MAP Time for Schools
The MAP test is a key component for tracking student progress, specifically for the federal No Child Left Behind Act. But, how test results are used to meet those requirements could leave some children behind.
This fourth grade class spent Tuesday morning taking the MAP test. But, an Associated Press analysis showed the work of some students, mostly minorities, isn't counted against the federal criteria.
"I think, if we're going to have a No Child Left Behind Act, it literally should be no child," said Dawn Ryder, the mother of a biracial child. "Every child should be accounted for."
President Bush signed the law in 2002 to require all public school students in the U.S. to be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014.
If schools are not up to par, they face penalties. The MAP test is the main way to measure that. To pass, and get federal money, all students that take the test and each qualifying subgroup, such as race, poverty and special education, must also meet that benchmark.
But the AP found a loophole. If a racial group is a statistically insignificant number in a school or district, or if that subgroup is less than 30 students, then the subgroup isn't reported at all.
That translates to 22,000 Missouri students whose scores are not counted against federal criteria, so there's no way to measure if districts are meeting those students' needs. One director of assesment told KOMU News there are two factors to keep in mind. First, the federal goverment has approved the 30-student exclusion for racial minorities. And second, that exclusion is designed to keep students from being identified.
The AP reviewed the data for schools in a city. In Columbia, Eugene Field Elementary excludes 14% of students' scores. In Jefferson City, Cedar Hills Elementary excludes 17% of students' scores. And in Marshall, 25% of scores at Northwest Elementary were not counted. Remember, those students' scores weren't counted in their subgroups, but were counted in the schools' overall scores.