scores

November 12, 2021


Good evening Cougar Parents,

Almost all students came home this evening with information about their MAP scores on the Fall administration of the NWEA standardized test. (If you did not get MAP scores, please contact the teacher on Monday.) I find understanding the scores is not intuitive, and without a background in both tests and measurements and statistics, can be confusing. Although it is a bit outdated and uses comparative scores from 2015 (please don't use these outdated scores, just the general information), I find the explanation at: https://www.franklincityschools.com/media/curriculum/MAPparentbrochure201516.pdf sometimes helpful. As you examine the scores on your child's summary, please keep in mind the following:

  • MAP scores are designed to measure growth, not achievement. Consider the straight A student - it is highly possible that they will have a low MAP score, only because there is little room for growth.

  • No matter how good someone is, there is always room to grow. So, even the highest scoring students will have scores highlighted in "yellow". Consider the student in 3rd grade who reads at the 5th grade level and does sixth grade math well. A possible area of growth would be identified in reading - highlighted in yellow.

  • Teachers continue to comment that after a year of COVID-19 instruction, the vast majority of our students are achieving at or above grade level, and a normal range of growth is evident. Given the nationally identified decline in student achievement since the start of the pandemic, "keeping up" with pre-COVID growth and achievement is a testament to how hard families, teachers and students worked to overcome pandemic declines and stay "on track."

  • "Anticipated growth rates for each student are based on national norms and should be viewed as “typical” growth, not expected growth. Teachers and principals have participated in training to learn what the MAP test results mean and how to best utilize the results. Our goal is for teachers to use the date to differentiate and adjust instruction so that all students grow at levels appropriate for all learners."

Yes, MAP scores are helpful if interpreted correctly. So, when should a parent be concerned? When a teacher, who will incorporate classroom performance, other measures of achievement, and an understanding of the student's unique talents and learning style, contacts the parents with areas to watch. Please, never hesitate to contact the teacher for an explanation if you have concerns, but also trust that teachers will be in contact if there is anything to watch or be concerned about.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us ...

Additional Information:

A family guide to MAP Growth

Normative Data and RIT Scores