PORTLAND, Ore. August 29, 2006–Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), a national non-profit organization focused on improving K-12 assessment, today announces the enrollment of Wichita Public Schools as its 2000th member district. NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) formative assessment continues to gain traction in districts across the country as educators look for tools that can help them measure individual student growth over time toward achievement goals.

Using NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, Wichita educators will gain an immediate understanding of each student’s academic needs, which they can then use to adjust instruction.

MAP is a computerized adaptive test that measures student growth over time and across grades. Rather than giving the same questions to students in the same grade, MAP adapts to each child’s abilities, offering easier or harder questions based on the student’s response to the previous question. This model provides an accurate and immediate understanding of each student’s skill level that teachers and administrators can use to plan instruction and allocate resources.

NWEA members administer MAP tests up to four times annually to monitor each student’s academic progress closely. MAP tests are aligned to individual state standards, allowing educators to compare each student’s instructional level with the proficiency levels set by the state.
“NWEA welcomes Wichita as the 2000th member. With MAP assessments, Wichita and all NWEA member districts receive the accurate and immediate data they need to understand and address each student’s individual academic needs,” says Allan Olson, NWEA CEO and president. “This valuable growth data gives educators the information they need to ensure every child grows.”

Wichita Public Schools, USD 259 in Kansas will begin testing 28,000 students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 10 this fall, following a successful pilot program last spring. MAP will test the Wichita students in reading, mathematics, and language usage.

MAP assessments will support Wichita Public School district’s mission to improve student performance. The district was recognized nationally by the American School Board Journal as one of seven leading urban school districts in the U.S. for gains in student achievement. Additionally, 32 schools received the 2006 Standard of Excellence status – the state’s highest honor, based on their performance on the Kansas state assessments.
NWEA also offers a MAP assessment for science in grades three through high school. A special MAP for Primary Grades also is available for K-2, and is uniquely designed to assess achievement levels of early learners in reading and mathematics.
NWEA assessments are used in 120 districts across Kansas.

About Northwest Evaluation Association

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping all children learn. NWEA provides formative assessment, research-based educational growth measures, and professional training to improve teaching and learning. Partnering with school districts, states and other education organizations, NWEA delivers computer-adapted assessment services to two million students nationwide. Additionally, its Growth Research Database, the most extensive collection of student growth data in the country, provides a rich opportunity for the study of academic achievement. More information is available at .

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