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October 29, 2012
“How is it possible that our students are showing good growth on the MAP test but failing to meet proficiency on our state test?”
This question arises occasionally with NWEA partner school districts using MAP assessments, and it highlights the need for clarity about the distinctions between state proficiency standards and NWEA norms for growth and status. One really has nothing to do with the other.
October 10, 2012
Wikipedia defines Cognitive dissonance as “the term used in modern psychology to describe the state of holding two or more conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.”
October 2, 2012
New Blog Feature! Since many of our blog readers are NWEA partners, we decided to occasionally use this forum to post questions we receive from school district staff who use MAP assessments. Please feel free to leave other questions in the comments or email them to us directly at email@example.com
Do the percentiles reported on MAP reports equate to specific standard scores, as one would normally find in a normal distribution of scores (Bell Curve)? E.g., does the 16th percentile equal an 85 Standard Score as one typically finds on many IQ and Achievement tests?
September 28, 2012
Ninth Grade Counts (NGC) is a network of programs that was established to help keep students engaged in school activities over the summer months in the transition year between the 8th and 9th grade. This transition time has been shown to be especially pivotal for those students who struggle academically; thus, the aim of the NGC programs is to provide support during this critical time period to those students most at risk of falling behind in school. Ultimately, if participating students remained engaged in school between their 8th and 9th grade years, the hope is that these students will remain enrolled in school, have fewer absences, show improved academic performance, and complete the appropriate number of high school credits on time.
September 18, 2012
I mean it. I really do. Let me explain why as quickly as I can.
First, what do I mean by error?
Think about a typical state test – it’s a paper and pencil test designed to measure proficiency at a grade level. The questions on this test ask about the content included in the state standards, with the difficulty levels of the questions aligned to a particular grade level. Are we good so far? Good.
September 12, 2012
With a new school year upon NWEA’s partners, we thought this might be a good time to announce the new extra strength version of our blog, designed to offer even more incisive, relevant, and helpful commentary to our readers than before. For a good medication, the changes we’ve made are subtle with few side effects, but expect to see us offer content that is more closely focused on our NWEA partners - our primary readers - and more opportunities to interact through the blog.
July 31, 2012
For over 20 years, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has published an annual Kids Count Data Book that examines child well-being from all 50 states. The data reveal several interesting trends, but the Foundation’s efforts to expand the previously health-dominated benchmarks to a broader index of well-being are particularly noteworthy. For the 2012 report, 16 measures of education, health, economic well-being, family and community support and inform the way researchers examine economic, racial, and geographic inequality patterns.
June 18, 2012
The recent controversy in Florida over the fourth grade passing rates for the FCAT writing exam has caused some speculation about the impact that tests linked to the new common core standards will have on school accountability. If the new content standards are more rigorous, and the passing scores on the new tests are more difficult, then fewer students will pass, right?
June 12, 2012
Prior to joining the Kingsbury Center, I spent several years working at the University of Arkansas as a researcher in the Office for Education Policy (OEP). Much of my/our work in the OEP was focused on relevant issues in education policy in both Arkansas and across the nation, with a specific emphasis on what impact these policies have on Arkansas students.
June 5, 2012
I remember a conversation I had with my father when I was about 10 years old. To set the context, I grew up on a small farm in rural northern Michigan. The farm was my father’s dream and on this particular summer day after milking our dairy cows and putting hay for the winter into the mow, I talked about how much “fun” it would be to work “forever” with my father on the farm. My father said something to me which I never forgot. “Bob, you can be anything you want and if you want to work on the farm with me, I would be honored, but that will be after you finish college and you are positive this is the life you desire."