Parent Info Night MAP assessments explicated prior to the monthly Morgan County Board of Education meeting. Monday, Oct. 14 6 p.m. at the MCHS Auditorium.

By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor

In an effort to inform parents, the county Board of Education (BOE) will hold their October meeting at the Morgan County High School Auditorium, as an explication of the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing now going on in Morgan County schools is part of the agenda for the night’s meeting.

The MAP Parent Information Night will be held at the MCHS Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m., and the session will be considered the start of the BOE’s monthly meeting. The session will be presented by Thomas VanSoelen, former Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at Decatur City Schools and current education consultant, who will explain to parents how to read a MAP score report and look for progress.

MAP is an assessment, taken by Morgan County students in Kindergarten through 10th grade, three times a year: near the start of school, in December and then again prior to Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) in the spring. Students in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade take MAP assessments in Reading, Language Arts and Math. Students in grades nine and 10 take MAP assessments in Reading and Math.

Unlike the CRCT, MAP assessments are norm-referenced tests, which means that “students are compared to other students like them across the country,” Morgan County Assistant Superintendent Jean Triplett explained. About 5 million U.S. students take MAP assessments. Moveover, the norm-referenced test allows teachers and administrators to look at a student’s growth over time, Triplett said.

“The test is unique because it adapts as the student is taking the test, offering harder questions when the student is doing well and easier questions when the student is struggling so that the child’s ‘true’ instructional level is obtained,” according to a letter sent to parents by system administration.

MAP assessments are aligned to the state’s curriculum standards, give immediate results, and foster and facilitate more personalized instruction, according to the letter.

Additionally, MAP “gives us a common language to report scores,” Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach said, explaining that once students, parents, teachers and administrators are all accustomed to the vocabulary that goes with this assessment, the language won’t change from one grade, or school, to another.

MAP assessment results will have gone out to high school parents as of this Oct. 14 meeting, but parents of students in grades Kindergarten through eighth will receive results during parent-teacher conferences.