Assessments for our students come in two forms: Measures of Academic Progress™ (MAP) and Oregon's state benchmark tests, the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) for mathematics and English language arts and the Oregon Assessment of KnowledgeSkills (OAKS) for science.
During the year, all children take MAP at least twice in Reading, Language Usage and Mathematics. Grades 2-8 also take the Science assessment. Administering these assessments twice a year yields two data points which allows for measuring growth through the course of the year.
State benchmark testing is done late in the spring. SBAC Reading and Math is taken by all students in Grades 3-8, and OAKS Science is taken by 5th and 8th grade only. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding assessments at CHPCS.
Q: Why do we administer MAP when we are already required to administer state tests?
SBAC and OAKS, the state's battery of benchmark tests, tells us whether students have made progress toward mastery of state content standards. MAP serves a different purpose than the state tests. It is a measure of what your child knows and is ready to learn.
SBAC and OAKS measure progress towards meeting grade level benchmarks based on percentage correct and your child's score compared to others in the same grade. MAP results are reported in Rasch Unit (RIT) scores, which is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, that is independent of grade level. The RIT Scale is a curriculum scale that uses individual item difficulty values to estimate student achievement and has the same meaning regardless of grade or age of the student.
In addition, both Smarter Balanced and MAP are aligned to Common Core. Instead of waiting for the results from Smarter Balanced after the end of the year, with MAP we have a way to monitor progress on Common Core State Standards in Math and English Language Arts through the year. This gives valuable information. Students who are one track can celebrate their progress, students who may not be making adequate progess can get the help they need, and students who are already proficient can be given more challenge.
Q: How are state tests (SBAC and OAKS) and MAP different?
MAP assessments are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child's level of learning, regardless of grade level. MAP measures academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year. It is a tool that can be used to improve student learning by teachers, students and parents. Teachers use it to inform instruction, students use it for goal setting, and parents use it to get a clear picture of student growth and how to support their children's learning.
SBAC and OAKS, on the other hand, are adaptive only within the grade level of the student being tested. Score Reports from these tests do indicate if a child has met, exceeded or not met state benchmarks. Their primary use, however, is to provide aggregated data for districts, schools, teachers, and demographic groups used for school accountability purposes. The tests start in 3rd grade and give no information in the crucial early learning years. They are administered once at the end of the year after instruction is complete. Nor do the scores pinpoint what children already know or what they are ready to learn next.
Q: How can we help at home?
Partnering to help all children learn, parents and teachers have a profound positive effect on the lives of children. You can always help by making sure your child gets a good night's rest and eats a healthy breakfast not only on assessment days, but always. And of course read, read, read!
We are truly excited to be able to use MAP to focus on every child's individual growth and achievement. For more information and resources for parents, open the Parent Toolkit (also available in Spanish), A Parent’s Guide to MAP, and the Strategies Packet below.
If you would like to know more about Smarter Balanced, see the fact sheets below. In addition, detailed information including links to the practice tests can be found on the Smarter Balanced pages on the Oregon Department of Education website.