Frequently Asked Questions
The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is an educational services organization based in Portland, Oregon. The company developed research based computerized adaptive assessments for students. The assessments are growth based informative instructional tools for teachers and students alike. NWEA results provide the teachers and students with immediate results that can be utilized in the classroom to target student learning and focus on student needs.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computerized assessment program that provides educators with information they need to improve teaching and learning. Educators use the growth and achievement data from MAP to develop targeted instructional strategies.
The tests are offered three times each year. Students in Grades K-2 take the MAP for Primary Grades while our 3-6 grade students take the MAP or Measures of Academic Progress. The results provide teachers and students with a measure of student growth in achievement, and allow for more focused teaching and learning.
Student MAP results are reported as RIT scores (short for Rasch Unit). The RIT score is, simply, an estimate of a student’s instructional level and it also measures student progress or growth in school. Similar to a growth chart that measures height and weight, a MAP score can show how much a student has grown from year to year. A RIT score enables teachers to pinpoint what students already know and what they are ready to learn. Scores are not used to compare student to student but instead, student performance compared to student norms at a given point in time (fall, winter, spring).
RIT scores are measured on an equal interval scale. This means that the difference between scores (like inches) is the same even if a student scores high or low. No matter what grade a child is in, the scores have the same meaning; for example, a 2nd grader that gets a score of 211 and a 5th grader that gets a score of 211 are learning at a similar level. RIT scores are expected to increase over time. However, the younger the child, the greater the RIT growth since overall growth is smaller as questions get harder at higher levels. Students who test above expected level also show less growth. Growth rates are estimated as typical growth not expected growth. RIT scores are more valuable as you look at measuring student learning in growth over time rather than as an isolated RIT score.
Teachers are utilizing student scores to make data-based decisions to improve student achievement. MAP scores are just one piece of data teachers use to inform instruction. Our goal is for teachers to adjust instruction so that ALL students grow at levels appropriate for each student.
Parents and guardians should become comfortable in understanding that students will grow at different rates and at different times. Use the growth norm chart to, first, find the score closest to your child’s RIT score and, second, align that score with a grade-level. This will tell you at which grade-level your child is performing.