Barnstable Academy utilizes a proven methodology that assesses not only student proficiency, but also growth from test to test. In this way, we are better able to customize each student’s education to his or her needs, and continually check that mastery learning is occurring.
Our tool is the highly effective Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)—a web-based, adaptive assessment tool that provides a true and accurate measure of your child’s academic growth. This test is one of the many unique alternatives to standardized skills assessments offered by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). A non-profit organization with 32 years of experience in research-based assessments, NWEA’s testing tools are now used in over 3,400 schools.
Unlike traditional skills assessments, MAP testing is untimed, individualized, measures knowledge across grade level, and is consistent from assessment-to-assessment, year-to-year. The online test presents questions, immediately analyzes your child’s response, and selects a follow-up question of appropriate difficulty. If your child answers correctly, the questions become more challenging. If he or she answers incorrectly, they become simpler.
This adaptive progression continues throughout the assessment, providing a true picture of the skills and concepts your child has mastered and those not yet learned—independent of grade level, age, or current classroom performance. And because the test is untimed, your child can move at his or her own pace, diminishing the feelings of anxiety and frustration that can be caused by traditional standardized testing.
The result of the MAP assessment is an itemized score in each subject area. These scores are measured against the RIT scale (for Rausch unit), a fixed learning scale that uses individual item difficulty values to estimate student achievement. RIT is aligned to state benchmarks and divided into equal parts, or intervals, that represent knowledge in an ascending level of difficulty. In movements similar to centimeters on a ruler, the RIT “measurements” indicate where your child lives on the scale in relation to other children in the class, grade, state, and nation.
By analyzing these RIT measurements, we can chart your child’s academic growth in each subject area from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year. This allows us to offer highly individualized instruction plans based on current achievement levels in each academic area, thus helping your child build upon strengths while addressing areas that are weaker in relation to state curriculum standards and measurable growth expectations.