The Standards are Working

The 2015 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests were the first to assess Missouri children’s achievement under new, higher standards in English language arts and math. Since the tests are new, we can’t compare the 2015 MAP results with those from years past. There were significant differences not only with the standards, but also with test design and reporting. But we can compare results between the 2015 MAP tests and field tests that were administered last year. While the results exceeded those from the 2014 field tests by a good margin in most cases, the results in math are particularly interesting.

Here is a comparison between the field test results and the percentage of Missouri students who scored proficient or advanced on the MAP assessment in math:

Grade

2014 Field Test (Prof/Adv)

2015 MAP Results (Prof/Adv)

3

39

52

4

37

49.6

5

33

39.9

6

33

38.1

7

33

35.3

8

32

28.3

It’s important to note that the 8th grade results do not include students who studied Algebra I, so some of the highest-achieving students did not take the grade-level assessment to avoid double testing. The percentage of ALL 8th graders who scored proficient/advanced, regardless of the assessment they took, is 40.8 percent.

Take a look at the results in grades 3, 4, and 5. Those are the biggest margins between field test scores and 2015 results. Those students are also the ones who have studied under the new Missouri Learning Standards for most or all of their school careers. Math is sequential – each unit of learning builds on the one before. The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade results reflect the power of consistent instruction under the new standards. It’s clear that the curriculum chosen by local districts and the classroom instruction planned by Missouri teachers since the implementation of new standards are helping students reach the expectations set for them.

We anticipate the higher grades will make gains as well, as students become more familiar with the expectations in the 2015-16 school year. We are proud of our teachers and students for their work preparing for these new tests. As we look ahead to the standards resulting from the HB 1490 work groups (effective in 2016-17), we are certain that teachers and students will be able to adapt as we continue toward the goal of college and career readiness for all Missouri kids.