Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is administered to all students in grades Kindergarten through 8 in Mathematics and in Reading/English Language Arts. MAP is administered three times per year: fall, winter and spring. Growth is measured from fall to spring and/or fall to fall.
How does MAP make sure the test items are free from gender and/or race bias?
Test fairness is a fundamental validity issue in test development and use. NWEA, the parent company of MAP, strives to create tests with fairness and undertakes a set of procedures mandated by Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (2014) during the item development process to ensure tests are fair to different subgroups.
The publishing departments prevent bias from being introduced into the test through Bias, Sensitivity and Fairness reviews as well as by following Universal Design for Learning practices. Their research team identifies any existing bias in potential items and fails items that demonstrate bias. This process is called Differential Item Functioning analysis.
Bias, sensitivity and fairness review:
All items go through a rigorous multiple-reviewer examination before the item is completed. Passages for common stimulus item sets are also reviewed by a group of outside consultants with expertise in various areas of bias (for example, students with disabilities or gender or race bias).
Differential Item Functioning (DIF) analysis:
MAP Growth assessments are based on item response theory (IRT). The fundamental assumption underlying item response theory (IRT) is that the probability of a correct response to a test item is a function of the item’s difficulty and the person’s ability. The function is expected to remain invariant to other personal characteristics such as gender or ethnicity that are unrelated to ability. To test this assumption, characteristics of MAP Growth tests that are not related to the construct being measured are examined through a statistical procedure called differential item functioning (DIF). In particular, responses to test items by test takers sharing a specific aspect of a personal characteristic, for example, female, are compared with responses to the same test items by other test takers who share a different aspect of the same characteristic, for example, male. The presence of DIF suggests that an item functions differently for examinees with different backgrounds although examinees responding to those items have similar abilities. NWEA conducts DIF analysis based on gender and racial/ethnic groups, among other factors (e.g. poverty, population density, etc.). If DIF items are detected, they are removed from the item pool.
Kansas College and Career Ready Standards Assessments of English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics are administered to all students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 annually. The Kansas Assessments in ELA and Mathematics are used to determine proficiency on the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS).
Kansas Assessment of Science is administered annually in grades 5, 8 and senior high school. Grades 5 and 8 are tested for proficiency in general science, and senior high students are tested for proficiency in Life Science and Physical Science.Kansas Assessment of History/Government/Social Studies will be tested in grades 6, 8 and 11.Pre-ACTBeginning in the fall of 2016 (and continuing), the Pre-ACT for Reading, English, Mathematics and Science will be administered in the fall semester to grade 9. The Pre-ACT will provide students, parents, and teachers with information about where students are performing relative to ACT outcomes. This test is strictly a "point in time" snapshot of student performance in the fall of their freshman or sophomore year, but will provide instructional information to teachers and "where I am right now" information to students and parents.