To the Editor:
In response to a recent post on edweek.org’s District Dossier blog, “NEA Supports Seattle Teachers Protesting Standardized Test” (Jan. 23, 2013), I thought it would be useful to elaborate on the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress and where NWEA thinks the discussion needs to go from here.
Our organization seeks to empower teachers for classroom success and to equip them with essential tools and information to support their practice. One of those tools is the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, an assessment utilized by thousands of educators to assess student learning and growth.
Educators use the information MAP provides during the school year to tailor instruction to meet the specific needs of the students in their classroom. MAP is not a test designed to be taught to; it is designed to be taught from.
In this age of accountability, there is much discussion about testing and its role in educator evaluation. While increased student achievement is a valid measure of classroom learning, we believe a single test should not be the sole determining factor. Measuring the effectiveness of a teacher or principal is a complicated endeavor, one that cannot simply be determined by any test alone.
Just as we can agree that a test score is not a consummate measure of a student’s learning, we can also agree that no single test score is the sum of a teacher’s effectiveness in his or her craft.
Chief Executive Officer
Northwest Evaluation Association
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as NWEA Supports Measures Of Academic Progress