By: Riley Hodges
The common question on student’s minds during the time of testing is “Why?”
According to sophomore teacher Ms. Lewis, the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP Growth tests are so that teachers can see if students are struggling and if they need help with their studies. Because they are not graded, students are told that MAP tests don’t affect them but that they should still try our hardest.
MAP testing begins in elementary school and continues three times a year — beginning, middle, and end — through sophomore year. That volume of testing feels redundant for many students. “It’s stupid and a waste of time,” sophomore Dayton Muckerheide said.
While it’s very common for students to hate any form of schoolwork, it seems that in general students especially hate MAP tests for the length and the appearance of pointlessness of the testing. Reading growth MAP tests typically take students an hour or more to complete.
As an incentive to get better data from students, the English department agreed that if students show growth from one MAP exam to the next, they can exempt the semester exam. There have also been instances in the past where teachers offer candy or other grade boosts if they gain any improvement from previous scores. “Honestly it is stupid, but I want to do better than I did last year because I want to exempt the English exam,” sophomore Brock Fortman said.
Because of new evaluation requirements, it is important for teachers to be able to see progress so they can help students grow and be on track for graduation. Teachers are required to use standardized test data to inform the instruction in their classrooms, and MAP is one piece of that puzzle.